Debi forwarded me an email about a study they are conducting at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital looking at bile acid and genetics about six months ago. In the initial email they seemed to indicate they were looking for vegetarians as participants, but I must have misread the email. Anyway, the study involves some intriguing procedures (taking stable and radioactive isotopes that are tracked using x-rays and such), but the interesting component is that they provide all of your food for 18 days… and that food has meat in it! No big deal, except I agreed to participate. So, in the interest of science, from September 12th through the 29th I’ll be a meat-eating vegetarian! I also won’t be going out to eat during that time as I am limited only to what they give me to eat. The study coordinator is probably as intrigued as I am to see what happens to me when, after 7 years of a no-meat diet I start suddenly eating meat again. I’m not sure what will happen. It should be interesting.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that we went to the Cirque du Soleil performance of Quidam on Saturday with some of Debi’s co-workers.  It was, as always, amazing, but I think we all agreed that we had seen better Cirque du Soleil performances.

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5 Replies to “bring on the meat!”

  1. Unfortunately, one of the requirements of the study is that I not consume any alcoholic beverages during the 18 days of the study. So, while this would be the optimum time to improve my taste for red wine I’m not allowed to even touch it!

    As for vegetarians signing up, according to the study administrator there haven’t been any others, though others have asked for more information. I just looked up the original email and it does specifically request vegetarians to apply for the study. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that none of the others who replied ended up doing it – the email says nothing about eating meat as part of the study. I’m sure that once they found out more information they thought exactly what my wife did, “What does this have to do with being vegetarian?” Well, in the name of science I shall consume small birds and cows!

  2. Good luck with that – I wonder how many vegetarians signed up under the same guise you did (either misreading or missing details about the study). With a study such as this (looking at the effects of switching a diet so drastically, when a considerable number of people eat this way for a combination of health and ethical reasons), it almost seems given that there has to be deception involved in getting people to sign up.

    Best of luck. I demand you publish your food diary, and post pictures. If they’re giving you shitty food, meat or not, you’re gonna have a reaction. I know how you two cook, so if you’re chowing down on grocery-store variety garbage, you’re not going to handle it well, regardless of its meat content.

    Lastly, if you’re gonna have beef at all for the next two weeks, perhaps you can learn to appreciate the nuances of red wines? Or are you limited in all your consumption to what they give you?

  3. I figured as much. I still want a photo journal, just to see what this research group considers edible.

  4. I’ll take photos. Plus, I have a menu of what I’m supposed to eat – maybe I’ll scan it and post it.

    I’m very interested too in how my body will react. Seven years isn’t 17, but it’s a long time. In all honesty, though, I don’t think the reaction will be all that severe. But, the only way to find out is to go through with it. I’ll post when I start eating their food to let you know how I feel.

  5. It will definitely be interesting to see how your system reacts. An old pal of mine — in fact, the guy who helped us with advice when we stopping eating meat — has started eating meat again on occasion, mainly because his kids are such picky eaters. He reports no adverse effects. But after 17 years of no meat, I can’t imagine that my system wouldn’t throw a fit. Unless the Smithwick’s and Guinness has damaged it enough that it wouldn’t matter… 😉

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