French culture, politics and economics are fascinating due to all the puzzles and paradoxes it poses to researchers in the rest of the world. This article by Fat Head for example talks about the saturated fat paradox:
Compared to Americans, the French consume four times as much butter, three times as much pork and 60% more cheese. Their overall consumption of saturated animal fat is double ours. Since the experts have told us over and over that saturated fat will clog your arteries, the heart-attack rate in France must be higher than the Eiffel Tower, right? Wrong.
The heart-disease rate in France is about one-third the rate in the United States and United Kingdom, in spite of the fact that the rate of smoking in France is also 10% higher. Since everyone knows saturated fat causes heart disease, the experts refer to this as the French Paradox — and for years, they’ve been falling all over themselves to explain it away.
Since public health and medical researchers have shown again and again to be clueless about the phenomenon, the article (and its hilarious politically incorrect comments) proposes a few "explanations." Follow the link and enjoy!
"I want not so much free trade as the spirit of free trade for my country. Free trade means a little more wealth; the spirit of free trade is a reform of the mind itself, that is to say, the source of all reforms."
"The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental or spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest." John Stuart Mill