Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sweet Tooth

Image: The Friendly Atheist

There's a good reason why we humans tend to like sugar. As we know, our bodies are still boogying like it was 10,000 BC and not 2010 AD. We crave calories to keep us going through those long winters where only a good bearskin lies between us and freezing to death and where a good layer of fat to help us survive those frequent times of famine is a prized possession. The best bodies--the ones that survive--cling to every bit of fat they can create. The heavier you are the more likely you are to survive in a difficult world.

And what better way to make sure we get all those extra calories that we need to survive than through sugar? Aside from my slim Uncle H., who lived to be almost 101 (yes, he's a real person) and didn't particularly crave sweets, contrary to his wife, Auntie S., who started losing her marbles in her 80s and was known to get very nasty if you didn't give her sweets (she had become diabetic--fortunately her family could keep control over her eating because in her last years she could barely walk due to the family curse, arthritis), HUMANS GENERALLY LIKE SWEETS. Sugar helps to keep the weight on.

Sadly, we no longer live in a world where food is scarce and extra fat is the only thing between us and starvation.

So, why oh why is baby food loaded with sugar? I came across this article in the Toronto Star recently that really made me blow a gasket.

Fifty-three per cent of products targeting Canada's "littlest consumers" included in a new University of Calgary study were found to have more than 20 per cent of their calories coming from sugar, considered to be an excessive amount.

I was never a mom who made every bit of baby food from scratch. I did breastfeed my kids for 8-9 months (of which I am very proud), and did sometimes cook veggies and freeze them in baby-size portions, but I didn't do it all. I counted on baby food sometimes too. Fortunately, as I recall, I never bought any overtly sugary baby food. I used to eat vanilla baby food pudding when I was a teenager. It was yummy, but I would never give it to a baby.

I can't remember when my kids first tasted sugar. It was probably my late mother-in-law who did the dastardly deed. As you may recall, she always made sure to never run out of the major food groups: nicotine, caffeine and sugar. Her home was the average kid's treasure trove of sugar. But I digress.

As a mother of teenagers, I know that at a certain point, you cannot control what they put in their mouths. My mom, the health food fanatic, really tried. Believe me, it didn't work. I love sweets. I just don't keep lots of sweets in the house. It's the best I can do for myself and my family.


In my opinion, that's criminal.


  1. I don't get it either. Baby food shouldn't be dessert. I understand it can't taste like total crap, or it'll be really hard to get baby to eat it, but things are getting ridiculous!

  2. I never even read the ingredients for baby food - just bought it. terrible now that I think about it...