Can pizza cure cancer?

Can pizza cure cancer?


norman lebrecht

September 13, 2019

Winners of this year’s Ig-nobel prizes:


(September 12, 2019, CAMBRIDGE, MA, USA) The 2019 Ig Nobel Prizes, honoring achievements that first make people LAUGH, and
then THINK, were awarded at Harvard University's historic Sanders Theatre tonight before 1100 spectators in a ceremony filled with
paper airplanes and people showing off their personal habits.
This was the 29th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony. Most of the new winners journeyed to Harvard — at their own expense — to
accept their Prizes. Each winning team also received cash — a ten-trillion dollar bill from Zimbabwe.

The Ig Nobel Prizes were physically handed to the winners by genuine Nobel laureates.

Silvano Gallus, for collecting evidence that pizza might protect against illness and death, if the pizza is made and eaten in Italy.
REFERENCE: “Does Pizza Protect Against Cancer?” Silvano Gallus, Cristina Bosetti, Eva Negri, Renato Talamini, Maurizio Montella,
Ettore Conti, Silvia Franceschi, and Carlo La Vecchia, International Journal of Cancer, vol. 107, no. 2, November 1, 2003, pp. 283-284.
REFERENCE: “Pizza and Risk of Acute Myocardial Infarction,” Silvano Gallus, A. Tavani, and C. La Vecchia, European Journal of
Clinical Nutrition, vol. 58, no. 11, November 2004, pp. 1543-1546.
REFERENCE: “Pizza Consumption and the Risk of Breast, Ovarian and Prostate Cancer,” Silvano Gallus, Renato Talamini, Cristina Bosetti, Eva Negri, Maurizio Montella, Silvia Franceschi, Attilio Giacosa, and Carlo La Vecchia, European Journal of Cancer Prevention,
vol. 15, no. 1, February 2006, pp. 74-76.

Roger Mieusset and Bourras Bengoudifa, for measuring scrotal temperature asymmetry in naked and clothed postmen in France.
REFERENCE: “Thermal Asymmetry of the Human Scrotum,” Bourras Bengoudifa and Roger Mieusset, Human Reproduction, vol. 22,
no. 8, 2007, pp. 2178-2182.
CONTACT: Roger Mieusset, Groupe de Recherche en Fertilite´Humaine, Université Toulouse III. Hôpital Paule de Viguier, 330 Avenue
de Grande-Bretagne, TSA 70034, Toulouse Cedex 9, France. Tel: (+33) 567 771027. <>

Ghada A. bin Saif, Alexandru Papoiu, Liliana Banari, Francis McGlone, Shawn G. Kwatra, Yiong-Huak Chan, and Gil Yosipovitch, for
trying to measure the pleasurability of scratching an itch.
REFERENCE: “The Pleasurability of Scratching an Itch: A Psychophysical and Topographical Assessment,” G.A. bin Saif, A.D.P.
Papoiu, L. Banari, F. McGlone, S.G. Kwatra, Y.-H. Chan and G. Yosipovitch, British Journal of Dermatology, vol. 166, no. 5, 2012, pp.


  • Bruce says:

    These prizes are always great fun to read about.

    “Thermal Asymmetry of the Human Scrotum,” indeed 😀

    • ThrownOutOfTheKremlinForSinging says:

      I am kind of a special case: since I had an inguinal hernia repaired on one side, my cremasteric reflex on that side does not function at all. (That’s the reflex which lifts your testes closer to your body when you wade into cold water.) I can raise my right testis by willing it, like a normal person, but not my left, at all.

      (“Do your balls hang low
      Do they wobble to and fro
      Can you tie them in a knot
      Can you tie them in a bow?
      Can you throw them over your shoulder
      Like a Continental soldier?
      Do your balls— hang— low????”)

    • Ed says:

      My left side is always colder than the right side. I don´t see the joke.

  • Joe Pearce says:

    Pizza, ice cream, red meat, junk food and beer (or diet soda, if you will) protect against all diseases, real and imagined. All my friends could have attested to this, but none lived long enough to get it down on paper, so like Ishmael, I alone am left to tell thee. I guess a future trip to Harvard is out of the question as I don’t feel so well right now.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    The patient in the photograph looks ready for discharge.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    They left out, “Doing your head in; American universities and the cult of safe spaces”. (Journal of Infant Behaviour and Adult Indulgence.)

  • Enquiring MInd says:

    Why postmen?

  • Greg Bottini says:

    Pizza may or may not cure cancer, but I’ll tell you what: a nice slice o’ pie will brighten your day or evening like very few other foods can.
    Pizza Margherita for me, please, waiter, and a nice prosecco to go with it!