Friday, April 06, 2007

oh, for fuck's sake

so it's possible that the artificial sweetener splenda is basically 99% made from hfcs. seriously, people. i tried so hard to avoid hfcs for lent and it turns out i may have been consuming it all along. the irony is, i only use splenda in the regular coffee at my office, but i don't use it in the cappucino. i never used to drink the regular coffee and only started drinking it to replace the cappucino, because the cappucino mix had hfcs in it. can you hear me screaming in frustration?

from green republican's post on splenda:
Since sucralose is 600 times sweeter than sugar, they have to use bulking agents to manage the sweetness. Those bulking agents are dextrose and maltodextrin, which come from high fructose corn syrup (pure sugar). And not just a little bit... Since sucralose is SOOOOOO sweet, 99% of the powder in those little Splenda packets is bulking agent.
i say "may" because i can't easily put my finger on information showing that dextrose and maltodextrin are made from hfcs. dextrose is just a form of glucose (sugar). maltodextrin is made from corn starch, but that doesn't mean it's made from hfcs.

but while we're on the subject, let's talk about splenda, which apparently has more in common with pesticide than it does with sugar. from the woman to woman article "sugar substitutes and the potential danger of splenda" by marcelle pick, ob/gyn np:
Splenda is the trade name for sucralose, a synthetic compound stumbled upon in 1976 by scientists in Britain seeking a new pesticide formulation. It is true that the Splenda molecule is comprised of sucrose (sugar) — except that three of the hydroxyl groups in the molecule have been replaced by three chlorine atoms. (To get a better picture of what this looks like, see this image of a sucralose molecule.)

While some industry experts claim the molecule is similar to table salt or sugar, other independent researchers say it has more in common with pesticides. That’s because the bonds holding the carbon and chlorine atoms together are more characteristic of a chlorocarbon than a salt — and most pesticides are chlorocarbons.
the article goes on to state:
So, is Splenda safe? The truth is we just don’t know yet. There are no long-term studies of the side effects of Splenda in humans. The manufacturer’s own short-term studies showed that sucralose caused shrunken thymus glands and enlarged livers and kidneys in rodents. But in this case, the FDA decided that because these studies weren’t based on human test animals, they were not conclusive. Of course, there are countless examples of foods and drugs that have proved dangerous to humans that were first found to be dangerous to laboratory rats, and then again, countless others that have not. So the reality is that we are the guinea pigs for Splenda.
even stevia (an herb that is being promoted as a sweetener, of which i have a big jar at home) is not without it's problems, possibly causing reproductive and metabolism problems and, perhaps even, cancer, according to a nutrition action healthletter published by the center for science in the public interest.

sheesh. i give up.


mooncrazy said...

Why don't you just use sugar? I did find you some soda without the corn stuff and it tastes good. Jones, ha I wonder if they are part of our family?

maltese parakeet said...

i think i am going to do just that. very limited amounts of real sugar. i think jones sodas are pretty vile, though. i did find a connection for mexican coke, which is made with cane sugar. in the meantime, i think i'll just save the sodas for special occasions.