Microbiotic bowl – research participants needed the food party! laura stec almanac online

About this blog: I’ve been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I’ve been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and environment pioneer, macrobiotic, Master Cleanser, ayurvedic, and officially-designated health-nut or party-girl (depending on the year). Professionally, I’ve worn many industry hats including: line cook, corporate chef, Food Coach, caterer, product developer, restaurant reviewer, culinary school teacher, corporate wellness educator, food co-op clerk, author, and even Cirque-du-Soleil lead popcorn concessioner! For years I managed an outdoor kitchen, deep in the bear-infested woods of Tahoe, and also for hospitals (the most unhealthy kitchen I ever worked in?), Singapore high-rises, mule-pack trips, Canadian catholic rectories, and more events than I could ever recall.


Yet I still keep discovering. Actually, I adapt everyday by new lessons learned from teachers, customers and students. However there is one food truth I now hold sacrosanct: Eaters are motivated by pleasure. So no matter what we discuss here – recipes or restaurants, food politics or pairings, local events, food as art, or even as God, I will always come from a high-vibe, party perspective. Oh I do still long to change the world with great tasting food, but know in my heart, "If it ain’t fun, it don’t get done!" So – wanna come to the Food Party? By the way – it’s a potluck. (Hide)

Each gene has a special job. Some genes are inherited from our parents and determine things like our eye color and how tall we are. The DNA in a gene also spells out specific instructions—much like in a cookbook recipe — for making proteins in the cells. Proteins are the building blocks for everything in your body. Bones and teeth, hair and earlobes, muscles and blood, are all made up of proteins. Those proteins help our bodies grow, work properly, and stay healthy.

To test this theory, the study is looking for participants who will consume the same meal for one week. All of the day’s meals will be the same (breakfast, lunch and dinner). I’m the R & D chef and we created a vegetable, meat and rice bowl with a savory gravy that will come frozen for reheating. It’s good – honestly I think it’s the best bowl on the market. We call it a Microbiotic Bowl. (microbe-biotic, get it? 🙂 There is meat in the bowl because it’s true, the average American eats meat.

For general information regarding questions, concerns, or complaints about research, research related injury, or the rights of research participants, please call (650) 723-5244 or toll-free 1-866-680-2906, You can also write to the Stanford IRB, Stanford University, 3000 El Camino Real, Five Palo Alto Square, 4th Floor, Palo Alto, CA 94306.

This sounds like a great study! I hope the next step will be vegetarians because clearly the gut microbiota could be different (just based on smells, etc). Or meat eaters switching to a week of veggie only. Or how do spices affect our microbiome? So many questions! To me, the big one is how does the rest of a person’s environment interact with the diet and microbiome. (There was an interesting study in which a grad student looked at his gut microbiome for an entire year while cataloging what he ate and did. What was interesting is how traveling caused changes that were all temporary when he returned home.)

I was about to send this to a list of people who would almost certainly be interested in participating, and have a few questions. I realize you have posted contact information, but these are of the FAQ variety that will save others from having to email individually, and one serious question that everyone should know the answer to up front. (And you might see why I would prefer to ask the question anonymously here. Read on.)

3) Lastly, when I was considering participating in a breast cancer study – a worthy endeavor looking at genes and early blood markers of breast cancer and trying to correlate with later results – the disclosure seemed very straightforward until I got into some fine print later on that said that I was ceding the right for my DNA to be sold to commercial interests in perpetuity without notice and that they couldn’t protect my personal information as anonymous then either. Wow.

Some people might still be okay with a study giving away such broad rights, but many aren’t – and the disclosure should have been up front with the other disclosures, and potential consequences outlined for ethical patient informed consent. I honestly don’t know how that study consent form passed the institutional review board at Stanford. But it was Stanford, which is why I am asking now. That point was so buried in the fine print, it made not trust the study organizers (made me feel like selling participants‘ DNA and health histories was the point of the study) and I regretfully had to decline to participate.

Since you mentioned that this diet study is going to be concerned with genes and will be taking blood, I would like to know if this study has better protections of participants’ genetic information than in the study I mentioned above, or whether it, too, contains a poorly disclosed wholesale ability to sell people’s genetic information in perpetuity to commercial interests?