Tuesday, March 24, 2009

NYTimes: Sugar is back. As a health food.

Grocery store. Bread aisle. Several competing brands. Given two comparable varieties, say, Brand X multigrain, and Brand Y multigrain, which one do I choose?

I used to distinguish on price.

Now, I'll scan the ingredient labels. If I see High Fructose Corn Syrup, I won't buy it. If the competing brand lists Sugar in its place, I'll buy that one. Hell, I'll even pay a premium. I believe I've paid up to a dollar more for a loaf of bread to avoid HFCS.

I'll pay extra for the perception that I'm getting a more "natural" product.

The New York Times covers sugar's second act as a "healthy" food.

Good for sugar, I think. But then the article doesn't just cover this marketing trend-- adjustments by processed food and beverage manufacturers responding to consumer preference: it goes on to quote several scientists who point out that nutritionally-- there's no difference between HFCS and Sugar. An empty calorie is an empty calorie.

So much for my health.

Still, Coke tasted better in India. Like Mexico, they make their cola with sugar, not corn.

And I still get to feel righteous for sticking it to the tyranny of the corn states.

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