Scientist Says Pizza Can Prevent Cancer, Wins International Award

Food science news isn't always gloom and doom. Silvao Gallus, an Italian scientist, has led three studies that investigate the health benefits of eating pizza. "A good pizza," he concluded, "comprises all the virtues of the Mediterranean Diet."

For this important work, reports the Olive Oil Times, he has been awarded the Ig Nobel prize by Harvard University and the Annals of Improbable Research, an award given to a body of actual scientific research that "makes people laugh and then think," according to the Annals of Improbable Research website. The prize comes with 10 trillion worthless Zimbabwean dollars, presented at Harvard by an actual Nobel laureate.

Gallus is the head of the laboratory of lifestyle epidemiology at the Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri. His research has determined, he said in his acceptance speech, "that pizza consumption in Italy was protective for many chronic diseases that are known to be influenced by diet: digestive tract cancers and infarction."

Gallu clarified that this applies to Mediterranean pizza only, not pizza "made according to foreign interpretations." So sorry, the Pizza Hut Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza does not qualify.

As is customary at the Ig Nobel award ceremony, Gallus's acceptance speech was interrupted by a young girl who walked onstage and asked him to stop talking because she was bored.