refined sugar

Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages works!

One of the arguments the soldiers of Big Soda — and sometimes, their well-meaning compatriots — have used against taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages is that they won’t change consumer behavior. And, of course, they’ve been able to maintain that fiction, until now, because they’ve scrapped relentlessly to defeat proposals in the US.

But in Mexico, such a tax was instituted at the beginning of 2014, and researchers from Mexico’s National Public Health Institute and the University of North Carolina and have preliminary data on its effect.


Grateful for gratitude, theirs and mine

There’s a maxim among people I know that says something like, “Just for today, I’ll help another person, and if it is found out, it won’t count.” Well not that, but the point being, “The glow of helping others is tarnished by bragging about it.”

My wife, the estimable Georgina, says the act of helping is what matters most, regardless, but I’m stuck in the middle. Yes, helping is helping, but I am not unfamiliar with helping as showing off.

Which is why I hesitate to relate the following, which I received four days ago:


Corn refiners delight in evidence that they're being perceived as only as bad as the other sugars

For a few years, a small set of food-product entries have been boasting that they have “real” sugar, instead of the demon high fructose corn syrup. But that trend appears to be slowing, says this story from foodnavigator-usa.com


Extract the goodness, to put some of it back

Wonder Bread signWhen I was a kid, and maybe still today (I don’t care enough to look it up), Wonder Bread touted that it “buil[t] strong bodies 12 ways.” What was really going on is that its food technologists had started with grain products of nature, “refined” it beyond recognition, and then tossed in a bunch of nutritive additives to make up for what they had taken out. In effect they were saying, “look at all the goodness we’ve added, so you won’t notice all the goodness we took out.”

What resulted, of course, were slices of blindingly white near-paste that could be compressed into a ball that would have hurt if launched in a food fight. It seems so ‘60s, but check this out:

PepsiCo is seeking to patent a method of adding fiber- and polyphenol-rich co-products from fruit and veg juice extraction back to juices and other beverages in a bid to improve their sensory and nutritional profile, and minimize waste from the juice extraction process. ~ FoodNavigator-USA.com

Still crazy after all these years — breaking what’s good down into its parts, and then trying to figure out how to put more of it back in. How ‘bout, don’t break it down in the first place?


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