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Sugar permutations

(article, Culinate staff)

So Dr. Robert Lustig, who's become known as the Anti-Sugar Guy, recently penned a piece on the Atlantic querying whether sugar is addictive. (His conclusion: Yes.) 

Sugar's been grabbing headlines lately in the New York Times, too. There's Daniel Engber's recent magazine feature about the sugar substitute stevia, the label "natural," and how sweeteners are developed by food corporations:

bq. We’re more afraid of sugar than we’ve ever been. What yesterday were seen as “empty calories” have today been designated “toxic.” Doctors warn that cans of soda put fat into your liver, weaken your response to insulin and increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes. The panic over sugar has grown so pervasive that other dietary boogeymen — salt and fat and gluten — seem like harmless flunkies in comparison. 

Then there's Amy Harmon's ongoing investigation of the GMO industry, with her recent look at the GM papaya battles in Hawaii: "At stake is how to grow healthful food most efficiently, at a time when a warming world and a growing population make that goal all the more urgent."

And then there's Jennifer Berman's [opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/01/kale-juicing-trouble-ahead/ "op-ed about health food" newpage=true], in which she decides that, since a lifetime of being a health-food nut has not prevented her from developing hypothyroidism (a condition possibly exacerbated by all those kale smoothies) or from getting cavities (thanks to all those fruit and vegetable juices), she might as well eat a Twinkie.