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The Salad: A Tasty Logical Fallacy

Posted in Rational Moms by Skepdude on October 15, 2008

There’s a great local legend where I live, in the Los Angeles area. A local restaurant serves a salad that is supposed to make overdue women go into labor. It is called “The Salad.” And it’s delicious. Even if you are not expecting a baby, I recommend it! The restaurant actually has piles and piles of journals with entries from women who have tried The Salad. Some come back after they give birth to update that The Salad worked for them.

This is a great example of a post-hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. Obviously, women who are past their due date are going to give birth any day. So they eat The Salad, go into labor, and attribute the onset of labor to The Salad.

One day, in a prenatal yoga class, a couple came by to show off their new baby. “By the way,” said the husband, “The Salad doesn’t work!” He detailed his and his wife’s efforts to induce labor. I was thinking that he had possibly learned that the whole myth of The Salad was a post-hoc fallacy, until he said, “What finally worked was Thai food! We ate it, and she went into labor that night!”


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