Tuesday, March 20, 2007

uk comic relief

a spot that ricky gervais did about kenya for the british comic relief. it's 8 1/2 minutes, but watch it all the way to the end, it's worth it...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

go bruins!

the tournament starts in just a few minutes. boy, do i love me some march madness. i've got my "howland is my homeboy" shirt on and i'm ready to cheer on my guys! goooooooooooo bruins!

Friday, March 02, 2007

the corn mafia has found me

and it didn't take long.

so i received an interesting comment on yesterday's hfcs post. apparently, someone calling themselves marylandbluecrab has found my humble little blog. nobody reads it except my mom and my aunt and a random canuck or two, so i found it really interesting that someone would leave a comment on my hfcs post, especially one that so resoundingly stated that there's absolutely nothing wrong with hfcs. hmmm... a blank blog with a profile that simply states "female, marketing, washington, dc." could it be any more obvious that my new blog reader is some toady working for a marketing firm paid by a hcfs industry group or perhaps the american beverage association to search the interwebs for bad references to hfcs on a regular basis and post responses that spout their propaganda?

and i beg to differ, marylandbluecrab, that "there's no study out there..." sure, studies that are funded by the american beverage institute and the corn refiners association support your claim. but scientists in the pocket of tobacco companies said smoking is safe for you, too. what about independent studies, such as this one: "Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity," in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 79, No. 4, 537-543, April 2004)? the study's authors state in their abstract:
"The digestion, absorption, and metabolism of fructose differ from those of glucose. Hepatic metabolism of fructose favors de novo lipogenesis. In addition, unlike glucose, fructose does not stimulate insulin secretion or enhance leptin production. Because insulin and leptin act as key afferent signals in the regulation of food intake and body weight, this suggests that dietary fructose may contribute to increased energy intake and weight gain."
simply put, it appears that hfcs doesn't trigger the signals that your body puts out to make you feel full, as opposed to glucose, which does. so, you can drink a lot more hfcs-sweetened coke before you begin to feel full than you would if it were sweetened with sugar. seems like a perfect solution for coke, now doesn't it? yes, americans are chronic, excessive consumers of food (and many other things). but you can't ignore the correlation between the increasing prevalence (i'd almost call it ubiquity) of hfcs in our food and the corresponding rise in obesity and diabetes in this country.

so, welcome, corn mafia. happy reading! i'm glad at least that someone not related to me is reading this blog. ;)

UPDATE: i'm not the only one who has had this experience. check out this guy's article. you can see another corn mafia response in the comments to his article.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

high fructose corn syrup

so, i have decided that high fructose corn syrup (hfcs) is the root of all evil. it's in absolutely everything and it appears to be really bad for you. the rise of the use of hfcs and the epidemic of obesity and diabetes in this country have happened at the same time. coincidence? i think not. ever the conspiracy theorist, i'll also point out to you the link between giant agribusiness (adm, cargill) and u.s. government corn subsidies and sugar tariffs that make sugar prohibitively expensive to import.

i'm really sick of being the victim of giant corporations' greed, so i have decided to give hfcs up for lent and see if i can stick with it after. the problem is, hfcs is in freakin' everything and lots of stuff you wouldn't expect. cokes and sodas, candy and off-the-shelf baked goods: it's pretty easy to guess that those items are loaded with the stuff and are pretty easy to avoid. but hfcs lurks everywhere, like in ketchup (which i discovered after eating some fries the other day) and in the mix for the cappuccino for my office's flavia coffee machine (realized that one several days into the process; very upsetting to have to give that up).

i'll be posting lists of products that i find it in as i go along and maybe some articles about hfcs. if i end up dead, you'll know it's the corn mafia and will avenge me, right?