Health and Medicine

The Warren Buffett diet

December 21, 2022
Hello, Insiders. It’s almost time for New Year’s resolutions. And anytime I hear people talk about health, wellness, or diet goals, I’m reminded of one of my favorite Insider posts of all time: “I ate like Warren Buffett for a week — and it was miserable.”


Back in 2017, Bob Bryan (now an editor on our Discourse team) embarked on an epic quest to eat like one of the most successful investors in history. But Buffett has a really weird diet. It’s full of sugary food, junk food, and limited vegetables. And Bob stuck with it for a whole week. “Dear God did I make a mistake,” he wrote. Check out the legendary post here.


And let’s get right to today’s stories.


— Nicholas Carlson


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The latest
  • Elon Musk says he’ll step down as Twitter CEO when he finds someone “foolish” enough to replace him. Read more.
  • Americans will soon be able to save a lot more for retirement — but it might help the wealthy the most. More here.
  • Researchers discovered new biomorphs hidden within Peru’s mysterious Nazca lines. See the photos here.
The big story
Justin Metz for Insider
Is the urge to start a company caused by a brain parasite?


When wolves in Yellowstone National Park get infected with a cat parasite called Toxoplasma gondii (or Toxo, as it’s colloquially known), they become more likely to leave their packs and start new ones, according to biologists with the Yellowstone Wolf Project.


If Toxo turns wolves into risk-takers, could it be having the same effect on us?


As senior correspondent Adam Rogers reports, it’s primarily contracted from coming into contact with cat feces, contaminated water, or undercooked meat, and as many as 80% of humans may be Toxo-positive, most of them without even knowing it.


And there’s sketchy but tantalizing evidence that Toxoplasma alters our behavior, too — especially entrepreneurial behavior. Which is to say, many members of our species who exhibit “alpha dog” tendencies in the business realm may be Toxo-positive.


Maybe that business you admire wasn’t founded by the Great and Powerful Oz, a heroic leader of epic proportions; maybe it’s the parasite behind the curtain.


But before wannabe Elon Musks in Silicon Valley start throwing Toxo parties, there are some important caveats you’ll want to know.


Top reads

Kim Kulish/Corbis/Getty Images
  • Goodbye to the good life: The cushy perks of tech work are rapidly disappearing. Tech companies are scrapping perks like free lunches and health and wellness benefits in the face of difficult market conditions. But some tech workers never wanted perks to begin with — here’s why.
  • “This is my first holiday out as polyamorous.” Organizing holiday schedules can already be a stressful and time-consuming process. But since this author and their coparent decided to try out polyamory earlier this year, things have been a bit more complicated. Their polyamorous friend and a queer therapist offered advice for celebrating with multiple partners.
  • How the FTX collapse could spell trouble for a small Massachusetts town. Ryan Salame, a co-CEO at the beleaguered crypto exchange, reportedly bought $6 million of restaurants and real estate in Lenox, Massachusetts. Now, the crypto giant’s collapse has a local official worried about the town’s future. Read the full story here.
  • How passengers ruin their own long-haul flight experiences. A former international flight attendant shared 12 ways travelers sabotage their comfort and overall flying experience, from drinking too much alcohol to forgetting to layer up. Read the full list here.
  • Interior designers share six huge living-room trends for 2023 — and three that will be out. The experts predict that curved furniture and ambient lighting will be in vogue in the new year. But rattan, fast furniture, and shabby-chic pieces will continue to fade. Get all the new trends here.
Letters to the editor
The other day, I asked: If you’re a parent, how have you handled giving (or not giving) your teens smartphones? This was in response to our story about teens in Brooklyn who formed the “Luddite Club” to hang out without smartphones.


You answered:

  • “I got them a phone once they were 13, but with a plan which had everything limited and I did not allow any social media apps on their phones until they were in high school.”
  • “I gave my daughter a smartphone at age 14. The deal was: I call, you answer. If not, then I take the phone away. It worked. … She never broke our deal, because she loved the freedom the phone afforded her.”
  • “I was a public high school teacher nearing the end of my career. When cell phones hit the classroom, it was suddenly very easy to decide when to retire.”
  • “I have two kids in college and they both have the latest iPhone. Sure, it can be distracting, but we also teach them the value of focus.”
Watch this
The most popular globe at Bellerby & Co., with a 22-centimeter diameter, starts at $1,830 and can exceed $3,800. What makes these globes worth waiting for? And why are they so expensive? Watch to find out.
Today’s team
This edition was curated by Nicholas Carlson, and edited by Hallam Bullock, Lisa Ryan, Jordan Parker Erb, Shona Ghosh, and Nathan Rennolds. Get in touch:
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