If you ever wondered the depths at which some people can profit from human stupidity, today’s San Francisco Chronicle underscored the point: What’s New: Fortified organic coffee. (Thanks, Cindy Lee, for spreading the unchecked stupidity.) Yes, that “healthy coffee” thing, where foolish lemmings leap off cliffs in blind faith and obedience over health claims made as a marketing strategy. Here the article tells us about how we now can get our coffee cut with mystical elements that bestow us with “Immunity,” “Clarity” and “Calm”.

First off, to paraphrase Michael Pollan, never trust a food product that makes a health claim. And this stuff is oozing with them.

Secondly, coffee has over five centuries of epidemiological evidence supporting its safe and healthy consumption by humans. That’s some 500 more years of evidence than you will get from any indiscriminate, unregulated “Immunity Boost” concoction jammed into your oh-so-healthy Jamba Juice.

So what’s really healthy and unhealthy in this picture? Does anyone know what’s really in this “immunity” snake oil formula going around? It could contain Chinese-manufactured diethylene glycol for all we know. Even worse, places like Whole Foods sell this junk.

My advice? I’m no doctor, but I play one on my blog. To avoid being a contestant for next year’s Darwin Awards, stick with the items your great-grandmother would recognize as food. Everything else is just playing toxic chemistry roulette under the marketing disguise of “health elixirs”. If it has to try that hard to convince you that it’s good for you, chances are that it isn’t.

I've got your 'Immunity boost' right here...