Melanie Warner

Sugar and refined sugar, redux

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The Melanie Warner blog post I wrote about in my most recent entry pointed toward a HuffPost column by Dr. David Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale, that is as obtuse as it is interminable.


In "Is Sugar Toxic?" his New York Times Magazine cover story, Gary Taubes is clearly talking about manmade sweeteners, whether they are refined from beets, sugar cane, corn, or some other plant. Katz, however, defends sugar as it occurs in nature, first invoking hummingbird nectar and then mothers' milk. Continuing, Katz cites natural selection, evolution, and humans' innate taste for sweetness, all of which are entirely valid — if you're talking about sugar as it appears in nature. But Taubes wasn't.

Taco Bell's PR campaign

I'll never forget the day in San Diego, in 2007, when I stopped into a Taco Bell (because I needed a bathroom) and saw its marketing banner touting "Fourth Meal," its bid to institutionalize a midnight meal into the American ethic. It remains a monument in my thinking to marketing brazenness, and I will never take TB seriously again.

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