Sucralose. I`m against it. If this makes you wonder why someone so comfortable with modern Western pressures like fluoride and silver amalgam fillings would take a stand against such a harmless yellow-packaged artificial sweetener, be aware that I collect hypocrisies like Karl Rove collects arterial plaque.
A man so wretched that his more accessible and telegenic golem is DICK CHENEY.
Sucralose, marketed under the brand name Splenda, first came to my attention when in 2002 its presence in Diet Cheerwine elicited a systematic allergic reaction from my boyfriend at the time — which is to say, a red, itching, burning rash covering his neck and torso. Some online research (always fully reliable) revealed this experience not to be an isolated one. People are always having hideous disfiguring reactions to sucralose and putting up pictures of it. I assimilated this knowledge, then continued chewing Dentyne Fire with elan.
You have to look kinda close to see whether sucralose is in something. You may get the Splenda logo on the front of the label, but if you don’t it’s a quick trip to the nutrition facts to check the ingredients (and, believe me, in something like Diet Sunkist, there are A LOT, which is probably another quick tip I should stop drinking it). I can’t tell you how many times I would offer my post-traumatic-rash boyfriend a sip of soda or piece of gum when he would ask, “Does it have sucralose in it?” And I would say, “Durr, I don’t know.” And then there would be sucralose in it. (Savvy Consumer Magazine, I am awaiting your eager call!)
Mmm. Renal failure.
They make sucralose by taking a normal, God-fearing sugar molecule, popping off three normal, God-fearing carbonyhydrohappywhatever chains, and sticking on three atoms of CHLORINE instead. Does this send up a red flag for anybody? You know, CHLORINE? I`m as laid back about drinking pool water and using bleached tampons as the next guy, but that’s got to make for a lot of chlorine in a cup of sucralose, and, yeah, if you put a little on your tongue there’s a definite high-dive-low-end-no-running-adult-swim-corn-dogs-at-the-snack-bar taste to it.
Oh, and one other thing. When you dump a cup of sucralose in with the old eggs and butter, it HISSES. That. Is not. Normal.
Of course, I still consume it periodically, because I am stupid and three years of accumulated research and anecdotal evidence is no match for a fizzy orange soda put in front of me OMG it tastes like sunshine!
But that’s me, and I live on the edge like that, alla time letting my bare feet touch the locker room floor and drying my hands on my shirttail and stuff. My kind of barely-contained chaos is not the lifestyle a little kid needs to lead.
That’s why when they came out with low-sugar Trix and Lucky Charms and crap, it freaked me the eff out. Because how is General Mills accomplishing this masterful feat? Oh, yeah — SUCRALOSE. And it’s not being marketed like “Hey, Echo Generation watching Pulp Fiction on DVD,” it’s being marketed like “Hey, Moms, here’s how to tweak your ADHD six-year-old who weighs 100 lbs!”
It’s only like 130 calories a cup. Maybe kids should eat something lower in AIR.
Dude. This is NOT a good trade off. Do NOT be feeding your kids sketchy suspicious artificial sweeteners that only passed half the number of clinical safety trials as aspartame, which in turn only passed half the number of saccharin. I mean, I love and believe in aspartame, and would campaign as long and hard and unproductively for it as I did Howard Dean, but I would not feel good about feeding it to poor unsuspecting developing bodies whose North American nutrition condition is already fighting an uphill battle.
My only hope is the people who are relying on Trix and Lucky Charms to provide their children with early morning vitamins and minerals are A) also depending on it for caloric content or B) not real jazzed by the idea of paying twenty cents more an ounce for it.
If necessity is the mother of invention, negligence and sloth must be the baby-daddy who’s paying night-to-night at the Motel 6 by selling weed.
Now go back and find my Kate Bush and a Tori Amos references like Waldo.