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Drinking alcohol on a cold day warms you up. Eating grilled meat can increase your risk of cancer. Mosquitoes prefer blondes… ah, women.

Jennifer Gardy braves the inside of a freezer truck.

We've all heard the claims, but are they true? From Winnipeg to Florida, from New York City to Vancouver, B.C, molecular biologist Dr. Jennifer Gardy goes in search of the answers.  It's a journey through seldom-seen research that forces Dr. Gardy to become a real-life guinea pig to test these claims and discover, once and for all, whether they're science fact or science fiction.

The surprising results are revealed in MYTH OR SCIENCE, results that could change your life. Most of us just accept these myths as fact. But it is surprising to discover which are true and which aren't. It's not what you expect. And the answers can make a major difference to your daily life, and your health.

Underwater experimentation

"Shooting 'Myth or Science' was an absolute blast," says Dr Gardy, "but it wasn't just about putting myself through crazy experiments in the name of fun. It was about really testing these long-held beliefs and getting at the science behind the story. My day job is basically a disease detective at the BC Centre for Disease Control, and this documentary gave my sleuthing instincts a real work-out." 

From folklore passed down through the generations – hot water kills germs or counting sheep puts you to sleep ­– to claims that appear every day in the media – rosemary reduces the risk of cancer – Dr. Gardy tackles it all.

At the University of Manitoba she puts herself at the mercy of Dr. Gordon Geisbrecht, AKA Professor Popsicle, who submerges her in frigid water to discover whether we lose most of our body heat through our head. 

In Gainesville, Florida she meets a mosquito specialist who uses her as bait to unlock the secrets of human attraction and find out whether these arthropods really do have a special fondness for female flesh.

With David Coondog in New York City

In New York City she goes head to head with champion competitive food eater Dave "Coondog" O'Karma to see if eating fast causes you to gain weight.

From sight to sleep, from carcinogens to cancer, from hamburgers to hotdogs, this revealing documentary takes a journey through the misunderstandings, misconceptions and downright lies that fill our headlines and dictate our lives, with one simple goal – discover whether they're Myth or Science.

Myth or Science is produced by Infield Fly Production for CBC-TV.

The Wild Canadian Year

Wild Canadian Year

Visit our website to watch the series online, discover extra behind-the-scenes stories and view Canada's nature scenes in 360. Visit Wild Canadian Year

From CBC Kids

The Nature of Thingies