Monday, March 8, 2010

Too Sweet

Starting with a mention in E Magazine, I've gone down the trail of learning how agave nectar is bad for your health. I like agave as a sweetner. I like how similar it is to honey, how the agave plants are slow growing and without pesticides, harvested without fancy farming machinery, and I like how it ties me to home, to a plant that always grew in my yard.

But apparently it is just as bad for me as all other sugar. It's a bummer, I'd even pushed the idea of it and its low glycemic index on my pre-diabetic mom.
It shouldn't surprise me. Things (like fructose) that don't hurt you in their natural form (fruit) aren't so great once isolated, concentrated, and processed. But I want to believe. That's the trick—the stuff is so addictive that we all want to find the magic healthy sugar that will make our sweets obsession okay.

I'm trying to adjust my thinking. Can I get one bottle of the best agave nectar I can find and treat it the same way I do tequila? Buy the best I can afford and take a year or two to consume it, in tiny portions?

I don't know if I can shake this addiction just yet. Later this month I'm headed for Brazil, where I'll surely buy beautiful rapadura bricks wrapped in banana leaves, drink pure sugarcane juice fresh squeezed at the market, and visit our cousins and drink the cachaça they make. The cachaça is, of course, also made from sugarcane.

I'll consider this whole sugar-is-bad-for-you-in-all-forms thing. In the meantime, shoot me up.


  1. HA HA HA HA!! OK, I'm so sorry. I'm sort of a horrible person, but the agave bubble bursting makes my hard heart happy. Not only have I been disabusing people of the idea that a select group of magical sweeteners somehow have get-out-of-jail-free cards for years, but I'm not a giant agave fan. See, I said I was terrible! If it means less spready, too-soft hippie "AGAVE-SWEETENED!!!!" desserts, I'm all for it. (Not that you would make such sweets, and not that people can't be free to like agave or not as they choose, of course, it's just not my particular fave.) The companion to this news, however, is that SUGAR IS GREAT! OK, maybe not great, but just as great (that is, just as crappy) as all other sweeteners! Hooray for sugar! Good, organic f/t vegan s*u*g*a*r!!!!


    I loves me some sugar, yes I do. Your sweets obsession IS ok! Moderation!! Blah blah.

  2. You are evil, but in a good way. What's funny is that from your comment, I can't tell if you think moderation is boring and stupid, or if people are boring and stupid for not understanding that they should self-moderate. Either way, on vacation, I'm forgetting I know that word.

  3. "Everything in moderation, including moderation," as Oscar Wilde said. That's pretty much what I live by. I hope you're having a wonderful, warm vacation!!

  4. Just a tepid time working in Brooklyn so far, but soon SOON.