Does the media control YOUR food education?

dietfoodI have two employees who are now trained to travel with me on my never-ending lecture circuit. Shari is one of them. She’s my long-time friend and tennis coach, and she loves the energy at the GSG show.

On our recent trip to St. Louis, she was telling me a story about her roommate, whom I have heard sweet, hilarious stories about for years. Shari is always compassionate in the telling. Brittany is a developmentally delayed 26-year old, a college student for 8 years now, who is at least 100 pounds overweight.

One day Brittany, who has been on just one date in her life, said to Shari, “I am going to go on a diet. Because then boys will like me and ask me out.”

So Brittany comes home from the grocery store and excitedly shows Shari her “diet foods” as she unloads them. She crows as she removes each from the bag, to put it away:

  1. LOW FAT chocolate milk!
  2. Diet Mountain Dew!
  3. Low fat ice cream!
  4. Strawberry Oreo Cookies! (“It’s fruit!” Brittany exclaims.)
  5. Mini donuts! (“They aren’t the BIG ones, see?”)

The crazy thing about this story? Brittany actually lost some weight. The calories, at least, were lower than what she WAS eating previously.

The story is funny. It’s also horribly tragic.

helpAfter my initial jaw-drop, I was preoccupied with Brittany’s triumphant shopping trip story, because it reminded me how ill-educated most of us are about food. What kinds help us, what kinds hurt us. We get mixed up about what causes weight loss, versus what builds healthy cells. This is what happens when all our info comes from the mass media.

MARKETING and ADVERTISING have substituted in the modern age, for EDUCATION. For example, the “MILK: IT DOES A BODY GOOD!” slogan. Most Americans buy that hook, line, and sinker. I had a holistic doctor I think highly of tell me recently, “Sixty percent of pediatric problems would DISAPPEAR if we just got all the babies off dairy products.”

A dangerous new trend is that purveyors of trash foods are sitting around their boardrooms planning ads that sell the junk food’s “healthy benefits.” Even diet soda is touted as healthy, because it has a freshness date! A processed cereal, with white flour and white sugar as the main ingredients, has fiber and whole grains in it! A chewy roll of corn-syrup candy is touted as “servings of fruit.” Pork is “the other white meat.” Nestle Quik is a way to build your child’s bones.

Too many Americans view nutrition as relative. They’re golden because they eat LESS fast food than their neighbor.

(As if cancer and heart disease can’t possibly affect you, as long as  your co-worker eats more junk than you do. It isn’t relative. Not to your neighbors, anyway—it’s only relative to your own genetic weaknesses, stress factors, body burden, and environmental exposure.)

People are always telling me the sins they AREN’T committing. Do we congratulate ourselves that we don’t eat chips and fried foods–while we eat a ton of sugar? Do we pat ourselves on the back because we don’t eat soda–when we eat everything ELSE served at the Golden Arches?

tvfoodPeople will stand in line for an hour to tell me what their sister-in-law eats. Or their co-worker.

These are all mental accountability-avoiding shenanigans that do nothing to further our health. The only thing that matters is the food WE choose every day. The habits we develop. The recipes we shop for and make.

A handful of great habits that “stick” in your life? That’s your simple, inexpensive insurance against the damage of a lifetime of Strawberry Oreos and Diet Pepsi.

There’s something very wrong when our entire education about food comes from a television set.

Can green smoothies “DEVASTATE” your health?

Sarah the Healthy Home Economist online recently posted an article about how green smoothies can “DEVASTATE” your health.  The content was so unsubstantiated that at first I refused to respond to it. But Amanda said, “She has a big audience and people are freaking out about it.”

Sarah cites the oxalates phenomenon, wherein a natural compound (oxalates) occasionally bind to calcium to cause kidney stones. (She infers, without citing evidence, that other more serious health consequences could also be possible.) Greens have oxalic acid in them. Sarah makes several logic leaps and concludes that no one should be drinking green smoothies.

I’m not going to promote her blog article by pointing to it here. She rates her content for how controversial it is. Controversy generates more readers, I guess. It also has the potential to do harm, if what you’re saying is (a) undocumented, (b) contrary to hundreds of studies about the benefits of greens, and (c) featuring a bizarre and untenable conclusion.

Just because someone posts stuff on the internet does not automatically endow that person with credibility. Her argument locks in on a detail — that greens are high in oxalic acid — and misses the larger picture.

Only one source is listed at the end of her article and none are quoted or referenced. The source is a PhD’s book on oxalates and autism and “chronic disorders,” but she never quotes the author or anyone or anything else, so I’m not sure how many of her claims came from this one guy, or what.

I don’t bet the farm on one book or one source. There are quite a few other sources that show that some of the anti-nutrients in our most nutrition-dense foods, actually work together synergistically for our health, rather than against it. I’ve done quite a few blog series on anti-nutrients such as oxalates, goitrogens, purines, and phytates, concluding that none of the anti-nutrients should generally cause people to avoid foods containing them.

Note that at the end of the article, Sarah says to eat greens, if you like them, but not very much. Always cook them, she says, and eat them with butter.

Wow! Really?

Let me quote Dr. Norman Walker in his book Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices: What’s Missing in Your Body?

“Spinach should never be eaten when cooked unless we are particularly anxious to accumulate oxalic acid crystals in our kidneys with the consequent pain and kidney trouble. When spinach is cooked or canned, the oxalic acid atoms become inorganic as a result of excessive heat and may form oxalic acid crystals in the kidneys.

“When the food is raw, whether whole or in the form of juice, every atom in such food is vital ORGANIC and is replete with enzymes. Therefore, the oxalic acid in our raw vegetables and their juices is organic, and as such is not only beneficial but essential for the physiological functions of the body.

“The oxalic acid in cooked and processed foods, however, is definitely dead, or INORGANIC, and as such is both pernicious and destructive. Oxalic acid readily combines with calcium. If these are both organic, the result is a beneficial constructive combination, as the former helps the digestive assimilation of the latter, at the same time stimulating the peristaltic functions in the body.

“When the oxalic acid has become INORGANIC by cooking or processing the foods that contain it, then this acid forms an interlocking compound with the calcium, even combining with the calcium in other foods eaten during the same meal, destroying the nourishing value of both. This results in such a serious deficiency of calcium that it has been known to cause decomposition of the bones.”

So according to Dr. Walker, what Sarah is telling her readers to do is really terrible advice.

One of my favorite sources is George Mateljan, because his staff, and his book The World’s Healthiest Foods, review and quote a tremendous amount of empirical data before making claims. Each section contains an extensive bibliography, and the conclusions are scientific and objective.

He says that a review of the peer-reviewed research reveals that the ability of oxalates to lower calcium absorption is small and does not outweigh the ability of those foods to contribute significant calcium to the diet, since spinach is rich in calcium.

So, one of the primary recommendations of most the sources I’ve read, to avoid stones forming in the body, is to get plenty of calcium from plant sources.

So, the high calcium content in spinach may actually inhibit the formation of stones, even though spinach is also high in oxalates. This is at least some logic or evidence, then, underpinning my theory that there are far more synergies than we currently know about in whole, raw plant foods leading to their clear, incontrovertible place (based on volumes of published research) as the necessary mainstay in our diet. We know that people the world over who eat mostly whole, raw foods simply don’t get sick. We don’t always know WHY.

So screaming that the sky is falling about one compound—in an entire class of our most nutritious foods—seems not only unwise, but even irresponsible, if you have an audience and give nutrition advice.

The jury is still out on so many of the issues Sarah the Healthy Home Economist takes strong, unilateral stands on. For instance, what really causes oxalic acid buildup. (She quotes ZERO evidence that greens do.) Whether greens are high in oxalates are only ONE issue related to whether they cause kidney stones. What if they also have dozens of other nutrient compounds, and fiber, that PREVENT stones from forming? A relevant example would be Mateljan’s review of the published, peer-reviewed literature on spinach, oxalates, and calcium as mentioned earlier.

After I investigated this issue, I wrote this in Chapter 1 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods:

“The research is not clear that restricting foods such as spinach helps prevent stones in those who have previously had them. Many researchers believe that dietary restriction cannot reduce risk of stone formation. In fact, some foods that were assumed to increase stone formation because of oxalate content (like black tea) have appeared in more recent research to have a preventative effect.

“Further, cooking has a small impact (about 10%) on the oxalate content of foods, with no statistically significant lowering of oxalates following blanching or boiling of greens. It appears that the nutritional advantages of eating raw greens continue to far outweigh any benefit of cooking them.”

And yet, with slim evidence, if any, Sarah says green smoothies can “devastate” your health and advises at the end of the article, “Skip the Green Smoothies!”

She undertakes no discussion of the true baddies that cause kidney stones:

Soft drinks

Sugar

Animal proteins

Salty foods (or any refined salt)

Oxalates in spinach (also strawberries, soy, and many other foods) can be difficult to digest for a tiny percentage of the population who are suffering from a few very rare disorders (absorptive hypercalciuria type II, enteric hyperoxaluria, primary hyperoxaluria). But let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water here. If you don’t have these disorders, and 99+% of those reading this don’t, greens are not just good food—they are powerful good medicine!

Leafy greens are the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, and cooking them as Sarah instructs kills 100% of their enzymes, and most of their vitamins and minerals, too.

Sarah the Healthy Home Economist uses hyperbolic words to terrify people that eating nutrient dense foods could kill them, but she cites no research whatsoever. She implies that cases of painful sex are on the rise (where does that data come from? Is there any data?) and that oxalates are a “possible culprit.”

There are no references to check, and the bigger issue to me is, if people develop kidney stones, or crystalline deposits in other parts of the body, are greens the real culprit? How would you isolate that factor? Show me the study that did.

It’s terribly unlikely that greens are why we have lots of kidney stones, since almost nobody in America eats very much green food.

And in addition to thousands of testimonials we’ve received, my own research (175 subjects) shows massive health benefits to the green smoothie habit, as published in my bestselling book, The Green Smoothies Diet. In that research, not one person reported kidney stones as a side effect of starting the daily green-drink habit. And yes, we asked.

Nutritionally, crystalline deposits are likely caused by highly acidic foods, especially salt, and not drinking lots of water.

So let’s minimize or eliminate the baddies, listed above. Let’s eat more of the foods that have been linked by hundreds of studies world-wide, to ideal weight and minimized disease risk.

(Dr. Joel Fuhrman does this best, in Eat to Live, quoting literally hundreds of published studies showing the benefits of eating plant foods. This is highly recommended reading.)

Let’s don’t kill greens with cooking, and slather butter on them.

If you’re worried about oxalates, let’s not “throw the baby out with the bathwater,” because people who don’t metabolize that anti-nutrient well need the nutrition in the leafy greens as much as anyone, if not more. Instead:

Let’s rotate greens, use a wide variety in our green drinks—not just spinach. Amanda says a friend of hers had oxalate issues and one took a calcium-magnesium supplement and the pain went away. Several experts I have read suggest getting more calcium from plant sources.

And, eat some good fats with your green smoothie, like avocado or coconut oil or flax oil, to increase calcium absorption. One of my favorite lunches is a quart of green smoothie, with some homemade guacamole and “corn chips” (organic corn tortillas, quartered with a pizza cutter and broiled on both sides, no oil or salt needed).

Question authority and use your critical thinking skills

One of my readers, Amanda, sent me this exchange that got her labeled a ‘Dissenter’ and ejected from Joe Mercola’s forum. Whey protein, including his, is a highly processed food with additives and flavorings you should avoid. Most Americans are overdosing on protein, but if you feel you need more, I hope you look to whole foods or better products than this. Eat more yogurt, nuts, legumes, and greens–all high in protein–or a whole-foods, plant-source protein powder. I would put you into the forum Amanda was rejected from to see an M.D. and others disagree with Joe’s sales claims, but you are forced to sign up for his newsletter in order to see the discussion.

And regarding the convo below (I have not changed Joe’s misspellings or anything in either party’s words), it’s fine to have heroes as long as we maintain our critical thinking skills, ask questions, and put our own instincts and research first as Amanda is doing here.

Let’s don’t eat “byproducts” of anything.

Posted On Jul 13, 2011

Just discovered that one of my health heroes, Dr. Mercola, is using maltodextrin, a corn by-product, in his Miracle Whey powder. Not just any maltodextrin, mind you, but one produced by a “joint venture” of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), one of the massively corrupt Big Ag companies, and the Matsutani Chemical Industry Company. Ew! Didn’t say this on the label–in fact, the Nutritional Information panel for Miracle Whey was not available in the store.

I received the product and asked why there is maltodextrin in it, when Dr. Mercola writes articles saying not to use it. I received a reply saying basically that THIS maltodextrin is GOOD for me because it’s Fibersol! Oh, phew, I feel better! Another Frankenfood in my breakfast bowl made by ADM, a heavily subsidized Big Ag conglomerate, and a chemical industry company, which I’m sure is concerned only for my health and well-being. Yea! I’m so relieved.

ADM is one of the world’s largest producers of high-fructose corn syrup and many other of the toxic, processed foods that Dr. Mercola is always warning us about. Makes me wonder–does he know anymore what’s going into his products???

Ask questions, and don’t be afraid to be a pain in a–. It’s your health and our environment at stake! We must regularly challenge all authorities–even those we think we can trust.

 

Dr. Mercola  

Joined On 12/1997

Posted On Jul 13, 2011

This has been mentioned dozens of times on the site, you have just never seen it. The maltodextrin content in our products is naturally occurring  digestive resistant maltodextrin, which Is a non-digestible fiber. It is NOT the cheap maltodextrin your are referring to which is easily broken down and will stimulate insulin release.

Our maltodextrin is just another name for a water soluble fiber (long chain saccarides) that naturally occur in maize and other plants. That fiber has shown to help lower blood sugar and blood lipids. And it also works as a pre-biotic food to support health gut flora. Probiotics are essentially important for the digestion and utilization of protein. In fact, probiotics increase the biological value of the protein. This is completely different than the typical NON digestive resistant maltodextrin that is use in many other products that will raise your insulin level and also has MSG.

secretbird  

Joined On 4/2009

Posted On Jul 13, 2011

Dr. Mercola, thanks for your reply. However, you seem to have completely missed my point.

I understand what Fibersol, the type of maltodextrin you include in your Miracle Whey formulation, is and why you’re using it. My problem with Fibersol, and thus your Miracle Whey, is its source.

As I stated in my original post, a quick Google search revealed that Fibersol is a “joint venture” between Archer Daniels Midland–one of the world’s most egregious examples of Big Ag corruption and environmental devastation, and the Matsutani Chemical Industry Corporation, whose name alone is sufficient evidence that their products do not belong in our food supply.

You yourself have been a vociferous and passionate advocate of withdrawing support from Big Ag by using our main power as consumers: not buying their products and eating whole, fresh foods as much as possible. You have also been one of my main teachers and information sources in the health field, and I’ve paid attention when you say to read labels, ask questions, and do research. That’s all I’m doing now.

If I’d known that your product contained maltodextrin, which I didn’t because the Nutritional Information panel is not available in your store (why?), I would have asked these questions earlier and probably not bought the product for ethical reasons–not merely because it contains maltodextrin.

I want to thank you for all you do and for the excellent information you disseminate. Having been ranked as the No. 1 source for health information, it’s essential now that you live up to your own standards.  With great respect,  Amanda de la Garza

Dr. Mercola  

Joined On 12/1997

Posted On Jul 13, 2011

The digestive resistant maltodextrin (from maze) that we use in our whey protein has unmatched nutritional properties particularly regarding the sustainability of blood sugar and blood lipids. It is by all means a water soluble fiber (unlike conventional maltodextrin which is a high glycemic carbohydrate). Unfortunately some unique and valuable products are produced by companies which may not fit your ethical standards but the products that they produce have no substitute – that’s including the gasoline you put in your car, the antibiotics you need to use against infection, etc.

Nutritional information is available for all our products at the bottom of the sales page. Seems you just overlooked it.

secretbird  

Joined On 4/2009

Posted On Jul 14, 2011

Dr. Mercola, with all due respect, your ethical standards are in question here, not mine. I’m not formulating and marketing a product whose second ingredient is a fake fiber co-manufactured by a Big Ag conglomerate and a chemical company.

I strongly disagree with your assertion that your use of Fibersol in Miracle Whey is an unavoidable choice similar to us having to use gasoline for our cars and antibiotics for infection (particularly that last, coming from you!). We have many choices available to us in terms of what we put in our bodies, including whether we eat at McDonald’s or have a grass-fed, organic steak for dinner. Indeed, you yourself were a major influence on my awareness that we must be informed about the sources of our food!

I’d like to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you’ve been too busy to stay in close touch with your formulation process and supply chain, rather than think that you knowingly chose to include Fibersol-brand maltodextrin, which might rightly be called a “Frankenfood,” in a product that you are now marketing heavily on your web site.

In the former case, I hope that as one of the world’s leading authorities on health, you will do the right thing and reformulate your Miracle Whey to follow the very same good advice you frequently offer your many readers–namely, to avoid Big Ag- and chemical company-created “food products” like the plague that they are.

I have been one of your biggest fans and supporters, Dr. Mercola. All I’m asking is that you uphold the same high standards you’ve encouraged me and millions of others to live by. Thank you for your time, and best regards, Amanda de la Garza

secretbird  

Joined On 4/2009

Posted On Jul 15, 2011

Dr. Mercola, I notice you’ve slapped a “Dissenter Badge” on my posts now, indicating that I post “comments that are in disagreement with the Mercola.com community” and that my comments “should be viewed with caution.”

It’s very telling that such a designation exists in your forum.

Thanks for letting me know exactly where you stand on my request that you observe the same standards you encourage your readers to live by.

I hope that Archer Daniels Midland and the Matsutani Chemical Industry Corporation appreciate your continuing financial support through the inclusion of Fibersol-brand maltodextrin in your Miracle Whey products.

Best of luck with your business.

Received within a half-hour of above post: 7/15: “Content contained within your posting violated our terms of service and your posting has been deleted. Repeat or flagrant offenses of this nature may result in your account being banned.”

Costco products to avoid

I was at Costco today and saw another product that is an egregious example of how savvy marketers are preying on those who have a small amount of nutrition information but don’t understand the big picture.

More and more companies are truly motivated to provide us with excellent nutrition. It’s exciting. We live in a time when we have more options to eat right than ever before.

Other companies, unfortunately, especially the biggest ones, are feeding the mass market garbage foods while finding ways to promote it as nutritious.

Post Cherry Almond Crunch Cereal is one such product.

The box says, “No high fructose corn syrup! Oat clusters, sun-ripened cherries, multi-grain flakes!”

Well, it has CORN SYRUP (also white sugar and brown sugar) even if it’s not HFCS. Unimpressive.

It’s full of refined oils. There might be “multi” grains (more than one, who cares!) but that doesn’t mean they’re whole foods. The cornmeal is “degermed,” which means the high-vitamin part is removed. It’s not hard to use regular cornmeal! The main ingredient in the cereal is white (refined) rice.

Sun ripened cherries. I am so rolling my eyes.

The only “whole” foods in the ingredient list are whole wheat and rolled oats, well down the list. (The first thing in any ingredient list is what there’s most of, and the last thing is what there’s least of.)

Don’t fall for it. Or the organic pop tarts on the same aisle.

I will be highly entertained if someone comes on this blog and defends Post. Jif did that, the HFCS industry did that, and Mercola did that, when I questioned their data and tactics. Well, bring it on.

Is agave a superfood or a poison?

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: Dr. Mercola says agave is going to kill me! Is he right?

Answer: I have been inundated with emails about this. In every class I teach, someone brings it up.

First of all, Dr. Mercola didn’t exactly say that, although he allowed it on his web site. Mercola is a brand, a big company, employing lots of people, including staff writers who write stuff for the site and newsletters. The osteopath named Joe Mercola doesn’t do the research and writing. So when I say “Mercola” in this article, I mean “it” (the company/brand/staff), not “he” (the founder of the company).

What I write is all me, by the way–I have no staff writers.

Controversy, right or wrong, unfortunately, adds to Mercola’s 7-figure mailing list and profits. Mercola (and the doctor himself) may or may not be aware that it is wrong about agave. Comparing it to high-fructose corn syrup, or to tequila, is a tenuous, false, almost ridiculous exaggeration. It reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the organic chemistry differences.

It’s similar to the comment a pediatrician made to me 15 years ago, when I questioned his suggestion to feed my toddler Sprite for quick energy. I said, “Why not an apple?” And he said, “Whatever. Simple sugars are simple sugars. There’s no difference. They all end up as glucose.”

A similar reductionistic argument you’ve heard before is, “A calorie is a calorie is a calorie.” Really? Then why did the vegetarian group in Campbell’s massive China study eat 200 calories MORE than the heavy meat eaters, and they were lean while the meat eaters were overweight? (Exercise was a variable the researchers controlled for, so that doesn’t explain the difference.)

Apparently you CAN eat more calories when those calories are plant foods. Please comment here if you know well, from experience, that the impact on your body of eating an apple is entirely different than drinking a can of Sprite!

Apples have simple sugars, sure, but they also have tannins that remove insulin from the bloodstream and convert the sugars into energy. Apples have pectin and other fiber to decrease cholesterol and slow absorption of sugars on the bloodstream. Sprite has none of that, just a chemical version of fructose and lots more man-made chemicals. I could make this whole post about the egregious comparison the pediatrician made, but let’s move on to the similar agave controversy.

Mercola’s staff writer acts as if fructose is poison. Yes, fructose is the sugar in high-fructose corn syrup, too. One point Mercola and I agree on is the fact that the highly refined sweetener HFCS is deadly. But fructose is the sugar in fruit, too! Is it possible that fructose can be either good or bad?

Here’s a key point Mercola overlooks. Agave’s sugar is a long-chain polymer of fructose, which is not absorbed by the body and therefore passes through you. Thus there’s a much-reduced impact on your blood sugar of consuming agave (versus HFCS, cane sugars, and honey). It’s not hard to document that agave’s glycemic index is one-third that of sugar or honey.

I personally know a nutritionist who has stopped diabetes in a group of her patients with no changes other than switching from sugar to agave.

So is agave on par with excellent whole foods like apples, spinach, lentils, and barley? No way! An apple has fiber and many other elements that work synergistically to support your health.

But as sweeteners go, if you’re going to use them–and please use all concentrated sweeteners sparingly–raw, organic agave is a very good option. And another of my favorite sweeteners, stevia, contains a compound called steviasides, which shut down insulin production in the pancreas–an even better (calorie-free) option, especially for diabetics.

So, the answer to the question, is agave a superfood or a poison, the answer is, “Neither one.” Don’t fear it. Don’t overuse it either.

me and Matthew debating “chemicals” and whole foods

I have more to say about Expo West, but today I’ll write you some of a text exchange I’m having right now with my good friend Matthew F., who loves science and despises religion. I’ll leave out the unrelated parts, like about what day we’re going to take our kids skiing this week:

MF: Did you see my email about the chemical composition of apples? I always hated apples and I knew they were made of chemicals! Now that I know they’re made of chemicals, I can safely remove them from my diet! Whew!

GSG: Just because there are “chemical” compounds in natural foods (hello, EVERYTHING is on the periodic chart) doesn’t mean that eating synthetic chemicals is a good idea.

MF: You said chemicals, not SYNTHETIC chemicals. Sh**! Where’s an apple?

GSG: If you want to eat chemicals that are isolated and bathed in petroleum products and preserved in formaldehyde, go for it! (Num num.) Me, I’m eating your apple.

MF: You make is sound like all synthetic chemicals are bad and I agree that some are, but some natural things are bad for you too. There is so much hype and misconceptions about good nutrition. We have to not be married to our preferences and our “doctors” who don’t use the scientific method.

GSG: I’m not married to any acupuncturists or anything but I think I have a strong tendency based on a lot of evidence to eat whole foods instead of refined ones. The scientific method has been applied pretty well in that arena. And the same logic follows that hundreds of synergistic and perfect combinations of elements in an apple that science doesn’t even understand yet are better for me than a man-made pill with a synthetic, isolated vitamin in it.

Have you replaced God with science? What if God made perfect foods and science can’t and never will? What if science is just imperfect humans mucking around trying to make sense of complexity? Science is good but often fatally flawed. Not all science is equal. Methods are more sophisticated now but motivations are more suspect. Precious little “objective” science is left since the “scientific method” was originally conceived in all its idealism.

MF: What about apple trees that are fed water with pesticides in it, or a green smoothie girl who has the bad kind of synthetic chemicals in the plants in her smoothies?

GSG: Chemicals are everywhere. But less of them is better.

MF: Those people get colon cancer while the bastard who eats hamburgers lives to be 82.

GSG: Not usually. According to science more chemicals = more cancer, in general. Says a huge and growing pile of evidence.

MF: Synthetic ones, you mean.

GSG: That’s usually what people are referring to when they say “chemicals.” If you don’t see the diff between an apple and a can of Sprite (they’re both sugar, right?) we have a problem. My kid’s pediatrician said there was no diff.

MF: What IS the diff between sugar found in Sprite and sugar found in an apple? We need it for energy and brain function–so where does sugar in Sprite come from?

GSG: It’s massively chemically altered, concentrated, removed from other elements that make it a nutritious food. Like fiber. Like hundreds of micronutrients. Like dozens of types of enzymes.