Err, what?

Researchers from the Universities of Coventry and Warwick placed Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped presenter Matt Tebbutt in a metabolic ‘calorie chamber’, which measured every calorie burned while he was fed celery over a 12-hour period.
He was fed 326 grams of raw celery and a celery smoothie, both worth 53 calories.
The results showed he burned 72 calories while eating the solid celery and 112 calories drinking the liquidised celery.

Surely there’s more to it than this.

How many calories were the expecting him to use over 12 hours to begin with? More than 106?

18 thoughts on “Err, what?”

  1. We use energy to maintain our body temperature as we are mammals. So the temperature of the chamber is probably the key factor here.

  2. I hope and trust no public money was pissed down the drain during this completely pointless exercise; I hope and trust it was entirely paid for by the TV people …

    Oh, wait …

    (I expect we bought his celery as well.)

  3. Hmmm. Take this with a pinch of salt (do the health Nazis still allow me to say that?).
    The so-called calorie content of foods is determined by controlled burning. Excluding the water, celery is roughly 90% cellulose, and us humans can’t digest that – it just passes straight through. So a ‘calorie count’ for cellulose is meaningless. You might just as well say that drinking a glass of water burns more calories than you consume.

  4. So you can slowly starve a man to death by feeding him limited amounts of celery! You can starve a man to death just as well by feeding him limited amounts of sugar.

    John Miller sums it up quite well.

  5. The ‘experiment’ was to determine whether eating celery consumed more energy in the process, than the celery yielded as a food, and thereby validate a claim that just by eating celery you can lose weight.

    Apparently consuming and digesting the celery did require more energy than it provided. But then so would consuming a glass of water; walking up a flight of stairs would have done as much.

    As with much of this sort of ‘science’ there is never a control, and the sample size, in this case, one, is too small.

    The method is: let us start with the answer we want, then contrive to get that answer. This is sufficient to justify Government policy – taxation and regulation – these days.

    No doubt a subsidy for celery farms on the way.

  6. I bet the journalists are massively impressed by the byzantine complexity of such ‘scientific’ endeavour. God, science is hard ! It is our great good fortune to have lobbyists to explain it all to us.

  7. Growing food with a negative return in both energy and enjoyment is bad policy.
    Unless there is an animal that can get a positive return from eating celery, raise and then kill the animal, grill it and eat with a creamy peppercorn sauce. Mwah.

  8. >Growing food with a negative
    >return in both energy and
    >enjoyment is bad policy.

    celery is an excellent delivery substrate … how else are we supposed to eat pimento cream cheese? should we destroy its creamy mouthfeel with a metallic spoon? or scoop it up with our fingers? … what are we, barbarians?

  9. Bloke in Costa Rica

    You’d look a bit silly trying to make the mirepoix at the heart of about seventeen million delicious things without celery.

  10. Sudies have already been done to measure the released calaories from celery. A stalk of celery releases 6 calories when digested, but only takes 1 calories to chew, swallow, and digest it. A long-term diet of celery would be a reducing diet purely due to your stomach being full of low calorie-dense material – as mentioned, about 90% of the mass is indigestible cellulose. If you want a really reducing diet, eat grass as it’s entirely indigestible. Also, as cooking is essentially a predigestion process, raw veg liberates fewer calories that cooked veg. Bear in mind that the less of the bulk of the food you eat is digested, the more of that bulk neccessarily needs to be expelled undigested.

  11. I’ve under-estimated celery. Some good people enjoy the stuff ( or derive utility from it, if that is the right usage ). It’s a crazy world.

  12. Celery is one of the long list of foodstuffs which can be made into delicious soup by Campbells and Heinz and which, despite years of trying to replicate at home, I have never managed to copy

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