Things That Are Trifling

Thoughts on Food, Gender, Race, and Popular Culture

Sugar Washing

I’ve been getting riled up about food issues for about 12 years. First it was factory farming. Then it was industry lies about factory farming when people started to realize the jig was up. Then it was nonprofits. I was living in a world where everyone wanted to do this thing called “i-banking” and I was like um, yes, I bank, do you? (I didn’t get it). Then when entrepreneurs were like, I can start a nonprofit and make money at the same time while completely ignoring the broader issue of systemic oppression, I turned my attention to cause-marketing and the non-profit industrial complex. Then it was food paternalism. It’s still food paternalism, but more on that in a later post. For now, my target is sugar-sweetened beverages.

I’m tired of all this anti-soda talk coming from the public health community. If it’s not NYC, it’s some other state trying to restrict the food choices of low-income people by preventing them from buying soda with food stamps, in an effort to reduce obesity.

Everyone eats badly- obesity is rising everywhere, in every single country across the world, and the poor are supposed to have a better diet than the rest of us?

I heard something that the average american spends 40% of their income on food. Not the 10% figure that people talk about. The cheap food thing is a lie. But I digress.

But back to what really gets me riled up. Fruit juice. I loathe fruit juice. The conversation should stop being about soda, which everyone knows is bad for you, and focus on “healthy” foods that are *actually* bad for you but have been marketed to make people believe they are healthy and necessary to consume on a daily basis. Fruit juice is a sugar bomb.  It’s liquid candy with Vitamin C, that you can easily get from a variety of other sources.

If the public health community wants to get behind something to change in federal nutrition programs, frozen vegetables as part of the WIC package would be awesome in my opinion. Frozen fruit even. 

But more broadly, the solution is to regulate this type of marketing at the federal level. This marketing affects EVERYONE, and people eat foods that have sugar in ALL forms. I’m seeing the yogurt aisles being taken over by sugar-added yogurt. It’s hard to find a plain sometimes. More on that later.






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