Pine Nuts: Living on beef jerky in pursuit of a Nobel Prize |

Pine Nuts: Living on beef jerky in pursuit of a Nobel Prize

McAvoy Lane
Pine Nuts

As a pre-med student at the University of Oregon, my goal was to win a Nobel Prize for Medicine, but at the bottom of my first report card I discovered a hand written note: “Mr. Layne, your grades indicate that perhaps your should consider changing your major.”

So I changed my major to journalism, though I have never relinquished my goal to win a Nobel Prize for Medicine, and at last I think I’m onto it.

I’ve always had a hunch, and many important scientific discoveries begin with a hunch, that beef jerky is the elixir to living a longer, healthier life. So I determined to use myself as a human laboratory rat and live for a full calendar month on nothing but beef jerky. I chose the month of April, and on All Fools Day I abstained from all solid foods, except beef jerky.

I am reporting my findings in this fine journal, and in the American Journal of Medicine, as recorded in my log.

The most noticeable change I have observed after digesting nothing but beef jerky for 30 days, is that my fingers have started to look something like dog chews, in fact, packs of dogs now follow along behind as I run through the village.

My blood pressure has dropped to 10/02, and I only take a breath every other minute or so. My breath itself seems to have been altered, for I can now unlock my car door without using my key. I could not do that before. My car automatically unlocks now when I get within 50 feet of it, and that’s from any direction. I have also noticed that mosquitos take no interest in me whatsoever, women either for that matter.

As to moods and emotions, I have a craving to sleep in a pasture rather than my bedroom, though I have not exercised that yearning.

As to brands of beef jerky, I have tried them all now, from “Ol’ Trapper” to “Big Jerk Jerky” to “Little Jerk Jerky” to “Great-Balls-A-FIRE!” (I would not recommend the latter.)

Interestingly, I discovered at the end of my monthlong experiment that I no longer have an interest in other foods. Beer seems to be the preeminent emollient for washing down jerky, so I keep several pallets on hand to settle my stomach.

I really don’t want my experiment to end. I imagine if I can live on beef jerky for an entire year, I might beat the Nevada life expectancy for men (75.08 years) and have a good laugh at the Grim Reaper.

So wish me luck. Should my dissertation prove worthy, we might be bringing a Nobel Prize for Medicine home to Tahoe. On the other hand, if you don’t see me collecting my mail at the post office, it may be that I have dried out entirely and become mummified as a result of my Nobel-inspired experimentation with beef jerky.

Learn more about McAvoy Lane at

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