Friday, December 5, 2008

Anti "Splenda with Fiber" Rant

Okay, if you watch tv at all, you've probably seen the ads for this new variation of Splenda (the artificial sweetner) that has 1 gram of fiber in every little envelope. Here's the company page on it

Splenda with fiber

I have a big problem with this, and it has to do with the underlying motivation here.

Okay, I completely realize that a lot of folks don't get enough fiber in their diet. Fruits and vegetables, whole grains. And that lack of fiber in our diets has been implicated in higher risk of colon cancer. So the motivation for some manufacturer of something to say "hey, let's put fiber in our product" is pretty obvious.

But I don't think it's a good idea. For several reasons:

1) The psychological: It leads to this idea that we can substitute artificial, pill, supplement based chemicals for actual food. Read their page - one apple contains like 3 grams of fiber, and their little packet contains 1. Folks need to change their eating habits, not find more supplements to allow them to "be healthy" while subsisting on a diet of twinkies and starbucks.

2) Real vs artificial: i guess it was back when I was a kid (or maybe before), Wonder Bread was advertising this awful stuff - bleached white flour, lots of sugar, over refined and stripped of natural nutrition (then re-loaded with artifical vitamins) "Wonder Bread - builds strong bodies 12 ways". Right. Not compared to whole wheat bread it doesn't. And vitamins -- One-A-Day vitamins. An excuse to continue to not eat right. i am firmly convinced that eating a balanced diet will do things for your nutritional condition that no amount of artificial supplements could do. The supplements may provide the major chemical compounds that have been analyzed so far, but I seriously doubt that we really understand all of the complex chemistry in an apple, and how the thousands of compounds in an apple actually interact with our body chemistry to provide us nutrition.

3) "Expediency" -- in other words, hey, this is easier. It's actually one of the words in the English language that I actually hate. Probably the one I hate most. Not so much the word itself, but what it's come to mean. it means "oh, yeah, I know doing this would be better for me, but doing this other thing is more expedient." yeah, I should eat whole wheat bread, more fresh vegetables and fruits, but it's more expedient to eat the crap that tastes good even though I know it's bad for me. Oh, and I'll pop this pill too, that'll make it alright.

No it wont. I'm sorry to sound like the nasty old lady who lives down the street, but we're not taking this crap seriously enough. It goes into a lot of other areas as well, like our obsession with big trucks and SUVs. Now, I completely understand that a lot of folks do need space, folks who do construction do need pickup trucks. But come up to DC and drive on the roads with me. Come to the Pentagon parking lot. Thousands of folks who have desk jobs at the Pentagon driving Ford F-350s (or only an F-150, you get the point). One of the other archery parents works for one of the mapping agencies, doesnt do any construction or farming, but boy does he love his big red truck. It's an F-350, and it's frickin' huge. He's married with one teenage son, he only got it because he likes it. Is it good for the environment? Does he really need it? No, but he likes it.

I think I'm sounding pretty strict here. Fine. We need to have a stronger sense of responsibility, both towards ourselves and caring for ourselves, and towards our community, and caring for our neighbors. Listening to myself, this almost sounds unAmerican - I'm arguing against "every man/woman for themselves". yes, I am.

We do need stronger and more permeating sense of responsibility to ourselves and our families and our communities.

I'm ticked off today. Watch out.

1 comment:

  1. I did Splenda for a while but I started getting pain in my joints. I did some googling and found Splenda as a possible cause. I stopped Splenda and sure enough the pain went away in a couple of weeks.

    I agree Splenda with fiber? That is just bad.