(This is the SIDEBOARD to FOOD for THOUGHT: Sugar by Any Other Name Will Be as Sickly Sweet)
…it’s time to give in and join the “Dark Side”. I’m talking chocolate – and bread, tuna, honey, maple syrup & molasses. Let’s start at the end. No let’s start with a sidebar to the sidebar.
Anytime a word is used to describe something we are going to put in our bodies, we must find out what the seller’s definition of that word is (and/or what the legal definition of that word is – vocabulary seems to be a running theme this week). There was a period of time, both before and after the practice was made illegal, that honey, maple syrup and molasses were watered down with corn syrup in order to increase profits. For a long time, in my naivety, I thought that “pure” maple syrup referred to the fact that a product was 100% unmixed maple syrup, and “grades” were developed to rank “quality” among the batches; hence, I looked for grade “A” rankings.
We tend to be a society too obsessed with looks and also with “cleanliness”. “Pure” and “Grade A” have more to do with these aspects than with the genuineness of what we purchase. Pure, grade A maple syrup has been repeatedly filtered until it is a pretty, pale color that is clear of dirty looking particles & sediments.
You may have heard that quality maple syrup, molasses & honey are good for you because the former two contain fair amounts of necessary minerals and the latter eases seasonal allergies (and also has antibiotic qualities BTW). This is true as long as there is no miscommunication regarding what constitutes high quality (and as long as the honey is local & unheated). Remember all that “dirt”, the particles & specs that make syrup cloudy, murky, dark and hard to see through? -- the ones that took time, energy and money to filter out? Those were the minerals that your body needs and benefits from! Stop buying Grade A syrup, and start looking for grade B minus or “worse”. It’s better for you. Seek out the darkest molasses you can find. Get fully pollinated honey from bees who “rolled” around on the “dirty”, pollen dusty flowers – not ate corn syrup in a glass cage.
Another no-no, junk food touted as good for us is chocolate. I’m not denying it – in fact I occasionally take full advantage of the fact. Just remember it’s not chocolate candy, milk chocolate (or chocolate milk for that matter), chocolate snack cakes or chocolate nougat that is good for us, it’s cocoa beans. So, find the delicious joy in cocoa powder and extra dark chocolate. I’m going to put on my tough love face and say “just learn to like it – if you can not, you’re not a chocoholic, you’re a sugar-holic so give it up”. Look at me, I’m trying to be mean by telling people to go eat chocolate. I have to work on the concept.
I’ll wrap things up with bread and tuna. By “dark bread”, I just mean “not white” bread. Indeed be careful of low quality dark rye – it is colored with caramel color. Branch out not just to whole wheat, but to oat, rye, nut, flax, quinoa, barley, amaranth etc. Looking for something to put in a dark bread sandwich? Instead of white tuna try dark tuna (which is called light just to be nice and clear). Dark tuna has less mercury, but more flavor. I love mine with a touch of olive oil, citrus & oregano.
I hope this information will help you see the light. Near the end of this month is a good time to make these switches. Once weaned almost off sugar, all foods will have a different taste; so, what are a couple more small changes.
(In case it is not clear, several passages in this post must be read in sarcastic voice. :) )
QUOTE of the WEEK:
Who is more foolish, the child afraid of the dark or the man afraid of the light?