26 May 2012

Big Darn Quote

Sting once said "If you can't plagiarize yourself, who can you plagiarize?"

I'm going to take inspiration from that, and if you can't quote yourself, who can you quote? Here is my post for today from my other blog "The Vampire Diet". Had a few extra, unexpected minutes so thought I'd do ONE post today (didn't think I'd get any done, being a holiday weekend and all) This one seemed to be the natural choice...pun intended.

Read, read, read-y, read read READ.

Label literacy is our only hope. At least we HAVE labeling here in the U.S. (As I understand it, it is less regulated, less honest, an downright not there in some other countries).

I've been tinkering with social media, hoping to learn to use it to promote books. As part of that I signed up for "Klout"...www.klout.com. I earned enough points to get a free sample, one of their "perks". I selected an instant tea mix...green tea with honey, that sounds nice an healthy, right?


The pinapple-mango flavor sounded great, especially since the sample packets arrived on a sunny 90 degree day. Green tea...good, antioxidants...one of my favorite flavors...check that for the plus column.

Sweetened with honey "granules" and sugar...OK, that's natural enough. I like my tea totally unsweetened, but I'll give it a whirl out of curiosity.

Put it in 8oz of water like the instructions suggested, and there is one word to describe it....


...it was nauseatingly, disgustingly, overwhelmingly sweet...it was absolutely undrinkable. I though I'd gotten the instructions wrong so I added another 8oz of water to make a total of 16 oz water to one packet of mix...It didn't help. It was still make-you-vomit sweet, and you could barely taste the fruit at that point. The tea flavor was utterly undetectable in both dilutions.

Back to the ingredient list....you guessed it FRIGGEN' SUCRALOSE

The tea that was going out of it's way to look natural and healthy contains a boat load of ARTIFICIAL SWEETENER plus honey and sugar. 

The honey and sugar would have been plenty of sweetness. Especially in combination with fruit juice or fruit flavors. Adding the sucralose made what could have been a pleasant summer drink into a toxic-tasting brew of diabetes-in-a-glass. If you want a diet version, use stevia. JUST stevia. If you want a honey-sweetened tea, then JUST use honey (or your honey-sugar 'granules'). Not stupid BOTH. And certainly not a combination of honey/sugar and ARTIFICIAL sweeteners. Especially now that stevia is so readily available. 

Do you know about stevia? It is a leaf extract, been around for ages, is safe, no-calorie and used by south american native healers to HELP with diabetes. Tastes sweet, no calories, anecdotaly might help improve glucose metabolism...why isn't the world covered in this stuff? 

Sorry aspartame and sucralose people, your days are OVER. I personally will never use either of those products again. If I want sweet, I'll have sugar, stevia, agave or non-mucked-with regular corn syrup (in candy, not spaghetti sauce). There are more flavors in the world than sweet. There are more colors in the world than pink.

I didn't mention the company name or specific product for a reason...they ALL do this. Read the labels, browse the aisles at the grocery store...there is sugar, corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners in places you wouldn't think. It just isn't this company...which has some decent UNsweetened products that I have used -recently - but we as consumers can demand better. Don't buy the crap and eventually they'll stop making it. Buy the good stuff whenever you can find it, maybe they'll make more at a better price. The dollar is an almighty vote. There is a reason somebody came up with that phrase "put your money where your mouth is". If you can't afford to spend the dollars, spend the time...either e-mailing the companies or investing the time to "do it yourself". If you can't spend money on healthier foods in the market, get the whole ingredients and custom make your own. It takes time, yes, but not as much money. "Time is money" too. I like to cook, so I get a double return on the time invested in cooking...enjoyment, a healthier dish, and usually cheaper too. Don't want the jar of spaghetti sauce because of the high fructose corn syrup? Grab a couple of cans of stewed tomatoes, some tomato paste, a few dried herbs and make your own, free from any sweeteners at all. Sure the herbs might cost a little the first time, but you can get bunch of batches out of one container, don't forget.

But back to drinks. Read, read, read-y, read, read READ. The things you drink have as much right to be whole, unprocessed, and nourishing as the food you eat. That's how the vampires do it.

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