Wine good, MSG baaaad

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A new documentary featuring Bob Blumer, the host of the Surreal Gourmet, promotes the health benefits of drinking red wine. Thirst for Life will screen June 12 at 8 p.m. on the Food Network.

For years, enophiles have touted the miraculous, life-saving qualities of the beverage, which they and Blumer declare helps prevent heart disease, Alzheimer's, and prostate cancer. That said, naysayers (not in the documentary) point out that alcohol is a carcinogen, and that cancels out any life-saving qualities it may have. In 2002, a team of scientists from Duke University argued that studies that show moderate wine drinkers are healthier ignore other lifestyle habits. John Barefoot, who led the study, found that "subjects who preferred wine had healthier diets than did those who preferred beer or spirits or had no preference. Wine drinkers reported eating more servings of fruit and vegetables and fewer servings of red or fried meats. The diets of wine drinkers contained less cholesterol, saturated fat, and alcohol and more fiber. Wine drinkers were less likely to smoke."

Meanwhile, an anti-MSG book called The Slow Poisoning of America has sold out its first printing. The premise: MSG causes obesity. The problem: the chemical is in darn near everything. So, watch the documentary and enjoy your wine, then surf the Internet 'til you're convinced you can never eat anything again.