Digest: Cane and able drinkmakers, Mason on ethical eating, pro-raw-milk politician

Seattle P-I: Seattle-based Jones Soda — maker of root beer, cream soda and quirky drinks with flavors such as turkey and gravy — is switching from high-fructose corn syrup to pure cane sugar. Sweet! And in related news, the New York Times has an article about how several entrepreneurs are developing high-end tonic waters using cane sugar, and in one case agave nectar. [Dairy Queen hints: If only Square One Organic Vodka would send us that review bottle I requested — I'd love to bypass old Absolut and Schweppes entirely for my v&t's.]

E/The Environmental Magazine: A member of one of the families followed in Peter Singer and Jim Mason’s recent book, “The Way We Eat,” interviews Mason about the interesting tradeoffs involved in trying to eat ethically. For example: Mason says Napa Valley residents can buy local rice to help the environment, but it takes so much energy input to grow rice the agribusiness way in California that it is actually more energy efficient to buy rice shipped in from Bangladesh — even figuring in the transportation from Bangladesh.

C News (Canada): An Ontario cabinet minister wants his province to consider becoming the first in Canada to allow consumers to purchase raw (unpasteurized) milk in a regulated system. Finance Minister Greg Sorbara and his family prefer raw milk, and he says he might even purchase it from organic farmer Michael Schmidt, who is currently on a hunger strike to protest the governement crackdown on his dairy. Michael Gumpert has more on his blog, The Complete Patient.

New Zealand Herald: Activists stole 20 battery hens and warn that they intend to steal more. What’s annoying about this article is the misinformation spouted by the victimized “farmer” and blithely quoted by the reporter without fact-checking, such as “‘We use less drugs, in fact we don’t use any drugs whereas free range, they have to use antibiotics’…Mr Turk also said caged hens did not require de-beaking, as free range hens did. The birds were also healthier.” Uh huh. And their eggs are made of gold!
Off topic but amusing:

Willamette Weekly: One woman’s attempts to recreate food-porn depictions of meals in cookbooks and magazines — even doing her own “fluffing.”

2 Responsesto “Digest: Cane and able drinkmakers, Mason on ethical eating, pro-raw-milk politician”

  1. Liz says:

    I don’t get what the big deal is about high fructose corn syrup. Like anything, if you drink soda with HFCS in moderation, it’s not gonna harm you. Too much of any sugar isn’t great for you, but I don’t think HFCS is really that different from other sweeteners…

  2. DairyQueen says:

    Hi Liz: I agree that moderation is always good, but I’d pick a diet moderately high in sugar over one with high-fructose corn syrup any day. In a nutshell, HFCS is the product of a chemical laboratory, not nature, and some think that our bodies do not process it the same way as sugar at all. The No. 1 alleged problem is that it does not produce the same feeling of satiety from the same amount of calories as naturally occuring sugars do. I say alleged because as far as I know, no studies have been done that prove this. However, I prefer not to experiment any longer on my own waistline, so I’ve cut out all but trace amounts of HFCS in my diet.

    Here’s some further reading in case you’re interested:

    Washington Post: “Sweet but Not So Innocent? High-Fructose Corn Syrup May Act More Like Fat Than Sugar in the Body”

    Washington Post: “Sugar coated — We’re drowning in high fructose corn syrup. Do the risks go beyond our waistline?”

    And lastly, Kate over at the Accidental Hedonist blog has an even more detailed discussion of the debate.