So I stumbled upon this article by a woman who touts herself as The Food Babe. An avid blogger and touter of all things holistic and natural, the Food Babe apparently tells the world what’s wrong with your food, air and such and strives to educate the world on ways to living a healthier life.
That’s all well and good, except this article tells me that she’s full of crap. Scouting around on the internet indicates that others share the same belief.
If you read the first article I linked to, you’ll see that “The Food Babe” offers tips for a better flight on your favorite airline. Now, even though I am a pilot I must admit that I have never flown an airliner. However, I do know several appropriately related pilots and in my many hours of instruction, as well as my many hours of flight training, there are some things that I’d like to point out showing why The Food Babe is nuts.
From the article:
When your body is in the air, at a seriously high altitude, your body under goes some serious pressure. Just think about it – Airplanes thrive in places we don’t. You are traveling in a pressurized cabin, and when your body is pressurized, it gets really compressed!
Um, not quite. While the pressure in the cabin of an airplane is probably not the same as what you’re used to back home, the purpose of pressurizing the cabin is to make your body as comfortable as it would be at around six or eight-thousand feet above sea level. Even though the airplane is cruising along anywhere as high as 41,000 feet or so, your body still thinks it’s at the aforementioned six or eight-thousand feet. You’re not being vacuumed sealed into the airplane. You’re not a sardine. Yes, it’s different, but you’re not being shrunk, sealed or squeezed any differently than if you were to go hiking in the Rockies. If you feel like a sardine it’s because of the size of your seat, not because you’re packed in for freshness.
The air you are breathing on an airplane is recycled from directly outside of your window. That means you are breathing everything that the airplanes gives off and is flying through. The air that is pumped in isn’t pure oxygen either, it’s mixed with nitrogen, sometimes almost at 50%. To pump a greater amount of oxygen in costs money in terms of fuel and the airlines know this! The nitrogen may affect the times and dosages of medications, make you feel bloated and cause your ankles and joints swell.
The air you are breathing on an airplane is the same exact air that you’re breathing on the ground, it’s just getting to you differently. The way The Food Babe words this paragraph, you’d think that there’s a huge net hanging off the back of each engine scooping up air and pumping it into the cabin, but that’s not quite how it works. For more information on how the environment is maintained on an airliner, take a look at this blog entry over at Ask The Pilot. And don’t worry, you’re not getting dosed with anything from the “chemtrails” (don’t even get me started on that).
Choose a seat as close to the front as possible. Pilots control the amount of airflow and it is is always better in their cabin.
I have no idea what this woman means by this. As a pilot that often flies a Piper Cherokee I can tell you that we have air vents around us just like you do in an automobile. I can also tell you that your standard run of the mill Boeing or Airbus airliner probably has the same thing. If you need air, use the twisty thing above your head and enjoy the breeze, it’s probably coming from the same place as the air vents in the cockpit. And if the pilot is sitting in the cabin, they’re not flying. Flight deck or cockpit, you choose.
One of the most disappointing things about the Internet is that it’s easy for anyone to write up they’re own version of the truth and sell it to the masses, which seem all too eager to lap it up and take it as the Gospel. Coupling this with the trend toward eschewing common sense and you end up with a whole bunch of malarky out there.
Take everything with a grain of salt.