A few years ago, an aunt forwarded a piece of junk e-mail to me. She wasn’t the first relative to do so and she wasn’t the last. Anyway, the subject was a dead giveaway: “Fwd: Asparagus for cancer – Who Knew?” Since I’m interested in eating healthy foods, I didn’t send it to the trash folder like I normally would’ve done. I wanted to check to see if any of the information the message contained was true.
The message cited an article in the Cancer News Journal from 1979, titled “Asparagus for Cancer”. It only took me a few seconds to enter “cancer news journal 1979 asparagus for cancer” into a Google search box and hit the enter key.
The very first result of the search was Stalk Talk at Snopes.com (although it had another title back then). While the authors could neither confirm nor deny the anti-cancer benefits given in the e-mail message, they did point out that no single food alone can cure cancer and that they couldn’t find the so-called “source” of the cited article. Neither could I, after spending a few minutes doing random searches.
Most vegetables are good for you, even if one kind isn’t as nutritious as the next. Most of the nutrients in asparagus can be found in a variety of other vegetables.
Personally, I don’t care what green vegetables I eat on any given day. Sometimes I’ll eat asparagus simply to be eating something different.
Asparagus is high in the antioxidant glutathione, which is supposed to help fight viruses, certain forms of cancer and boost the immune system. It’s not an essential micro-nutrient because the liver can synthesize it from several amino acids.
I never send on e-mail I’ve identified as junk e-mail like this. It only took me about five minutes to read it, do the research and send it off to my trash folder.
If my relatives (and other people who send this junk to me) would take the time to do it themselves, I probably wouldn’t ever receive any. Alas, people aren’t too lazy to read the junk, but they’re too lazy to check to see if it’s real.
No wonder there’s a huge market for spam on the net. If people are gullible enough to believe junk e-mail, they’re gullible enough to buy anything.