Well, is Hitler evil? Or Obama? All depends if you’re on the winning team. So, who’s on sugar’s team? Amalgamated Sugar. Sugar Bear. And Bill Cosby. Remember Jell-O Pudding Pops commercials. I love Bill Cosby. I like Jell-O Pudding Pops. So maybe I’m on sugar’s team. I’ve been a lifelong fan. Does that make me evil?
Sugar doesn’t have horns and a pointy tail, or a wiry mustache. It doesn’t tie women to train tracks and go “Hooo-haaa-haaa-haaa-haaa” when it laughs. Yet it can be a villain.
Everybody knows sugar rots teeth. Well that’s an oversimplification. Sucrose bonds to teeth. Strep bacteria eat it and poop out lactic acid, which dissolves tooth enamel. Thus, sugar rots teeth. Teeth are good. So, sugar must be evil. But nobody’s going to start a war on tooth decay. How about diabetes?
People lose their legs and go blind because of diabetes. That’s pretty evil. The number of adults with diabetes worldwide has more than doubled since 1980 to 347 million. More than half of all Americans may develop diabetes or prediabetes by 2020. Sugar is largely to blame.
Sugar is also clinically linked to heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, asthma, multiple sclerosis, gall stones, kidney stones, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, appendicitis, hemorrhoids, eczema, emphysema, varicose veins, polio and cancers of the breast, ovaries, prostate, rectum, pancreas, lung, gallbladder and stomach. Oh, and obesity. That’s pretty evil. Like cigarette evil. But there’s no such thing as second-hand sugar. So you’re only hurting yourself, right?
Well, the slave trade revolved around sugar. It was the trade Triangle: Slaves … Sugar … Goods. For 300 years, millions of Africans were shipped to sugar plantations in the Carribean, South America and the Southern United States (then colonies). That’s evil. But we can’t blame the sugar. Let’s blame our forefathers. Speaking of which…
Darth Vader is pure evil. We can all agree on that. The mask. The voice. That black outfit. Although the storm troopers are in white. Is sugar like an army of storm troopers? And Darth Vader was once was good. Was sugar ever good? Anakin Sugarwalker. Sounds like someone from a box of breakfast cereal.
And what about those folks. The sugar peddlers. Are they evil? Here’s a fun fact. The American Dietetic Association dictates most dietary dogma in this country. Who pays their bills? Coke, Pepsi, Mars, Nestlé, Hersheys, Kellogs and General Mills. The ADA relies on such austere organizations as The Hershey Center for Health & Nutrition, established in 2005 to promote the health benefits of chocolate. Or, Coca-Cola’s Beverage Institute, which researches “the science of beverages and their role in living well.” Mars has a website, marshealthyliving.com, hosted by Dr. Dean Ornish. So, health equals Twix, Snickers, Skittles, Milky Way and M&Ms? Is that evil or just twisted?
I guess it comes down to a simple question: Can you kill someone with a candy bar? Maybe. But you can choke on broccoli, too. And who would blame the broccoli.