601 Iceman.

I don’t know who asked, but everyone still has their unique ear designs.  They’ve just evolved with the art style.  I’m not sure in anyone has figured them all out yet, but I know that their meanings haven’t been decoded.

The air around here seems really thick and moist.  Yesterday it was dry to the point of feeling like my lungs were withering.  I don’t know the why of either situation, but neither is ideal.  I can’t tell if it’s external, or allergies.  Apparently I’m really allergic to corn pollen.  In fact it seems as though a lot of people usually unaffected by allergies are allergic to corn.  Which is a bitch because corn is something the government subsidizes heavily.  There was also the misguided idea that ethanol would be a good alternative fuel source.  It’s not.  But everybody wanted to grow it when the media popularized the idea and drove the price up.  Which lead to the worst allergy season I’ve ever lived through.

It looks like people are moving away from planting corn since it’s been shown to be less useful than everyone hoped, and they are turning on corn syrup as a sweetener.  Ultimately the increased cost will probably prohibit a complete shift towards cane sugar.  I don’t have to care anymore because I cut down my soda drinking to less than 8 ounces a day.  If soda did switch to a higher price point I wouldn’t mind because it’s more of a treat now than something I have all the time.

Did you know that the main reason that the United States sweetens stuff with corn sugar is because we don’t have to import it?  That’s why most soda in the southern hemisphere is sweetened with sugar cane.  You don’t have to take it very far.

It’s my understanding that the two kinds of sugar shouldn’t taste different.  The chemical differences are negligible…  But I still like the taste of cane sugar better for some reason.  Salt is the same in a way.  I like the taste of sea salt better than table salt.   It has a dirtish kind of flavor that appeals to something in me.

Anyway, this whole line of thought illustrates the interconnectedness of everything.  Even though I have no interest is the politics of corn subsidies they still have a profound affect on my life.  It’s very difficult to step back far enough to understand just how much the actions of people you have nothing to do with can impact your existence.


That sucks about your allergies, but more corn means cheap corn which means lots and lots of cheap steaks! I would expect in your lifetime corn will get much too expensive to continue to use as livestock feed and then beef for most people will become a thing of the past. Did you ever see the “excellent steak” shown in the original Soylent Green movie?

I’ve been opposed to High Fructose Corn Semen for years. Sure, there’s the fact that it has mercury in it, but even aside from that, it’s just ubiquitous and gives everything a gummy texture that makes it stick to your throat. It contributes to the obesity epidemic because you find it in things it never should have been in, like peanut butter and bread.

I was on diet sodas for 10 years or so, but I’ve limited even that to a once-in-a-while thing. I’m a tea, water and (mostly decaf) coffee man now.

Diet sodas are even worse for you I try and just drink juice. Real juice and the the from concentrate stuff is pretty much the best thing you can put in your body.

Of course since I’m from Texas we can still get our Dr. Pepper with real cane sugar in it. Its the best.

I have a chemist’s point of view on food ingredients. Certain forms of sweetener work better in certain recipes because of those insignificant to taste differences in molecular structure. Beyond that, when the chemical structure really is of no consequence, let your taste buds rule. As for your liking something “dirtish” in the taste of sea salt, it is almost definitely the trace minerals in it that aren’t in processed table salt. Like the difference in taste between spring water and distilled water. Both are drinkable, spring water just tastes better.

There’s also the whole issue with HFCS causing the body to create more fat. The official science is still up in the air about that point, but when I cut HFCS from my diet and switched only to foods sweetened with actual sugar (and didn’t change my consumption of candy, soda, etc.), I dropped ten pounds or so immediately following the change. So based on the anecdotal evidence of my own experience, I’m convinced about the truth of that claim.

Actually, the main reason HFCS is more widely used in the US than cane sugar is all about government farm policy. Corn producers are, to varying extents, subsidized, therefore corn is cheap. (To the consumer, anyway. Not necessarily to the tax-payer.) Cane sugar is expensive (more than twice the global market price) because of import tariffs. Only a small amount of sugar cane is grown domestically, because no place in the US is well suited to growing sugar cane. But sugar cane and beet growers cling to these tariffs like grim death. Since there’s only a relative few of them and it’s a terrible deal for everyone else, the tariffs should have been repealed a long time ago. But most peole don’t even konw about this, much less have the time, resources and motivation to really hammer their congresscritters to fix it. It’s a classic case of diffuse costs and concentrated benefits: sugar growers make a profit on a crop they shouldn’t be growing in the first place, while everyone in the country pays higher food prices. It’s also the reason most candy sold in the US is imported, since finished candy is taxed at much lower rate than raw sugar.
*rant mode:off*
Actually, I had some more rant left, but I’ll save it for another time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.