March 21, 2009

You'll still turn into a lethargic lardass

The New York Times says that sugar is making a comeback against high-fructose corn syrup. Because the two are nearly identical, this is obviously a fashion cycle, irrational exuberance, or whatever you want to call it.

It also shows how much our sense of disgust is linked to perceptions of social class or rank: HFCS is a staple of prole chow, while cane sugar (here, now) belongs to the eco-yuppie fad. So when a cashier smothers her french fries with ketchup that has added HFCS, and then washes it down with a milkshake also saturated with HFCS, that's "junk food" -- despicable. However, when a consultant smothers her quinoa with some honey-rich sauce, and then washes it down with a grande caramel mocha frappucino, loaded with 50 pounds of organic agave syrup, that's "decadent," not "junk." Whatever lady -- we can all see those bloated, doughy thighs stretching the seams of your Arden B pants.

Most people just don't realize how quickly your taste for sweets re-calibrates when you give up a sugar and starch-heavy diet. Right now, unsweetened ketchup tastes sweet, as does super-dark chocolate (85% cocoa). Almonds now taste so much like sugar-cubes that I've switched to pecans, which are more buttery. I think I'd pass out if I ate an apple or pear -- now it's enough to have one serving of blackberries, raspberries, or half a slice of cantaloupe.


  1. The theory is out there because all sorts of crazy theories get developed.

    It's been accepted by the Whole Foods shopping class because the HFCS theory has the most mental benefits for that class:

    1) We're better than the proles (which you addressed well)
    2) (more important imo) The HFCS theory offers an alternative explanation for the fatass-ness epidemic that does not require accepting the low carb theory.

    Accepting the low carb theory is a big deal. Lots of other beliefs are wound up in that one. Once you accept low carb you have to explain why it's been bad mouthed for so long. You then have to explain why the research establishment has been systematically lying by implication (not designing studies with true low carb, always putting a pro-high carb spin on things, etc.). You've got to accept that it's possible for things like that to happen. That leads to all sorts of uncomfortable questions that are basically outside the framework of the world-view of the typical SWPL.

    The HFCS theory is much more conforming. HFCS is evil, everyone knows it but corporations have suppressed that knowledge. Ahh, corporations are evil. We don't have to worry about the NIH grant proposal process.

    -Steve Johnson

  2. They aren't identical in effect. See
    here, decent place to start if you want to look at some of the science.


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