upon reading the fine print today, i discovered that there are no actual pandas in Panda Puffs. this seems misleading at best and outright deceptive at worst.
i get this same feeling reading the new harvard research findings that running in minimalist shoes may be superior to running in conventional running shoes.
i’m sure it’s a fine study, and we’ve all been beaten to death with the fervor over ‘born to run.’ but the catch with this research: its major sponsor was vibram. so in a nutshell, the company that wants to sell you vibram five fingers funds research showing that wearing vibram five fingers is better than the shoes you’re wearing now. hmmmmmm.
i know, i know. scientists unbiased by funding money blah blah blah pure science and you have to get money from somewhere blah blah fluffy. but i’ve been playing journalism for 30 years and hardly a week comes by that there’s not a “Jell-O in large does will make you live forever” (according to research sponsored by Jell-O) or “heavy smoking lessens the need for retirement savings” (sponsored by philip morris.) i’m not sayin’. i’m just sayin’. how can you offer up a study funded by a company offering exactly the results they wanted?
i turn to the Great Thinkers of our time in these situations. El Señor Runner once told me, “Hey, can we stop at that Starbucks?” but then once we got back on the road he turned to me and said, “hey, is that another starbucks?” but seriously, as the caffeine and whipped cream kicked in, he exclaimed, “are there any porta potties nearby?” but after that, he offered a Great Truth. that being, whatever works for you is what works for you.
don’t believe harvard researchers. don’t believe vibram. don’t believe the running shoe companies (except of course for asics, which will likely be the password when you’re standing one day at the pearly gates.)
just believe your feet. and believe El Señor Runner. who believes he’ll have another starbucks, thank you very much. research can find whatever results researchers want to find. your feet will find the truth.
now if i can just find some cereal made with real panda …