Stirring the Pot With Franklin


By Atom Bergstrom

Atom’s Blog


Benjamin Franklin experimented with vegetarianism as a youth.

Walter Isaacson (Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, 2003) wrote …

“But Franklin was a reasonable soul, so wedded to being rational that he became adroit at rationalizing. During his voyage from Boston to New York, when his boat lay becalmed off Block Island, the crew caught and cooked some cod. Franklin at first refused any, until the aroma from the frying pan became too enticing. With droll self-awareness, he later recalled what happened:

“I balanced some time between principle and inclination until I recollected that when the fish were opened, I saw smaller fish taken out of their stomachs. “Then,” thought I, “If you eat one another, I don’t see why we may not eat you.” So I dined upon cod very heartily and have since continued to eat as other people, returning only now and then occasionally to a vegetable diet.’

“From this he drew a wry, perhaps even a bit cynical, lesson that he expressed in a maxim: ‘So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.'”


Incidentally, cod is low in omega 3 fatty acids (DHA, EPA, etc.).

Cod and other white fish, in contrast to oily fish, store their highly unsaturated fatty acids in the liver.

Stick to cod’s white meat, and you’ll avoid Yellow Fat Disease.

Think White to Avoid Yellow.


Rae Katherine Eighmey (Stirring the Pot with Benjamin Franklin: A Founding Father’s Culinary Adventures: With 62 Authentic Recipes Updated for the Modern Kitchen, 2018) wrote …

“[Jacques] Finck [Franklin’s maître d’hôtel] helpfully provided sample menus for Franklin’s simple daily fare. He agreed to supply a lunch, a dinner — the main meal of the day served in the middle of the afternoon — and an evening supper. The early meal consisted of porridge, bread and butter, sugar and honey, with coffee and unsweetened chocolate as beverages. For dinner, the invitations Franklin sent and received suggest that it was served at two-thirty or three o’clock, Finck specified hors d’oeuvres of butter, radishes, and cornichons — pickles; a large entrée of beef, veal, or mutton; followed by a poultry course; a small ‘in-between’ course, two ‘plats d-entrements’; then two vegetable dishes. For dessert the menu suggested two plates of fresh fruit in the winter, four in the summer, two compotes — cooked fruit frequently served warm in a sugar syrup; a selection of cheeses, cookie-like biscuits, and bonbons. Finally, a frozen dessert was to be served twice a week in the summer and once in the winter. So it appears that Benjamin Franklin ate ice cream, a popular eigheenth-century Parisian treat, less well-known in America or England.”


Incidentally (and nothing to do with what Franklin put in his mouth, but about what came out of his mind), before the American Revolutionary War, the Colonies were supposed to be part of and ruled by the Manor of East Greenwich in the County of Kent.

Benjamin Franklin found this so ridiculous that he wrote …

“I have read that the whale swallowed Jonah; and as that is in Holy Writ, to be sure I ought to believe it. But if I were told, that, in fact, it was Jonah that swallowed the whale, I’d fancy I could myself as easily swallow the whale as the story.”

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'Stirring the Pot With Franklin' have 11 comments

  1. March 4, 2018 @ 9:34 pm Atom

    I’ve written three e-books about Yellow Fat Disease …
    Yellow Fat Disease: Volume I
    Fish Oil is Snake Oil: The Biggest Supplement Scam
    Yellow Fat Disease: Volume III

    Also, three mini-e-books …
    Age Spots / Omega 3 Barcodes: The Truth About Infectious Lipofuscin Bodies
    Yellow Fat Disease Diary #1
    Yellow Fat Disease Diary #2–e-books.php


  2. March 4, 2018 @ 9:44 pm Atom

    Humans will start with printing 3D organs, then proceed to printing 3D super-organs.

    Life imitates art, when it comes to X-Men …


  3. March 5, 2018 @ 12:38 am John

    Hi Atom, what is your view on shilajit ?


    • March 5, 2018 @ 8:53 am Atom

      Indian Viagra.

      “Conqueror of Mountains and Destroyer of Weakness” is a bit overblown for quality fulvic acid, but it’s OK (as far as I know and as long as you don’t have kidney stones).

      It’s a nutrient-dense, midday (Growth Zone 2) remedy.

      If it really does LOWER serotonin, that’s excellent!


  4. March 6, 2018 @ 3:27 pm Dennis

    It never ceases to amaze me how Benjamin Franklin challenges the mind, and questions the everyday human existence. I find myself questioning how far we can go with pushing the envelope, and when technology has brought us too far. When it comes to advancements like human cloning I have to question whether or not it could be considered ethical, and how far the human mind could go to reason that it is indeed ethical and right. He certainly has a point that based on how information is given to people, they are more likely to vary their opinion based on how it is presented.


    • March 6, 2018 @ 4:55 pm Atom

      There’s the trinity of Sense, Nonsense, and Common Sense.

      Ben Franklin was blessed with Common Sense (and a Sense of Humor).


  5. March 6, 2018 @ 4:22 pm Atom

    Serotonin is billed as the “happy molecule,” yet it caused the death of Steve Irwin, the “Crocodile Hunter.”

    According to J.H. Welsh et al …

    ” When present in venoms, serotonin serves a defensive purpose. Its role in the contraction of smooth muscles (such as the abdominal smooth muscles during digestion) means that a sudden increase in the body, as in the process of envenomation, leads to severe local pain or even lethal vasoconstriction in the case of smaller prey. Serotonin is also understood to facilitate the spread and absorption of the more toxic components in venoms.”

    Serotonin also facilitates toxic “components” in the human body …

    estrogen, nitric oxide, highly unsaturated fatty acids.


    • March 7, 2018 @ 3:10 am catalin voinea

      Any tips/techniques/foods to lower it?
      What foods “help” to raise the level of this “happy” molecule in the body? In other words, what foods should we avoid ? Apart from yellow-fat disease foods.



      • March 7, 2018 @ 10:20 am Atom

        Keep foods containing L-tryptophan to a minimum.

        A healthy thyroid gland reduces serotonin.


        • March 7, 2018 @ 11:53 pm John

          What foods contain L-tryptophan ?


          • March 8, 2018 @ 9:38 am Atom

            Too many to list.

            L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid, so it’s not to be avoided, just minimized.

            Reducing L-tryptophan’s liberation by minimizing polyunsaturated and highly unsaturated fatty acids.

            Egg yolk, gelatin, many fruits, many cheeses, etc., are low in L-tryptophan.

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