Reader Comments Requested

I have some questions to ask the readers of JackNorrisRD.com. I’m particularly interested from hearing from you if you support this site in some way (like buying through the links, donating, or sharing on social media sites).

I see a lot of media stories about nutrition, and sometimes stories not related to nutrition, that are fairly interesting but not necessarily related to vegetarianism, and for which I do not have time to track down the journal articles and read and analyze. I rarely post about them but I’m wondering if that’s a mistake. I have no intention of just posting every nutrition story that comes out – I get a daily list of nutrition stories from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and it’s unbelievably long – just reading the article titles can take a good chunk of time. So, I would not want to overwhelm people but wonder if I should err on the side of passing these stories on rather than not passing them on as I do now. I’m guessing it would be up to two posts per day.

I also get a lot of nutrition questions (in fact, I’m fairly backlogged right now – sorry if you’re waiting on an answer from me!). I sometimes think I should be answering most of these questions publicly with a blog post, rather than just responding to one individual as many people might have the same question. I rarely post publicly though – for one thing I have a tendency not to want to post something unless I’ve done a lot of research on it and there’s no time to do a lit review for every question I get. But maybe readers would like to hear these answers anyway? And sometimes this can be very beneficial as a reader will know about some pertinent research I haven’t seen. (Of course, I always keep the questioner’s identity anonymous.) The number would vary quite a bit – probably up to 2 per day.

So, what do you think? Do you want to see more posts from me, or do you prefer I stick with blogging about research directly relevant to vegetarian diets?

You can answer in the comments sections below. If you would like to remain anonymous, just put in a bogus name and email address (the email will have to be formatted as a typical email address: xxxx@xxx.xxx). Thank you!

25 Responses to “Reader Comments Requested”

  1. Heather Nauta Says:

    As someone who reads your posts regularly, and appreciates the huge amount of work you put into the writing you do both here and on veganhealth.org, but doesn’t usually leave you comments, I thought I should answer this one!

    Ok, my thoughts are:

    1 – I might find some articles interesting if you passed them on, but I probably wouldn’t wind up reading most of them (just as you don’t), and I come to you specifically for vegetarian/vegan info so that’s mostly what I’d be interested in if I did read any. If it takes a lot of your time to do that, I’d probably rather see it put to use in the work you do so well on the sites πŸ™‚

    2 – I would love to hear the answers you give to questions, and I bet a LOT of other people would as well. Plus, it might save you time long term answering the same questions πŸ™‚ Even if it’s not a fully researched answer, you could preface the post with something like:
    This is an answer to the question ‘Blah Blah?’
    It’s not yet fully researched and sourced to the extent I would normally go to, but is based on the body of knowledge I’ve researched up to this point. If you’ve read some research on this topic, feel free to leave the information in the comments.
    or however you would word it. But your answers, even when not researched to your personal standard, are probably more knowledgeable than lots of writing out there. And they might be useful for you as a base for future articles on veganhealth.org.

    I hope that helps πŸ™‚

  2. Jack Norris RD Says:

    Thanks, Heather, that does help a lot!

  3. Who Says:

    Here ’cause I’m interested in veganism. There are tons of nutrition / diet news sites out there — don’t want to make it even harder to get the current important info about veg.

  4. irni Says:

    Hi Jack, I hope you are well. Perhaps a FAQ tab, searchable by keyword on your page could help. Links to articles, again searchable by keyword, would also be useful. I think 2 emails a day would be overwhelming.

  5. Jack Norris RD Says:

    Irni,

    I have links to articles down the right hand side of the website, as well as in the Topics drop down box in the top right of the sidebar (they are the same lists, just in two different places). There is also the Search box – unfortunately, it doesn’t search the comments, only the blog posts.

  6. Dave Says:

    Dear Jack,

    Given your limited time and resources, I don’t think you should take on the additional work of blogging on non-veg nutrition.

    One reason I think your work is so effective is because it’s specifically targeted. I like not being overwhelmed with blog entries — and I know when they come, I will read them because they will be applicable! Of course, the other reason your work is so effective is because it’s thorough, well researched, not cherry picked.

    Which brings me to the second point: I think it would be a mistake to publicly post answers to questions that don’t meet your usual high standards. Private email is fine for speculation and offering leads and being conversational, but I think your usual standard of research should be applied to any question/answer you intend to post for the larger world.

    To that end and to keep it manageable, perhaps occasionally you could choose from your many questions one that you suspect has wide appeal/wide application and apply your skills to produce a well-supported answer.

    I can’t help but think about the high rate of recidivism as reported recently by Markus and others. I think any questions/answers that could help prevent this problem are especially welcome. Of course, that goes far beyond nutrition questions, but it’s been on my mind!

    So, to summarize, I vote to continue to keep the focus tight, trickle out some of those questions/answers that are widely applicable, but continue to fully research and support claims made in the public arena.

    Thanks!

  7. Erica Rose Says:

    I’d love to see more posts from you, if you have the time. I think that answering questions you get in a blog post is a great idea, as I’m sure a lot of your faithful readers have the same questions in mind. Thanks for all you do, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you, your knowledge, and your blog πŸ™‚

  8. Nadine Says:

    I think there’s a lot of the nutrition research out there in one way or another. I definitely come here for the veg specific stuff because it’s cool to find it all in one place and easy to refer people to. Unless you are absolutely excited about a study and what it means for vegans than maybe don’t bother doing extra non-veg posts?

    Truthfully, I believe it would be awesome to have the questions answered on the blog. I think many people run into the same issues over and over again, plus it’s always a great resource to look back upon and you can link back to the posts or update them. As far as the research, I agree with what Heather said – you are probably more knowledgeable than the non-nutritionist answering questions, so your insight is useful, plus you can also cover by saying “While this is not an exhaustive answer…”

  9. Unny Nambudiripad Says:

    Hi Jack, I like to hear stuff that’s particularly relevant to vegans and not much else. As for the questions you answer via email, I would like to see more of that on your blog as long as it doesn’t take you much additional effort. Thanks for all you do!

  10. meghan Says:

    I love that I can send people to your site and everything is well-researched and cited scientifically. I understand this can also be a bit cold to some people. I wonder if posting those questions in an FAQ or something separate from the main blog would be the way to go.

  11. Claire Says:

    I would love to read both relevant nutrition articles and your answers to reader questions.
    I may not find the other articles as valuable as the veg info but I’d still like the option of reading them to find out! I think most of the questions you’re being asked would be of interest to more than just the person asking & posting them will cut down on you having to answer the same question multiple times.
    I know I don’t comment much but I really appreciate all the work that you put into your blog.
    Thank you!

  12. Val L Says:

    I was going to say what Heather said. You can write answers to Q’s under a disclaimer that this is the best general answer you can give from what you know but that you haven’t time to research it properly.

    I enjoy you emails a great deal and am happy with whatever you do.

  13. Christie Says:

    Good morning, I agree fully with Heather.
    I read every one of your emails and appreciate the vegan/vegetarian focus. And would be very interested in reading your answers to other people’s questions.
    You do great work! Thank you.

  14. Christine Says:

    I would like to see you continue to focus on vegan nutrition but I would be interested to read your responses to questions by other readers. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  15. Erin Fletcher Says:

    I would love to read all the questions and answers.

  16. karoumy Says:

    I would like to see the Q & A even when you’re not sure or you don’t have time to do thorough research on the question. 2 more posts a day to go through is ok. I think this would be a great resource.

  17. esa Says:

    I hope your blog and veganhealth sticks to the very core vegan nutrition issues in a rigorously researched way. There are many other nutrition sites that already do daily updates on wider nutrition issues very well, the prime example being http://nutritionfacts.org/ .

    Re Q&A, I’m not sure what information that would provide that is not already available here or on veganhealth. Can you give an example? I do think there is a real risk of “overinformation” when it comes to nutrition. Keep it simple.

    What I do hope for is more stuff geared towards international readers. Translation of veganhealth pages to more languages. Conversions of units to metric. From what I’ve seen the state of vegan nutrition information in many non-english parts of the internet is poor, often outdated and lacking in references.

    As for support I’ve shared articles and try to mention the Vegan for Life book whenever I get into nutrition conversation with fellow veg*ans.

  18. Sharky Says:

    I visit this site regularly and do my Amazon shopping through it. I encourage you to post answers to questions, even if tentative, as other knowledgeable folks might contribute. I’m especially interested in links to interviews with nutrition science researchers (like the people at Harvard Public Health, for instance) and to videos or podcasts of presentations by nutrition researchers.

    (If you haven’t seen it yet, check today’s New York Times Magazine for the essay contest on the ethics of eating meat, to be judged by Peter Singer and four other panelists.)

  19. Patt Says:

    Hi Jack,
    I am grateful for anything and everything you share, and I thank you for the time you invest in doing that. If you have time to answer questions in a blog instead of writing individual answers, I would love it. It often seems that one person asks a question that many would like to have answered. Just my two cents worth.

  20. beforewisdom Says:

    Hi Jack.

    I’m a regular reader of your blog. I have your site in my RSS feed. I have been reading your stuff for years before that via veganhealth.org and Vegan Outreach.

    My personal preference is that you stick to nutrition and stick to facts you feel confident about.

    I can read about topics beyond nutrition elsewhere ( maybe you could start another blog for those? ).

    What I appreciate about your blog and Virginia Messina’s blog is that I know I am getting just the facts. If there is an issue related to vegan nutrition I know I can count on you two bringing it to my attention whether it is flattering to veganism or not.

    There aren’t that many other vegan diet advocates I can say that about.

    It is your blog. It is totally your call, so I appreciate you bothering to ask input from your readers and fans.

  21. Jack Norris RD Says:

    Thanks for your responses, everyone! Very helpful for me in going forward. I appreciate you all taking the time to comment.

  22. Betty A. Says:

    I would prefer you stick just with research related to vegetarian/vegan issues. Thanks for your work in sharing.

  23. Ivy Says:

    Hi, Jack. I think I would find the articles overwhelming, but I’m sure I’d be very interested in hearing your responses to questions that people send your way πŸ™‚

  24. Dustin Rhodes Says:

    I, too, have been reading your blog since — I think — the very beginning. I don’t comment very often, either (because I have nothing to contribute). Like others have said, I find this blog to be invaluable.

    I would LOVE for you to post more Q and A’s — as I have had many questions over the years that 1. I have never asked and 2. I’m sure others have the same question(s). I think doing this would make your blog even more useful.

    I so appreciate the amount of time you put into this blog; I think it’s one of the very, very best.

  25. Andrea Says:

    I’m enjoying the vegan related posts. i would find more posts overwhelming. Thanks for your work, Jack!

Leave a Reply