Don’t Spike Your Blood Sugar!

Imagine a diabetic character on TV who suddenly begins to act a little strangely, but is not too confused to murmur, “I think my blood sugar is too low.” Everyone on screen runs for something sugary that the character will absorb quickly. Orange juice, or maybe Coke. Sweet drinks like juices and sodas, with up to 12 (!) teaspoons of sugar per can, are great for spiking your blood sugar. None for me, thanks. Continue reading


Nutrition or Entertainment?

A friend of mine says that ultraprocessed items don’t nourish, but rather they entertain. A few weeks ago I saw a commercial for Lay’s Potato Chips whose tag line was “Good food for the fun of it.” That sure sounds like entertainment to me.

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The Commodity Compromise

In life, one always has to choose between quantity and quality. If your goal is to obtain an item of the highest possible quality, then it doesn’t matter how much you get. Like a sample of uranium. When it’s quality you’re after, it doesn’t matter whether you end up with a microgram or a kilogram. The issue of its purity is not negotiable, so the amount is secondary. But when it’s quantity you seek, it doesn’t matter whether the end result is purity or perfidy, perfect or problematic. Continue reading


Fake Fruit Food

A few months ago I wrote about the “high margin-to-cost” breakfast cereal business. I have a few more thoughts, this time not specifically about the product itself, but about the pervasive use of fruity words in the naming of those breakfast cereals. Continue reading


Breakfast Candy

Let’s talk about breakfast cereals, shall we? Developed by a couple of enterprising health spa owners from Battle Creek, Michigan, they originally provided an economical use for the crumbs that fell to the bottom of the bread ovens. The word “cereal,” which simply means grain, comes from Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture. Breakfast cereal? That’s a marketing term. Continue reading


The Message

Today I’d like to speak about something that has been on my mind all week, and that something is “the message.”

As we all know, over the past 100 years the processed food industry has developed ever more sophisticated strategies for influencing the public to purchase an ever-growing proportion of processed edibles to replace real food.  And the industry has been so successful in this endeavor, if you want to call it that, that ⅔ of Americans are now overweight, and 50 percent are expected to carry a diagnosis of diabetes by age 65. Continue reading