A Year of No Sugar: Post 10
January 14, 2011 § Leave a comment
“People will eat what’s cheapest and most available, and what’s cheapest and most available right now is food that makes people fat and unhealthy.”
-Dr. Andrew Weil
(from interview in The Sun issue 421)
After topping off at the gas station the other day the digital screen graciously effused: “Thanks for using.”
“Oh yeah,” I thought, “Like I have a choice.” And I was struck by the thought that sugar in our culture works very much the same way. Like it or not; we’re all “using” as they say.
To live in our culture, shop in our supermarkets, and eat in our restaurants is to buy into our national, yet utterly silent addiction to sugar. Exhibit A: the Health Food store/aisle (dum dum dum DUMMMMM!)
Look closely folks, is this really an alternative? Well, yes, in some ways it certainly is. Want organic, non-genetically modified marinara sauce or wild-caught, dolphin-free canned tuna (to the tune of $7 a tin)? Want breakfast cereal that educates your kids about the rainforest or biodegradable toilet paper? Free-range chicken and growth-hormone-free milk? Even if these products aren’t local, their commitment to a world that is more responsible in terms of our environment, animal welfare and our bodies is laudible.
But don’t assume that this is a free ride, no matter how much that can of tuna costs you. Better isn’t perfect, I’m afraid, and in more cases that you can possible imagine we’ve apparently traded sugar and high-fructose corn syrup for things which just sound a lot nicer: unsulphured molasses. Dehydrated cane juice. Apple-juice concentrate. Brown rice syrup. Even in “hard core” brands that health food aisle veterans know and trust like Mothers and Barbara’s… seek and ye shall find, I’m afraid. I spent freaking forever in the health food cereal aisle yesterday and out of several dozen boxes came up with two- TWO- that had no sugar of any kind in them. Undaunted, (okay, maybe a little daunted) I pressed on to the regular cereal aisle, composed of perhaps a hundred different choices and found one more (hooray for good ol’ shredded wheat!)
I know that as we go on in our project it will get easier- I’ll know the items to go directly to, and my shopping will occur with laser-like precision and speed. In the meantime, though, going to the grocery store takes fifty percent longer, is twelve times more frustrating, and leaves me sorely needing a nap.