refined sugar

Chocolate-covered gall

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As an author, reporter, blogger, and professional speaker, I've staked a lot on the value of public discourse. And that's why this little turd from Hershey Corp. is so offensive.

“It came down to a matter of the FDA believing that the chocolate syrup is a snack food, and that we believe it is more accurately categorized as a milk modifier, similar to products such as Ovaltine and Nesquik that have been fortified for decades,” Beckman said.

Please Mr. Big Food, add less "value"

In my previous post, I described how my farm stand thanked its first 200 patrons, three days in a row, with a goody bag in celebration of a pavilion it opened. Because a large curly head of lettuce filled the open end of the bag, I assumed (incorrectly) that it all was produce and was disappointed to learn when I got home that it was the only produce: The other five things were all dependent on processed sugar.

From my farm stand, a flood of refined sugar

I’m a supporter of my local farm stand, a retail outlet of the farmer with the most acreage under till in New England. I go there for the fresh, locally grown produce at decent prices, and enjoy knowing that I’m supporting not only a local business but an improbably strong agricultural survivor in the sea of suburbia.

They sell a lot more than local produce, and I’ve recently been taken greater heed of where stuff comes from, declining to buy the Argentinian and Chilean apples, pears, etc., because of the food miles.

Fight for the right to have bake sales

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The linked post from Marian Nestle’s blog recounts the hasty retreat from a plan in Massachusetts to bar school bake sales, and it encapsulates so much of the nation’s nutrition problem.

In the uproar that resulted, opponents argued that it would make it harder to raise money for class trips, etc.; not resolve the obesity problem; and tread on local rights.

Tax would help, but could it ever pass?

I’m reminded of the “lock box,” which was a largely unsuccessful political gambit promoted by Al Gore during his 2000 presidential run as a way to make Social Security tax increases more palatable. The idea was that we would ensure that taxes collected for this purpose would not be redirected, making it just one more tax increase.

In an obesity crisis, one size does not fit all

Friend and reader Casey Hinds pointed me towards Casey Seidenberg's post for the Washington Post lifestyles blog "On Parenting" and asked my take on its "all food should be enjoyed" message, vis a vis children and addiction potential.

Dr. Lustig's miniseries

It's almost impossible to be in my line of work — commenting on how we eat, with the goal of increasing respect for, and interest in, healthy nutrition — and not admire what Dr. Robert Lustig is accomplishing. His appearance on "60 Minutes" a couple of weeks ago was the the latest wild success he has achieved in bringing attention to primary causes of in the world's obesity pandemic.

Processed sugar's weak, inane defenders

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The LA Times dropped into the sugar-toxicity discussion last week, clearly spurred by the attention that Dr. Robert Lustig is winning on the "yes, sugar is bad for you" side. But of course, journalists always strive to balance their inquiries with opposing views, and those are the comments I want to share with you.

In conflict, pick the public good

The burgeoning fight around sugar toxicity has two sides: public-health advocates and the private industry.

For the former, the clients are you and me. Not only do individuals suffer from the flood of processed-sugar injected into every corner of the American diet, but there are significant and mounting collective costs as well: shared health costs, lost worker productivity, even national security. Every American, of every political and social persuasion, is affected by these things.


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