Monday, August 6, 2018

The Sugar Conspiracy

You eat a lot of sugar. That is, if you live in the United States and eat "normal" food the way any "regular" person does, you eat a lot of sugar. A lot. Per capita, more than anyone else in the world. By a lot. It's kind of staggering how much, actually.

And you don't even know it.

Sure, sure, people say it (like I just did), so you have some vague intellectual knowledge that you eat a lot of sugar, but you don't know it. Not in any kind of experiential way. It's not like you're pouring sugar on your Sugar Frosted Flakes the way my friend used to do when I was a kid. Because that's just what you need on your sugar cereal, right? I'm sure you feel perfectly comfortable with your sugar intake because you're not actively participating in how much you consume.

And, you know, so what, right? So food has sugar in it; what's the big deal? It's not like it's hurting you, right? You can't even tell that it's there.

Which, actually, is the problem. You can't tell that it's there. Also, you can't tell any of the flavors of the food are there, either.

Once upon a time, I was just like "you," you being the "average" person in the US. I ate all of the packaged food and drank all of the sugarbomb drinks. And boy did I! All I drank was soda. And I didn't think there was a problem. Everything just tasted "normal."

Without getting into it, there came a time when we cut sugar out of our diet. [I'm sure I've got old posts about that, if you want to go look for them. Or maybe I don't. I don't remember.] It wasn't until after the sugar was gone that I realized how much flavor food has. No, seriously, actual flavor textures and complexities. And some things were sweet that I had no idea about. Like carrots! But when you eat sugar all the time (and you do), by comparison, a carrot is not sweet. In fact, it's just kind of crunchy and flavorless.

Bell pepper was my big surprise. It's not a food that I had ever really liked, because, compared to sugar, it's an even more crunchy, flavorless, even kind of bitter food than carrots. But that's totally wrong! And bell pepper has different flavors depending upon what color it is, which amazed me. AMAZED! Red is my favorite, followed by yellow. Orange is okay, and I tend to stay away from green. It's not that it's bad, but it's nowhere near as good as the other three.

It's not until after you quit eating all of the processed crap full of sugar that you can taste all the flavors in real food and realize that the processed stuff is basically flavorless other than a vague flavor of sweetness. Sometimes with salt. It's more than slightly disturbing. I can't drink soda anymore. It's so sweet as to be disgusting. And kettle corn (because they always have that at the fair or any other kind of crowded live event thing)? The smell of it (just the smell of it alone!) is so sweet that it makes me sick to my stomach. But that's only because I don't consume sugar all the time, because I used to think it smelled good.

It goes without saying, not even talking about the health implications, that I think "you" should probably cut sugar out of your regular diet. Not only will food taste better, but you'll actually be able to appreciate the things you eat that have a need to contain sugar (like homemade cookies). [Yes, chemically speaking, some things need to contain sugar.]

Of course, I'm not talking about sugar at all but about the trashy media you put in your brain that works the same way as sugar. (Not that I don't mean what I said about the sugar, too, but I think that's a better way to illustrate the problem than trying to talk about what you entertain your brain with.)

Not that the Left is completely blameless, but the adding of "sugar" to what you watch is something the Right has kind of turned into an art form. Starting with Fox news way back in the early 90s, they have constantly and consistently been covering the flavor (truth and facts) of what they present with sugar (falsehoods and propaganda). It skews your view of reality when you can no longer tell what is fact from what is not.

When I quit eating sugar, I almost immediately lost a lot of weight. "Effortlessly," as it were. I didn't have to go out an exercise or try or anything. Other than whatever "trying" went into not eating sugar, which wasn't as difficult as it sounds. BUT!
People asked me frequently how I lost all the weight, and I would say, "I quit eating sugar," and, without fail, they would respond, "Oh, I could never do that."

Fuck that shit! I grew up drinking nothing but soda, nothing!, and I quit. And it wasn't really all that hard. Ahead of time, I thought it was going to be hard, but, upon doing it, it was really pretty easy.

TV and media is kind of the same way, mostly in that you have to find something to fill all of that time with that you currently spend immersed in your sugarcoated media world designed exactly to keep you consuming it. And to keep you from thinking about how much of it you're consuming or, really, thinking at all.  Like sugar, see.
"Don't bother thinking for yourself; we'll tell you all the thoughts you need to have."
It's more than a little disturbing.

It's amazing, though, how much easier it is to see the lies when you're not ingesting them all the time. Of course, church doesn't help with any of this, because church sort of pre-programs people to believe fantasies, fables, and mythology as fact and truth. But that's a story for another time...


  1. An awful lot of it is fake sugar, too, in the form of high fructose corn syrup. I know you don't drink soda anymore but tasting a Coke made with real cane sugar is an amazing revelation.

    Let them eat cake, Fox News is the opiate of the masses, the revolution most certainly will be televised... there's definitely a social upheaval metaphor in there somewhere.

    1. TAS: Unfortunately, there's no difference in what it does to your body whether it's HFCS or cane sugar. We don't do either variety.

      Did you see the study that shows that people who rely on Fox for their news are actually less well informed than people who avoid the news altogether.

  2. We use a bag of sugar maybe every three years? I also drink mostly water with one non-sugar soda a day. I read that they were considering putting a warning label on sugary sodas and they should. Diabetes isn't rampant in this country without a reason.

    1. Alex: The sugar/soda/whatever lobby has a done an excellent job at keeping warning labels off of sugar containing products.

  3. I gave up soda years ago. Carrots have always tasted sweet to me. But yeah, I really do need to give up sugar in most everything else. It's a problem.

    I like what you did there with the sugar and the media. I don't spend too much time watching TV anymore. But I should read more. Ah well. Step one is to identify the problem. Doing something about it happens when one is ready.

    1. Liz: I'm not actually sure what "TV" means anymore. I certainly don't watch any TV in the respect of what is traditionally meant when people say it, and I don't get any of my news that way. My primary news source is NPR, which was rated the highest in terms of people being well informed in relation to the aforementioned study.

  4. There's sugar in EVERYTHING. I don't think the soda is as bad as the fact that you can't buy any kind of food that isn't fresh without it being loaded with sugar. Cereal, soup, frozen meals... sugar, sugar, sugar. I'd so love if there was sugar free varieties of things like that.

    1. Jeanne: Well, don't buy processed foods. We buy almost nothing processed. And there are a few cereals that have no added sugar: Cheerios, Grape-Nuts, um... I forget the name of the other one we sometimes buy.