A “duh!” and an “eek!” in the Times today.

I know it’s time for the blog party, and I’ve been mulling over my contribution, but I just couldn’t let these two items in the NY Times today (well, yesterday) go by:

Metabolic Syndrome Is Tied to Diet Soda, to which I answer, oh-so-eloquently, “Well, duh.” Henriette explained it her characteristic plain language a while back, and if you’re into weird rat studies, you can check out this and this.

The bottom line? It’s not a good idea to try to trick your body with imitation foods. If you’re going to eat sugar, eat sugar. Your body knows what to do with that. Best to keep the chemistry experiments in the lab.

(Here’s the most amusing part. The column quotes one of the study’s co-authors, apparently totally perplexed: “Why is it happening? Is it some kind of chemical in the diet soda, or something about the behavior of diet soda drinkers?”)

And even better…

New Food Formula: Tastes Fine, Kills Worms. I swear to you, Donald G. McNeil, Jr. of the New York Times wrote an entire 500-word column on Kraft’s development of pesticide-laced “foods” without once questioning whether tapeworm-killing vermicides should be fed to children in the developing world in the shape of “a cheese, a pasta, a granola bar or something else” rather than, well, say, a pill? Vermicidal granola bars. Eek!


  1. darcey blue said,

    February 7, 2008 @ 9:41 am


  2. Jenna said,

    February 11, 2008 @ 12:53 am

    I know I have to check labels on my foods anymore to see if what I’m eating actually COUNTS as food these days… but now I have to look for bug repellents? I am getting happier and happier about my decision to begin pulling back on packaged premade items and instead make food myself from, well, food.

    Just found your site, but looks like I have a ton of backreading to do. Very nifty.

  3. crabappleherbs said,

    February 11, 2008 @ 6:59 pm

    Thanks, Jenna!

    And yes, Darcey, there are lots of funny noises to be made about this kind of news!

  4. Tanya said,

    February 28, 2008 @ 6:47 pm

    well if the repellent is made from plant oils that the body does not react to, is it really so controversial?

  5. crabappleherbs said,

    February 29, 2008 @ 11:26 am

    Hi Tanya.

    I reacted to the story on a number of levels — first, I don’t think it’s a good idea to make strong medicines like vermifuges look like food. Natural or no, essential oils that kill worms are strong medicines, and I think it’s necessary to keep that clear.

    It also looks to me like Kraft is using this “humanitarian” project as a way to gain marketshare for processed foods in the third world — marketing to children, just like they do here in the US. And that’s bad news.

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