Is asking for reliable sources taboo here?

I have no other way to explain why my question got four downvotes (and the answer got two).

When it comes to food safety, I'm just not very interested in hearsay (and I could easily find it myself, making posting a question requesting it pointless)

  • I know it's almost a year later, but even the final edit was a pretty vague question "Can ground flaxseed be added to boiling water? (Flaxseed oil oxidizes very quickly, when exposed to air and temperature)". Yes, you can do it. Are you asking about how much oxidation would occur? What if there were issues like clumping (like flour would have)? And then saying that you're only looking for specific types of answers makes it sound like you're either just planning on being dismissive of answers people give, or this is some sort of homework that you're trying to crowd source.
    – Joe
    Commented Jul 9, 2020 at 20:52

1 Answer 1


Is asking for scientific source a taboo? No. It’s obviously not good style (remember, we have the voting system as community based quality control mechanism), and I can see that it may raise a few hackles.

However, looking at your post, I doubt that this last paragraph is the main issue the down voters have.

First, asking “is it ok” is very vague. Please give us something to work with - what is your criteria? Flavor? Food safety? A specific property? There’s the tag food-safety, which may be an indication, the tag nutrient-composition that points in another direction and it’s apparently got something to do with fats, but readers don’t like to guesstimate.

Second, I recommend you look at the definition of food safety we use here - see the tag info. In short, “everything that can make a consumer sick within a short time frame”. In most cases, this will be about potential bacterial or fungal contamination and the byproducts of that. There’s an agreement that we will only accept answers based on the recommendations of typically government agencies that publish their information based on scientific studies. We will not accept anecdotal answers along the lines of “my gran did that all the time and we never had problems”. (So no need to call in the scientists, the FDA and others already did.)

But from the comments, it seems that you are not primarily interested in food safety as described above, but in the health benefits of a food item or ingredient. The community agreement at the time of this post is that we will not and can not discuss health effects beyond the immediate impact that is covered by food safety or is clearly measurable. We can answer how heating influences a certain vitamin, but not whether this will cause or prevent an illness.

If your question is about something within the scope of the site, I suggest an edit.

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