Friday, November 09, 2007

Better living through Chemistry?
Or, what are we doing to ourselves?

Or, perhaps, the question should be, what are the food-makers doing to us? And don't tell me that deception isn't involved...a person really has to look at the label closely to know exactly what he/she is buying. How many times have I accidentally bought a diet Coke or diet Pepsi, because all of the labels look so similar to each other? In other words, the word "diet" really doesn't scream forth from the label; more often than not, it's "embedded" into the label so you don't notice it unless you really look at it before you pull it off the shelf. (I'm speaking specifically of the 20-oz. plastic bottles, which are, for some reason, my favorite 'volume' of liquid fizz.) So, I now look really closely at the pop labels before buying. I'm paranoid in a 'consumer-sort of way'.
One of my favorite things to eat, especially in the evening, is SLICED PEACHES. I do have a tendency to put on weight, so I avoid the peaches packed in heavy syrup. So, I buy the peaches packed in light syrup, and those taste okay as well. So, a couple of weeks ago, I bought a dozen cans of sliced peaches, the "light" version, took 'em home, put 'em in the cupboard. Later that evening, I opened one of 'em, took it to the TV room and proceed to eat peaches. And, gosh, they tasted weird. Kinda artificial, somehow. A sorta soap-sudsy sensation lingered in my mouth after swallowing. So I looked at the label, and indeed, the peaches were "lite". However, the word "lite" on the label, meant "lite" as in, NO SUGAR. And as I looked closely at the label, I saw a small "SPLENDA" emblem. That's right, artificially-sweetened peaches!
Let's face it, no one is as good at sweetening things as nature is. All of the artificial sweeteners designed to taste like sugar, WILL NEVER taste like sugar. And now I have several cans of Splenda-saturated peaches in my cupboard, and I'm not sure I wanna eat them! And I'll look like a real cheeseball for taking Splenda-peaches back to the grocery store. I'd donate 'em, but I don't wanna subject someone else to the chemicals in those Splenda-laden peaches. Those poor "Splenda-soaked" peach slices, imprisoned for posterity in tin cans. Gag. So now, I'm much more careful when I shop for sliced peaches. And there is a difference between "Peaches in lite syrup" and "Peaches lite". A BIG difference. A difference that sometimes isn't evident until you actually stuff 'em into your yap...
This, folks, is SPLENDA. And it's different than SWEET N' LOW. Allegedly, that is. Artificial sweeteners do sweeten, but they also render whatever they're sweeting almost INEDIBLE. I have NOT added any artificial sweeteners to my coffee in almost a year, now. So, when I encounter artificial sweeteners, alarms go off in my taste buds. I think I've built up a heightened "Splenda-sensititivity". When my mouth tastes like STYROFOAM, I know I've ingested some illicit artificial, supposed-to-taste-like-sugar-but-doesn't-even-come-close substance. Plus, who knows WHAT'S in them that's bad for you? Better living thru chemistry? What is the cumulative effect of a lifetime of artificial sweeteners? I wouldn't be surprised if "Splenda" was one of the primary ingredients in EMBALMING FLUID; that's how awful Splenda is.
So, as I wrote above, I look for the word 'diet', no matter how carefully it's camouflaged on soft-drink pop-bottle labels. And, I look for the nasty word "Splenda" on the cans of sliced peaches I buy. So, the other day, I went into the local grocery store in search of Cranberry-grape juice, because I love the stuff and it's GREAT source for Vitamin C. And, the label on the juice bottle said, "Cranberry Lite", so I figured it was a juice that most of the sugar had been filtered out of. And, it was on sale, so I bought a coupla bottles. Later that nite, I was drinking my juice (again, in the TV room) when I noticed a familiar soap-sudsy sensation in the back of my mouth...and I looked at the bottle, and sure enough, it had a little "SPLENDA" insignia positioned on the label.
Face it, in the usual cacophony of a grocery store, with music coming over the speakers, kids yelling and screaming, and other shoppers trying to run you down with their grocery carts, it really takes a lot of mind-presence to find the exact thing you want. Usually, you spot a brand, or a sale price, and you yank it off the shelf, and take it to the checkstand as soon as possible, 'cos you just want to get out of there as quickly as U can. And, I guess the thot never entered my mind that CRANBERRY juice would be spiked with "Splenda". So I'm stuck with two bottles of the stuff. I have a quart of it here tonite in the TV room, and I'm dreading drinking it. It's awful; any Splenda-laden beverage dries out my tongue and the insides of my mouth. I'd hate to dump it all out; many people in the world have no food, after all. Plus I have those cans of Splenda-drenched peaches in my cupboard. ANYBODY WANT 'EM?
When a "Splenda-situation" happens to me, I feel deceived, in a way. But then, I feel awfully stupid, because it's my fault I bought the stuff. So, I guess, now, I'll never buy ANYTHING that says "light" again. Or, if I buy peaches in "Light" syrup, I'll have to take out my magnifying glass and do a half-hour's worth of research by reading all of the excruciatingly small print on the ingredients to make sure there is no "Splenda" anywhere. And that's getting harder to do, because even with bi-focals, my eyes just don't do a good job of focusing up-close anymore. I think I'd rather put on healthy, organic extra weight, than to save a few calories by consuming "diet" stuff and pickling my kidneys in the bargain.
You know what? I think I'm gonna go dump out this chemical cocktail that's disguised as Cranberry-Grape juice. I'll fill the quart bottle with Water. Hopefully there's nothing artificial in THAT.


Blogger raymond pert said...

IMHO, you can donate the splenda laced peaches to a food bank or somewhere else with a clear conscience. I say this because I have family members who SWEAR by splenda and my guess is they are not alone.

Just my 2 cents.

Oh, btw, I was listening to XM
Radio Channel 40 last night and "I'm a Believer" came over the radio and I immediately thought of your fine blog post on the Monkees.

I really enjoy hearing the song and sure enjoyed what you had to say about the Monkees.

8:50 AM  
Blogger Idaho Escapee said...

Thanks, Raypert...I will donate that Splenda-stuff; I just wonder what a lifetime's exposure to artificial sweeteners does to a person's system, tho. I remember when 'cyclamates' were banned from usage in diet soft drinks...well, what's in liquid artificial sweeteners that you can still buy? Cyclamates, of course. I just hate the way product makers mask their product, and I hate it when I get stuck with chemicals rather than FOOD. Or chemically-laced food. Which those peaches are.

As far as the Monkees, sometimes I wonder if I should do a music-only blog, but then I think, the only way I can keep up posting like I do is to write about 'anything under the sun', with music things appearing once in a while, along with everything else.

On your blog, is a video of the smokestacks falling...well, down here, a huge smokestack that was part of an old lumber mill was 'felled' ('fallen'?) this year. Made me think of Uncle Bunker.

I appreciate your comments and visitations to mine humble blog.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Kendra said...

I remember being a shocked little teeny-bopper when I was sitting in some restaurant somewhere and idly reading condiment labels while we waited for our meal- as I scanned the pink packets of pseudo-sugar, I was appalled to read 'shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals'. Ack!!! And people INTENTIONALLY eat this crap? Oh no.... so from that point on, I vowed to ingest nothing but full-flavor, to hell with the calories. (sort of ironic, really, considering I was filling my body full of plenty of other chemicals at the time... but that's another story, and I suppose we're all walking contradictions of one sort or another, huh?)
But yeah, that ticks me off, too- how the designers try to camoflauge(sp?) their alternates and it's all too easy to grab one of those by mistake. Grrrr.

10:37 AM  
Blogger Idaho Escapee said...

Hallo, Kendra...yer gettin' to be a regular face here...I've heard it said that the artificial sweeteners can contribute to anxiety and depression and all sorts of other brain malfunctions. I really do try to steer around the 'lite' stuff...I had some REAL juice last nite...mmm, nectar of the gods...

5:29 PM  

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