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Sugar low

February 3, 2012 - Harry Eagar
A self-proclaimed nutrition expert at the U. of California at San Francisco, Lustig, demands that government regulate sugar as a toxin. As usual with the food police, he betrays little understanding of what people eat and why.

Sugar is the cheapest way to acquire calories, and 1.5 billion to 2 billion people are desperately short of calories. Calorie deficiency is bad for your health and your income.

Sugar is not only cheap calories, it is (at least when made in the Hawaii manner) economical of land, labor and chemicals. It is a high-value crop in the tropics, where high-value staples are not common.

A good primer on the subject is "Feeding the Ten Billion" by L.T. Evans, who, unlike Lustig, knows a lot about agriculture and consumption.

All crackdowns by the food police are really moral, not practical or scientific arguments. Whether Lustig's hate for sugar, or the Catholic objection to meat, the Jewish objection to lobster, the Muslim objection to pork, the Hindu objection to beef or any other arbitrary objection to food, all these campaigns have two common characteristics.

They are moral, not realistic, which is why they are always directed at things people enjoy, like sugar, fat, alcohol, coffee. The food police never go after parsnips.

Second, they are always presented as if the food policeman has your welfare at heart, while in reality he is always motivated by a desire to control you. As a Catholic boy, I ate mackerel every Friday, because I was told I'd go to hell if I ate meat. This was absurd, but once you allow someone -- a priest/food policeman -- to tell you what you can eat, you're vulnerable to being told by him how to regulate every other thing you do.

RtO was begun to extol the glories of greasy pork, but it's just a recommendation. It you don't like barbecue. you can still be a good person.


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