Sugar Busting

Looking around the blogosphere, it seems like sugar is on everybody’s lips… and no, I don’t mean they all just ate powdered donuts (please don’t do this).  I guess what I should say is that sugar is on everybody’s mind; according to a growing number of doctors and research scientists, sugar is also on our hearts, our arteries, our cancer cells, our livers, our EVERYTHING.  If you didn’t watch it, or haven’t seen it on some other blog since Sunday, here’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s story on sugar as a toxin.  This is 60 Minutes, folks.  Not a guru in Big Sur (no offense, California because I love you, this was useful as hyperbole only) describing his cosmic understanding of sugar.  This is a conventional news outlet running a story on what many doctors think is the biggest health problem in the United States.

If you have the stomach for it, the 60 Minutes website has a few links to off-air conversations about sugar.  The lead doctor interviewed, Robert Lustig, also has a longer documentary about the toxicity of sugar in the diet.  There is a shorter version, with the a great explanation of the science for non-science folks by Underground Wellness. If you find ANY of these remotely convincing, you’ll be wanting to decrease your sugar intake pronto. So, we’ve decided to become a little more focused (say WHAT?!) in our posts for the next several days to offer some simple strategies to cut sugar in your diet. Not enough on their own, but baby steps are, in our collective experience, a good place to start.

So we began our Sugar Busting Series this morning with Big Sis’s post about the ease and wisdom of brewing iced tea for the road when traveling rather than guzzling sugar poo from a convenience store. In a perfect celebration of the upcoming calvacade of candy that is Easter in the U.S., we will be offering several more posts about increasing the natural sweetness of a less sugary life.

Coke Shmoke

So… as of whenever, Coke sold in California will be less toxic than Coke sold everywhere else… at least until they change that… In a stunning move of good sense the state of California apparently told Coca Cola that if they don’t remove caramel coloring, which is on the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s list of unsafe food additives, the manufacturer would have to include a cancer warning on the container.  So while shouting loudly that caramel coloring is now, and has always been, safe, Coca Cola is going to use a different kind of caramel coloring for its California products; this formula will then be distributed nationally.

I have mixed feelings about the whole thing.  I must confess that I’m glad when pretty much anybody takes on Big Soda; however, will this change lead consumers in California, and anywhere else the new formula is sold, to believe that cola is safe?  How about a diabetes warning label?  How about a tooth decay label?  How about a “this cleans blood off roads and shmutz off car parts” label?   Coke and the caramel coloring folks argue that you’d have to consume an unthinkable number of Cokes to experience any ill effect of caramel coloring.  Have they been to a convenience store lately?  You could bathe your feet in the largest fountain offering.  So on this one I guess I have to give kudos to California for forcing the issue, but really, if you’re concerned about the health effects of soda,  shouldn’t you just stop drinking it?