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I recently created a question on here. Yes, it was my first question on this specific SE site; however, I tried to cater it to the intended use case as close as possible. I decided to leave out some details I thought were not very important, but I seen later on actually would have been beneficial to include after I seen some of the moderator comments.

So I edited the question to include said left-out items, and that tied to to why it was asked here. [Please check it out] However, I am getting flak from a moderator that appears to be misunderstanding my question. I have also asked questions in the comments about changes, but I am not getting answers at all; however, if I rollback the changes, then it is changed back within a few minutes. I decided to ask on Meta because there is a large comment thread already and that does not belong on the question page.

Misunderstandings

  • Moderator completely and wrongly assumed that my question was dealing with weight lose at first; even though I never talked about weight lose in my question.

  • Moderator wrongly assumed that I am asking how eating / drinking this drink (or food from the linked recipe) will effect me. I was neither asking that nor am I concerned about that. I am concerned in how this drink will effect the recipe if I use a different type of fiber drink (or why they say to use this drink in particular). How does that effect the outcome of the recipe. I want to understand this type of fiber to better understand what role it plays in the recipe.

  • Also, Moderator seems to not understand basic knowledge on what fiber is. Any basic research on wikipedia, medical websites, health websites, doctors, etc... will tell you that there are 2 types of fiber - Insoluble (my point #1) and Soluble (my point #2). The moderator continues to insist on deleting point #2 because of some reason I cannot comprehend.

The moderator says this is how we handle nutrition questions here - only a very small subset of them is tolerated at all, and your point (2) is not part of that subset. What? I don't get why the moderator is saying that.

Analogy

Just to give an analogy of the last point. Imagine I was saying the following on a hypothetical SE for Individual people...

To my understanding, my FULL name is (1) Christopher because that is my given name, and (2) Rucinski because that is my family name that everyone in the family, including my relatives, share

I have the moderator state that reason 2 is unacceptable here because talking about your relatives is off-topic.

Therefore, the moderator is editing the question and now the question starts like...

To my understanding, my FULL name is (1) Christopher because that is my given name

As you can see basic, fundamental and factual parts of what was stated before are no longer being said. It also stops readers from understanding why I am asking this question.

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First of all, it's difficult to tell exactly what you're trying to ask here, but I'm assuming that you want to know a little more about what's on and off topic on our site, and get your question into an appropriate form. I'm sure rumtscho will show up and offer her thoughts, but for now, here's what I can see.

It does look like there was some unfortunately misunderstanding, especially about the exact intent of your question. (For what it's worth, it took me several minutes to understand it all, and I had to look at a lot of revisions and comments to get there, so I don't blame rumtscho for not getting it from your original post.) I know that this is frustrating, but at the same time, it doesn't necessarily mean that all of the edits were inappropriate or that the question was actually on topic in its original form.

No matter what the exact intent, there were still things in your question dealing with how food affects the body:

So my question is, can this actually be a fiber drink? If it actually is, then how does this type of fiber work? It has to be different from the 2 ways I mentioned above!

Unless I'm misunderstanding as well, "how does this type of fiber work?" is asking about how it has a certain effect on your body, not about how it works in a culinary context. That's inherently a nutritional/medical/biological question, so it's reasonable to edit it out if possible, or close the question if not. Anything dealing with interactions with the human body (being hard to digest, making you less full) is very definitely off topic.

It sounds like the core question here that is plausibly on topic is simply "what is fiber, and can a liquid containing fiber be homogeneous?" It's quite possible to ask this question without any nutritional exposition (e.g. your original two possible "definitions" of fiber), and that would really be the best way to ask the question on a food and cooking site. If your question is purely about the food/drink, then the nutritional stuff is irrelevant.

If you believe that you can't ask your question without that, i.e. that nutritional effects are necessarily part of understanding what fiber is, then you are asking a nutritional question, and it would be off topic here.

Finally, it does also seem possible that you wanted to ask about how the drink would work as an ingredient in a recipe (in a culinary, not a nutritional way). If so, that's great. But all the nutritional stuff still doesn't seem to be relevant. And with all the extraneous nutritional discussion, it's really difficult to even find that question within your post, or understand exactly what you mean by it from the brief mention.

  • I specifically say, so my question is... I really don't know how to get more specific than that. In the first paragraph of this Meta question, I state that I did leave some information out that I thought was not relevant. If you want to see my intent, then look at revision 7 cooking.stackexchange.com/revisions/46263/7 – Christopher Rucinski Aug 10 '14 at 23:14
  • I asked this question because I wanted to know if this drink was indeed fiber. So I stated my known knowledge of fiber (point 1 and 2). I also then wanted to know how this drink (used as an ingredient) is of importance in the recipe. If I can use another type of fiber drink, or possible (not stated) if I could use any liquid. .... so with those 2 parts of my question, I stated point 1 and 2 – Christopher Rucinski Aug 10 '14 at 23:21
  • OK, it sounds like you don't like how I worded soluble fiber to be as simple as possible. Point 2 is talking about soluble fiber. That is all. Point 1 talks about insoluble fiber. Don't like the wording of point 2? Then reword it to fit your moderation needs, don't remove it completely – Christopher Rucinski Aug 10 '14 at 23:22
  • Asking the question about how the drink works as an ingredient in the recipe was the reason I asked this question, but I didn't want people to be concerned on the recipe itself, but I seen that was not the best idea for this QA site. I fixed that in revision 7. The other question was more so a fail-safe question. if the answer was no that actually isn't fiber, then my other question was invalidated as it was specifically talking about how the different fibers effects the recipe. Understand??? – Christopher Rucinski Aug 10 '14 at 23:32
  • I think everything I wrote here stands. I pretty much understood your question correctly. To be as succinct as possible: if you want to know whether it's fiber even though it's homogenous (and if so, how it affects the recipe), you can just ask that. Your question can be one short paragraph. It really doesn't need the off-topic nutritional discussion. – Cascabel Aug 11 '14 at 0:52
  • Ok, but I don't get how what I had made it a nutritious question. That point was not made clear. Also, am I correct in saying that you only have issues with how point 2 was worded? You actually have no problem with point 1? I ask that because they are 2 sides of the same coin. I agree with your above statement with 20/20 hindsight. I had to ask that initial question because I didn't know if that was true yet. Anyway, the point is not as important because the other moderator didn't shorten up my question that much. That was basically not a reason I posted on Meta – Christopher Rucinski Aug 11 '14 at 1:10
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The way I see it: you wanted to get certain information, and asked a question about it. Part of the information you wanted was to know whether the contents of a certain drink are suitable for swelling up in your stomach and reducing your appetite (which is a physiological effect of a certain type of dietary fiber).

I understand that this information is important to you, but it is off topic for our site. We do not want to answer this type of question here. For this information, you should consult sources specialized in health and nutrition. We do not have the expertise to answer such questions with confidence, and misinformation in this area can be dangerous.

I am fully aware that removing that part changes the meaning of your question, and an answer to the remaining question text will give you much less information. My hope was that getting an answer to the remaining part of the question (can dietary fibre form a solution with water) will also be interesting for you. This is why I only removed the off topic part and left in the rest. It became a different, but still related, question.

If you say that the part about the fibre gelling stomach contents is so fundamentally important to you that you don't care for answers which do not address that part, then the whole question is off topic, and we will have to close it completely. Not because it is a bad thing to want to know, but because it is not the kind of question we can answer well.

If you still think that there is a misunderstanding, and you can reformulate your second definition of "fibre" in such a way that it does not concern appetite, or its behavior after ingestion, we can still include that formulation back into the question. The problem is that your latest formulation is

a substance that causes you to eat less food; it expands within your stomach

If you really want to know if the contents of the drink will cause you to eat less food, or if they will expand in your stomach, this won't be allowed on the site, no matter in what way you word it.

  • I really don't know how many times I have to say this... (1) Part of the information you wanted was to know whether the contents of a certain drink are suitable for swelling up in your stomach and reducing your appetite- FALSE (2) If you really want to know if the contents of the drink will cause you to eat less food, or if they will expand in your stomach - NO, I never did want that information. (3) If you say that the part about the fibre gelling stomach contents is so fundamentally important to you that you don't care for answers which do not address that part NO wrong assumption again! – Christopher Rucinski Aug 11 '14 at 9:42
  • You two moderators are putting words in my mouth. Please stop that. You are saying things that I was not asking about. I clearly state my two questions...can this actually be a fiber drink? If it actually is, then how does this type of fiber work? These two questions don't say anything that you are stating. – Christopher Rucinski Aug 11 '14 at 9:46
  • Please help me define Soluble Fiber than. OK? I have a simple definition of insoluble fiber in (1) on my question. (2) was simply just to define what soluble fiber is. Help me define it then – Christopher Rucinski Aug 11 '14 at 9:47
  • @ChristopherRucinski So maybe I still didn't understand you. Either the part about gelling in the stomach is relevant to your question, or it is irrelevant. If it is irrelevant to you, why do you complain about me deleting it? If it is relevant, then the question is off topic. – rumtscho Aug 11 '14 at 9:48
  • @ChristopherRucinski If the question is "can this actually be a fiber drink", then I don't see why information on the physiological properties of fiber is needed. If the question is "how does this fiber work", you must define what you mean by "work". What is the fiber supposed to do? As for the definition of soluble fiber, it is simply plant fiber which is soluble in water. But I don't see why this definition needs to be included in the question, in fact it makes the question a bit superfluous. – rumtscho Aug 11 '14 at 9:52
  • OK, so the inclusion of (1) and (2) in my original question dealt specifically with can this actually be a fiber drink? I asked that question because my current understanding of fiber was (1) an insoluble fiber that was visible and didn't react with the dietary track, and (2) a soluble fiber that gelled up when in interacted with water.....With these two definitions of fiber (not mine, but well known definitions), there seemed to be a 3rd type, if and only if this drink was in fact a fiber drink. I say that because it was inside a soluble fiber that was inside of liquid; yet no gel! – Christopher Rucinski Aug 11 '14 at 9:58
  • I needed to show that information to show the conundrum that this drink seemed to have. It was a soluble fiber that was not gelling. This goes against the definition of a soluble fiber. So I thought that if it is different, then if I use a different fiber drink, then the recipe would turn out different. Maybe the use of soluble fiber that does gel up would result in a recipe that was a disaster!! If it does not gel up, then maybe I could use just water. So my question dealt with understanding this fiber in relation to how it would effect the recipe – Christopher Rucinski Aug 11 '14 at 10:02
  • I did a lot of research into this subject since asking that question, and I did find a 3rd type of "fiber". It isn't a natural fiber in the sense that it bulks or gels. It does not do that that at all. In fact knowing that simple fact means that using these 3 types of fiber could result in 3 different end results for the recipe. Some which might not be what was desired. In fact, knowing about this artificial fiber (3) shows that it only "acts like" fiber in the intestines only. Apart from that, it acts more like a standard liquid...therefore just pure water could suffice for the recipe. – Christopher Rucinski Aug 11 '14 at 10:09
  • I took an engineering approach when understanding this issue at first. I seen things from the drink that went against my understanding. I could not find the answer, but asking on here helped me go in the right direction, and that led me see that my original hunch on a 3rd type to be real. Had I not asked about that, I would not have found out about this. – Christopher Rucinski Aug 11 '14 at 10:13
  • @ChristopherRucinski Your original question said "I think fiber is (nutritional definition #1) or (nutritional definition #2) but this drink doesn't seem to fit with that. So it it fiber or not?" which is very difficult to answer without referring to your nutritional definitions, and really implies that you are looking for nutritional information. If that's not the case, it's fine, but you need to ask your question in a way that makes it clear that it's not asking for nutritional information. You keep telling us we're wrong about your question; prove it by asking it in a non-nutritional way. – Cascabel Aug 11 '14 at 14:27
  • @ChristopherRucinski Your question in its current form starts out with a definition of fiber in terms of a nutritional effect, then asks if this particular drink is fiber by that definition. That is very, very definitely a nutritional/medical question: you're asking if it has a particular effect on the body. If that's not what you're intending to ask, great, but you're going to need to fix it. – Cascabel Aug 11 '14 at 14:31
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    @ChristopherRucinski I have attempted to edit your question into a more clear and concise non-nutritional form. The original notions of what fiber is (minus the nutritional effects) are still there, and your questions are still there. I really think any answers to it as written should satisfy you, and it should avoid people coming and saying things like "nono that kind of fiber's no good for making you feel full" (which is off topic). If you feel my edit was harmful, you're of course free to edit further, but please try to use it as a starting point. – Cascabel Aug 11 '14 at 14:35
  • Thank you. I read it and see that is what I still was intending to ask. Thanks for understanding. By the way, I added extra information like what a homogenous solution was because I wanted to make sure readers understood that given cooks probably don't use that phrase (it is scientific). But I can leave that out, but if I find a good webpage that clearly explains that then I might link to it. Thanks again! – Christopher Rucinski Aug 12 '14 at 5:10

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