Know the Science Before You Stigmatize

7 Dec

It never fails to surprise me how little the general public knows.  It seems marketing suffices for true education in several realms.  Women’s Studies is a big one.  That’s not the point of this particular post, so I’ll move on.  Food is another huge area where people know little from scientifically proven evidence or direct experience, and instead glean what they can from hype.

Examples include:  Organic food, an exploding industry.  There are no long term (or any) studies proving its superiority over regularly farmed food.  Cage-free eggs.  It sounds like a good idea right out of Old McDonald’s Farm, but wandering chickens (crowded or not) often turn cannibal and so must be de-beaked.  Which is worse, living in a cage or cutting off body parts?  And, the “natural” label.  It is purely a marketing tool unsubstantiated and unregulated by anyone.  Don’t forget, poison like arsenic is perfectly natural.  So the word has little meaning when applied to food.  Popular debate now is “natural” sugar vs. high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).  HFCS is getting a really bad rap in public arenas.  And traditional sugar growers have every reason to perpetuate that.  They get large government subsidies and of course do not want to share.  They also want all the soda companies, candy manufacturers, and other unhealthy sugar sellers so use THEIR sugar, not any alternative.  So before you make a judgement, here’s the biochem:

Sucrose: a double sugar of 50% glucose and 50% fructose linked together.

HFCS: a syrup of about 45% glucose and 55% fructose, separated
The 5% differences are biologically insignificant and the body can’t tell them apart.

So the next time you know something and lean to make a shopping decision question yourself.  Do you know this information through a valid scientific fact that has been published.  Or have you just been inundated and brainwashed by marketers hoping you’ll purchase their product.

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