RESIST THE CORPORATE SWEETENER CONSPIRACY
Hey who’s this cute fellow?
‘Hi! I’m Clarence the Cancer Cell. Can I be your friend? Me and my pals really want to get along with you. Let’s have fun together. I know I can grow on you.’
Yep, it’s cancer, Chancellor. And cute little Clarence is just waiting for you to guzzle some more corn syrup or artificial sweetener or just plain pure diamond-beautiful refined white sugar.
It wants to grow strong and healthy, and expand all its goodness to its mates, metastasizing throughout your liver, your intestines, your stomach – hey, even your brain! Awesome, Millennials, awesome!
Now there are all sorts of variables which influence this sort of graph – clearly, more people die from cancer since nobody is dying from smallpox or scurvy or housemaid’s knee any longer, food poisoning rates and deaths from contaminated water have dropped thanks to modern hygiene and people have access to antibiotics for minor infections that would have killed them 90 years ago. So the rise in cases of cancer cannot be explained completely by processed foods / junk food. But they are a big player.
Many health addicts are on the warpath against sugar; fifty years ago, it was the famed retired silent screen movie star Gloria Swanson: she went on lecture tours promoting healthy eating and eliminating sweets.
That tasty convenient fast food ( = junk food) that you love so much can have some rather expensive side-effects, according to this study: “People who ate the most junk food showed a higher risk of colorectal, respiratory tract (lips, mouth, tongue, nose, throat, vocal cords and part of the esophagus and windpipe), and stomach cancers. Separately, men showed a higher risk of lung cancer, and women showed a higher risk of liver and postmenopausal breast cancers.”
And how do they make junk food so appealing to the masses? Well for one thing just about every dish you order contains at least a little sweetener – even the hot sauce and breads and salads.
Go strolling through your local friendly supermarket: practically every food apart from fresh produce is loaded up with appealing sweeteners, as we see in this snapshot of merchandise in a fancy Jakarta outlet.
Behold an innocent-appearing sample of common packaged foods, where you would never suspect you are getting overloaded with “high-intensity sweeteners” – so it’s not only white sugar and high-fructose corn syrup you have to be on the lookout for, but also sinister-sounding chemicals like Acesulfame Potassium (‘Sunnett’, ‘Sweet One’ brands), Aspartame (‘Nutrasweet’, ‘Equal’ branding), Neotame, Saccharin (‘Sweet ‘N Low’, ‘Sweet Twin’, ‘Sugar Twin’) Sucralose (‘Splenda’), Stevia (‘Rebaudioside’) and a raft of others. These sweet additives will not kill you like a cobra bite or a teaspoon-full of strychnine but no one can say for sure the effect on the human body over a period of years. Be warned.
Just look at this high-priced shit.
Sweet gravy? Sweet bean sauce? Sweet ‘extra hot’ chilli sauce? Sweet ‘black pepper sauce’? Sweet ‘Yummy House Abalone Scallop Sauce’? Extra-sweet ‘Sriracha Hot Chilli Sauce’? You betcha!
And this is only a tiny sample of the processed foods loaded up with unnecessary sweeteners – often where you’d never suspect them. Why do manufacturers do it? Because it sells. Consumers are addicted to sweet things. Big Food is killing you, making profits from your addiction. Sound familiar?
SO WHERE IS THE SMOKING GUN?
There is no ‘smoking gun’. No single piece of conclusive proof. So many factors interplay in disease like diabetes or cancer – genetics and environmental pollution to be sure – but food is a major factor. People in rich countries eat more processed and sweetened foods than those living in poor countries: while Finland is the world champion, at 57.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, look at the countries with very low rates of diabetes reported:
Dominica = 5.7
Belarus = 5.6
Romania = 5.4
India = 4.2
However, even fewer cases are found in wealthy Taiwan: 3.8, just above impoverished Nigeria: 2.9. So there are more factors than simply diet, obviously.
Nevertheless, with the rise of “convenience food” in the 20th Century, rates of diabetes around the world have shot right up: “Diabetes is on the rise. No longer a disease of predominantly rich nations, the prevalence of diabetes is steadily increasing everywhere, most markedly in the world’s middle-income countries. Unfortunately, in many settings the lack of effective policies to create supportive environments for healthy lifestyles and the lack of access to quality health care means that the prevention and treatment of diabetes, particularly for people of modest means, are not being pursued. When diabetes is uncontrolled, it has dire consequences for health and well-being. In addition, diabetes and its complications impact harshly on the finances of individuals and their families, and the economies of nations. People with diabetes who depend on life-saving insulin pay the ultimate price when access to affordable insulin is lacking.”
Much of the problem stems from a lack of awareness about the danger of sweeteners. This writer sat down in a modest eatery in suburban Manila; it was a hot day and I was thirsty.
“Could I have a glass of pineapple juice?”
The waitress smiles and proceeds to pop open a large can of Dole’s – just like they drink back in Bremen or Omaha. They drink canned juice in a country producing 2.7 million metric tons of pineapple a year? Oh well, what did I know. Then the waitress knocked me for a loop:
“With or without?”
“You want sugar in your juice?” I was dumbfounded. It’s like the sweet young miss was asking me “Do you want sugar in your sugar?”
“Honey” I thought to myself, “They even make sugar from pineapples!” But I just smiled sweetly. Why waste my breath…
And that, dear reader, is one sweet reason rates of food-linked illnesses are swelling, around the world. However, it’s a complex matter, as this interesting British study breaks down: “Cancer cells usually grow quickly, multiplying at a fast rate, which takes a lot of energy. This means they need lots of glucose. Cancer cells also need lots of other nutrients too, such as amino acids and fats; it’s not just sugar they crave.
Here’s where the myth that sugar fuels cancer was born: if cancer cells need lots of glucose, then cutting sugar out of our diet must help stop cancer growing, and could even stop it developing in the first place. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. All our healthy cells need glucose too, and there’s no way of telling our bodies to let healthy cells have the glucose they need, but not give it to cancer cells.”
The nervous mother, anxious to get her kids to stuff themselves and be healthy (thinking that fat = health, alas) says “But my kids love sweet foods.”
Well lady they’d love heroin and cocaine if you fed it to them as well. Would that be good for them?
When I lived in Japan I heard this story: a mother eager to get her kid to eat his white rice (gohan =ご飯, namely, pure carbo, no vitamins, minerals or fiber) would bribe him by allowing him to splash Fanta over it, making a nice sweet soup of… FAN-HAN! Same-same Korea too!
Cut out all the sweet, Sweetheart. Your teeth won’t rot, you’ll feel less hyper, you’ll do better all-around.
You need more convincing? Entertaining? Dr. Robert Lustig does both in this video lecture.
And if you want wholesome freshly-prepared Euro-food, made from the best ingredients, come to Ya Udah Bistro. We welcome you. If you want to dump sugar over your food we cannot stop you. But we are ready to call an ambulance if you go into shock, Rock.
Maybe you think you need a sweet life but in fact it’s a corporate conspiracy to sell you more deadly FMCG, junk food, packaged crap, processed poison. It also blimps you out and who needs that extra weight?
Hey, thanks for reading our Ya Udah Bistro blog. Please check out some of the earlier newsletters on the Ya Udah Bistro website. We do appreciate your comments on these fanciful expositions as well. All Comments welcome!