Ed. note: This is just a post-April Fools Day update: This may be a complete fabrication…I may have completely imagined it…but you be the judge. If you like this story, please consider buying the live Jackalopes I’m selling on eBay Pets, or purchasing the pieces of an alien craft that look remarkably similar to the silver sheathing on rolls of household insulation that I have from our remodel. Or, if that doesn’t interest you, you might consider subscribing to Almost Fit. Its your call.
Anchorage, AK – A newly discovered plant that has been unearthed in the Arctic is proving to be the most effective natural weight loss compound found to date, with no known side effects. Global warming may be having an unexpected benefit: incredibly rapid weight loss, completely naturally.
In a press release issued by the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge, researchers at the North pole have discovered a plant compound that apparently kept dinosaurs lean, and may explain the genetic mystery of the dietary habits of Eskimo cultures who have historically eaten incredibly high levels of saturated fats with little or no negative effects on weight and cholesterol. The new compound is derived from what researchers have named Lactuca Shackliola, or, “Shackleaf lettuce” (pictured).
“We pulled up the core sample, and there it was, stuck to the outside of the coring rod,” Sylette Rivermorelandstein points out, holding a photo of a purplish wilted leaf stuck to a metal rod.
“Most of our samples pull up a lot of silt and occasionally plant matter, but nothing like this. Its a direct result of global thermal incubation,” she said. “For some reason, I just had to taste it. And it was quite good!”
The next morning, Rivermorelandstein stepped into her orange thermal suit, and something felt different. She cinched her belt down, and to her surprise, it was loose. Very, loose.
“The only thing I noticed beyond the suit fitting differently was that I had an odd taste in my mouth, sort of metallic, or like the taste of a dentist’s mirror. I didn’t think much about it really, but the suit was a little odd. I thought I had put someone else’s on.”
In passing, Rivermorelandstein mentioned this oddity to the resident medical technician, who was also curious. After weighing her, the technician noted that Sylette was significantly lighter than she was the previous day, when she had been weighed to evaluate whether she could safely walk on the ice at the coring site. Rivermorelandstein had lost 7lbs in her sleep. That after having eaten a dinner of a large reheated Pizza Hut Deep Dish Meat Lover’s pizza, a 2-liter bottle of Coke, Stouffer’s lean cuisine lasagna and a South Beach Fudge bar.
“Up here in the higher latitudes, you can really pack away a lot more at mealtime. Plus the extra cushion keeps ya warmer,” Ron Steadlefield, Ph.D., the head researcher and medical assistant for the team said. “But you’ve really gotta avoid the Shackleaf – the stuff just melts the pounds right off. And that equals lower body temperature, which can be lethal in the environments we’re confined to.” Steadlefield has also lost a significant amount of weight eating Shackleaf.
After a few hours of digging driven by curiosity and a six pack of Pete’s Wicked Summer Brew Beer, they unearthed a large stash of leaves, which photos show look surprisingly similar to dark green version of traditional Romaine. After taking samples that were prepared for temperature-controlled transport back to the research facility at Cambridge, the researchers did something unusual – they decided to try it again, in a salad, to see if they could replicate the results that Rivermorelandstein had experienced.
By the next morning, they had lost collectively 54.8 lbs among a team of 8.
At the lab at Cambridge, further analysis including radiocarbon dating revealed that the samples are roughly 175,000 years old, preserved completely intact by the frozen tundra. In recent years, scientists have seen this substance before, but struggled to explain it’s origin. The plant matter was discovered in the stomachs of thawed pre-historic polar predators, and has genetic similarities to an unusual DNA chain recently identified among native tribes of the North. The difference is no one ever thought to taste these compounds, and then step on the scale the next day.
“We hypothesized that the coexistence of the DNA and the existence of a similar compound in the stomachs of mammoths was because, well, mammoths probably consumed a few hominids here and there,” said Steadlefield.
“This really changes everything,” Fergal Luellen, Ph.D., the Director of Research for the institute’s Polar studies program remarked. “We have done every test known to man on the samples that we collect. We simply never thought of putting them in a salad.”
The researchers were also able to retrieve seed pods and have successfully grown the species under controlled conditions using grow lights. Some students were reportedly growing samples in their closets. The lab-tested samples of the new growth show that the potency of the leaves has not diminished.
The potential uses for the leaf are tremendous from a medical perspective, and it means a possible revolution in the diet and weight loss industry. The university is compiling a list of requests for retail distribution, including Whole Foods Markets. Marketed under its given name of Shackleaf lettuce, the new weight loss miracle leaf may be available in higher end food emporiums in the United States in late 2008. The European Union is waiting for further analysis, and to essentially wait and see what happens in the American Market.
“I’d eat it – yeah absolutely!” Marla Schriver, a tollbooth operator in New Jersey and a lifelong dieter said. “I mean, if dinosaurs coulda’ eaten it and lost weight, heck I’m getting up there in years too – I could eat some dinodiet food. Sure whatever, why not, ya know? I mean, are you kidding me?”
The FDA is already beginning trials of the plant, and expects to yield a definitive answer in the fall.
[UPDATE: The FDA has approved the use of this plant. It will be free to every citizen, young and old, tall, height-challenged, thin, and weight-endowed, and distributed with our tax returns next April. April 1st, actually…]
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