Memes & Infographics
I don't know how many of my readers do the Facebook thing here. So called infographics (perhaps should be better termed disinfo graphics in most cases) and memes are big in that social media venue. These have, IMO, both good and bad aspects to them. They are a reflection of just what a sound bite world we live in, which on balance I believe is a bad thing because two things happen with sound bites -- effective summarization of a larger theme or camouflaging misinformation. On the good side, and to the former point, many people are reached at an intellectual level more by visuals and short phrases than by a sea of text.
In any case, I thought I would share a couple of these here from time to time. Many of these cannot be tracked back to an originator or are posted in "friends only" places so linking/attribution is difficult, so I won't be doing that here. If anyone recognizes their work and would like attribution (or recognizes someone else's work and can provide a publicly accessible nod), pipe up in comments or pop me a note (carbsane at gmail dot com) .
So without further delay, two about sugar:
Unfortunately, many took this the wrong way and didn't recognize the humor used to take a poke at some of the more absurd claims made about sugar. My favorite part is toxidant. Gold!
This next one was shared on the page of a nutritionist who likes to pose with vegetables and make disturbing videos on naughtiness. I kid you not. Perhaps she can bring her advice on practicing safe soy to the brothels ;-) In any case, here's the original and a "rebuttal" of sorts below.
First of all, I realize that many people describe foods as addictive and have their personal "trigger foods". This is not what memes like the one at right are saying and equating sugar to drugs like cocaine is nothing but demonization and scare-mongering. It's one thing to use over-the-top hyperbole, but analogies like this are not helpful especially when couched as "science" . So below is the rebuttal (not mine)
I would just note a few things. Clearly there's more than one atom different, though they might be referring to the nitrogen there in the cocaine? All amino acids contain nitrogen .... But even if that were the case, a single atom is all that needs be changed to convert a biologically active molecule to a benign one. I might add that there are different fatty acids that have the exact same chemical formula but where the location of a functional bond or group is different.
And lastly I'm reminded of water, good old H2O. I first learned about this evil substance when I took a class in Environmental Toxicology in college. Our professor began with something similar, but real, about a certain chemical, I don't recall which and then contrasted that with something like this:
Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO) is a colorless and odorless chemical compound, also referred to by some as Dihydrogen Oxide, Hydrogen Hydroxide, Hydronium Hydroxide, or simply Hydric acid. Its basis is the highly reactive hydroxyl radical, a species shown to mutate DNA, denature proteins, disrupt cell membranes, and chemically alter critical neurotransmitters. The atomic components of DHMO are found in a number of caustic, explosive and poisonous compounds such as Sulfuric Acid, Nitroglycerine and Ethyl Alcohol.
Yes, that hydroxyl radical! Which is nothing like the hydroxide ion, just like a bound chlorine atom is nothing like a chloride ion is nothing like chlorine gas. Water is also only one hydrogen atom different from hydrogen peroxide, a ROS that causes oxidative damage! Dihydrogen monoxide sounds similar to carbon monoxide which is lethal. Get the point? These sorts of flat out lies are unhelpful.
I'll leave you with one last one
Not to be confused with Abel James' Wild Diet (as I originally did). We all need to be aware of some of these labels, but no sugar added could mean naturally sweetened with fruit juice, etc. Regardless of what you think of that slight of terminology, it doesn't mean artificially sweetened (are they all carcinogenic?), etc. I'll leave the rest, you get the point.
Till next time!