Halloween is not good for the teeth of trick-or-treaters. There's a plethora of candy, and kids will eat candy they wouldn't normally eat, because hey, it's there. What's a parent to do? Offer cash for candy, with the help of a local dentist. Halloween Candy Buyback, complete with zip-code dentist search, the website for the movement that has expanded from it's quiet start in 2005 with a single dentist in Wisconsin. Now, thousands of dentists across the U.S. buy back tons of candy at a dollar a pound, then send the candy with toothbrushes and toothpaste to Operation Gratitude to be added into care packages for active U.S. Military. If you're having trouble getting a younger child to part with their candy, there's the Switch Witch, who will take a pile of candy and switch it for a special switch gift. And if you want to start at the source, you can always make your own candy with one of the various sugar substitutes, or go with a teal pumpkin and avoid the candy all-together.
The art world's food fetish is nothing new, triggering equal parts salivation and repulsion we gorge on so-called 'food porn' every day, saturating our screens with sugar. But beneath that candy-cane filter there's a darker side to our fetishisation of all-things sweet. With their Twix noses, salami decolletage and strawberry laces spewing from donut-shaped carverns, James Ostrer's saccharine-warped creations are delectably disturbing. Born out of a textbook childhood junk addiction, his new series Wotsit All About takes sugar worship to the extreme, sculpting mutated, larger-than-life candy characters from truck-loads of pick 'n' mix favourites. Pushing his sitters to the extreme he smothers them in cream cheese, frazzles and ice-cream cones, the food masks leaving a claustrophic, bitter-sweet taste on the tongue. Interview with the photographer. [NSFW]
Teddy Gray's Sweet Factory is a short and sweet documentary by Martin Parr about a traditionally owned and run confectionery factory in the British Midlands. [via kottke]
Why I Yelled at the Kara Walker Exhibit: "Anger shot up my body like a hot thermometer. Face flushed, I walked to the Mammy sphinx. Couples posed in front of it, smiling as others took their photos. So here it was, an artwork about how Black people’s pain was transformed into money was a tourist attraction for them... Something snapped... I yelled that this was our history and that many of us were angry and sad that it was a site of pornographic jokes." [more inside]
Sweetness is code for feminine. It’s code for not being able to handle “reality” and having to cover it up.
An NPR interview with the creator of a 75 foot long Mammy-Sphinx sculpture made entirely of sugar. Award-winning artist Kara Walker's latest work challenges viewers to confront the relationships between American history, racism, slavery, and industrialization. Her exhibition is held in the soon-to-be-demolished, historic Domino Sugar Factory. (New Yorker article) [more inside]
In El Salvador and Nicaragua, Chronic Kidney Failure accounts for more deaths than HIV, diabetes, and leukemia combined. In affected communities, 69% of sugar cane workers are affected. "CKDu" is the second leading cause of death in El Salvador among men, and between 20 and 25 thousand men have died in the last 8 years of the disease. NYT Photos.
The true secret of Easter - but are toys replacing candy (or, more awfully, live animals) as the traditional Easter gift? And is that a bad thing?
Everyone's favourite shit-disturbing pediatric endocrinologist recently became a published author of popular science. He's not doing it for money, and given the upturned noses of some of his brethren, probably not for love, either. The parade of overweight kids passing through his clinic at UCSF's Benioff Children's keeps getting longer, and the man is angry. So angry, he's going to law school to help quarterback the fight against the processed food industry himself. Previously.
Columbia students stuff Nutella in their pants to the tune of $1,000s a week. (SLNYT) Last month one of Columbia’s undergraduate dining halls began serving Nutella every day, not just in crepes on weekends. The problem was that the Columbia students went through jars and jars of Nutella — at least 100 pounds a day. Apparently they were not just eating it in the dining hall. They were spiriting it away in soup containers and other receptacles, to be eaten later.
Ten vintage advertisements that definitely wouldn't fly today.
A Guide to Writing Sherlockian-Tea Habits. In which EnigmaticPenguin (of death) schools fanfiction authors in correct English tea theory and practice. Follow up: Biscuits.
Sugar's catalog has been remastered and reissued: "Mould laid down the roots of modern indie rock in the ’80s with his band Hüsker Dü. The fiery dirty punk torch Hüsker Dü ignited was passed to Nirvana, among other newly anointed grunge bands that flamed bright in the early ’90s musical revolution. Nirvana then passed the torch right back to Mould who infused his new band, Sugar, with a grunge-inflected pop punk sound scarcely heard before 1992, the year that Copper Blue was initially unleashed on the public." [more inside]
"I always knew that Sugar was Cheryl, and that the anonymity was just a temporary experience, and it wasn’t going to be really who Sugar was in the end. I revealed myself to you. I only withheld one piece of pretty meaningless information: my name. But I showed myself to you." Dear Sugar of The Rumpus is revealed to be author Cheryl Strayed. [more inside]
The AV Club has started a really cool feature called "One Track Mind." It takes one artist/group and one song, and asks them to talk about the inspiration or circumstances behind it. Then they perform it (warning: advertising, but worth it). [more inside]
A recent study shows that people who drink diet soda tend to have larger waist circumferences over time. But is there an actual link? [more inside]
"Canyon Crest K9 Training Center owner, Ron Pace, saves the life of a boxer with CPR (SLYT; 7.52) during a regular training session. During the session, the dog suddenly collapsed and stopped breathing. Ron immediately applied CPR. Within a few minutes, the dog regained consciousness." [more inside]
Why Wal-Mart Is Making Our Health Its Problem - "So what's behind the [healthier-eating] initiative? In a word: scale. In a recent article in HBR, Chris Meyer and I argued that we'll see companies taking more and more ownership of externalities they could ignore because of changing sensibilities and better sensors (meaning detection and reporting of impacts by third parties). But we also identified a third driver: the scale of modern business. Whereas in the past, a single grocer could not have much impact on society, in today's highly consolidated market, Wal-Mart touches a significant percentage of the nation's food intake. Once you reach a scale where your decisions have ramifications for millions, it is hard to pretend that the impacts, even as distant ripples, are not your problem."
A dude eats nothing but Christmas candy for a week.
Sugar collecting is an interesting hobby. The thought of collecting sugar packets sparked my curiousity at first and now I enjoy all types of sugar information. Sugar really has been important through the ages, as a commodity, a sign of wealth, a metaphor for happiness. On my site, you will find historical information, facts and pictures, etc. To me, I see sugar more as a decoration [also, previously] instead of a food. The concept of sugar can be so universal. Embark upon an adventure through this website and take a look at sugar through my eyes. [more inside]
It tasted like wafers made with honey and it covered the ground like frost. There are different sorts of manna, some of which have been tasted and reviewed by the team at the French Culinary Institute. A related article identifies some restaurants using manna today, and you can even buy your own manna online! [more inside]
The Most Harmful Drinks in America. Warning: simply reading this article may cause weight gain.
Obesity: The killer combination of salt, fat and sugar - "Rewarding foods are rewiring our brains. As they do, we become more sensitive to the cues that lead us to anticipate the reward. In that circularity lies a trap: we can no longer control our responses to highly palatable foods because our brains have been changed by the foods we eat." [more inside]
In 1989, Hollywood heavy metal band Rock Sugar was stranded on a desert island. For the last twenty years, the only music they had to listen to was the 80's pop CD collection of a 13 year old girl. And now, Rock Sugar has come home. [more inside]
Sugar: The Bitter Truth. Robert H. Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics at UCSF, discusses the biochemical properties of fructose and makes the case for why it should be considered, essentially, a poison. [Youtube, 1.5 hours] [more inside]
American Heart Association: American men should not consume more than 150 calories of sugar a day[pdf], American women 100 calories. paper[pdf]
Need to settle a dispute with a friend, but don't want to flip a coin? Try Diabetting, a new way to settle decisions using the most-recently-updated blood sugar readings of a Type I diabetic web developer.
Would you eat a stack of 16 sugar cubes? SugarStacks makes it clear how much food you're having with your sugar. The McDonald's chocolate shake is particularly disgusting.
Everybody knows that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is unhealthy, unnatural, and unappetizing. Or is it?
What's a soda lover to do when Passover Coke has, well, passed over? Find other cane sugar sodas, of course! [more inside]
High-fructose corn syrup is a corn-based sweetener that has been blamed for being partially responsible for the obesity epidemic in the United States. Some producers of HFCS products have responded in the PR war over its health effects. Others may finally be giving anti-HFCS consumers what they want.
Don't Cry for Me, I'm Already Dead. A comic about brotherly love, loss and quoting the Simpsons. A brilliant short comic by Rebecca Sugar, creator of the excellent Pug Davis. Stupid sexy Flanders.
The Southern Foodways Alliance is one weighed-down church-supper table, full of oral history/blog projects like The Tamale Trail, the Boudin Trail, interviews and recipes from the Bartenders of New Orleans, photo essay/interviews from Birmingham's Greek-Americans, a mess o'homemade films, and a passel of event and BBQ-shack photos on Flickr, all smothered in the tangy-sweet academic goodness of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at Ole Miss. These folks get my vote for most flavorful, funkiest food-loving folklorists in the lower forty-eight. [more inside]
An older study that claims artificial sweeteners actually cause weight gain, has resurfaced. In addition to the other health hazards linked to artificial sweeteners, it appears there is yet another reason to go back to nature. Unless of course you take advice from Nancy Appleton, Ph.D, who seems to think sugar is the cause of almost everything.
I really enjoy discoveries that, in retrospect, should have been obvious (but weren't). It's not just your tongue that can taste sugar.
"Splenda's advertising claims that it is 'Made from Sugar, so it Tastes Like Sugar.' What they don't tell you is that Splenda is not natural, it's a chlorinated artificial sweetener." So states The Truth About Splenda, a site devoted to saving us from this chemical menace. But who are the good samaritans behind this truth-telling campaign? Why, none other than the good people of The Sugar Association, who only want to promote the consumption of sugar as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. McNeil Nutritionals, the maker of Splenda, fight backs with SplendaTruth.com.
Sweet! Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories has made a 3D printer that forms objects out of sugar.
The art of sugar: flowers, lace, birds, sculpture, cubes, gardens, construction site, houses, paintings, underwear. In Britain. In Mexico sugar skulls are created to celebrate the Day of the Dead. Amezaiku is a Japanese candy craft and wagashi the art of Japanese confection.
Breakfast of the Gods: The Last Good Morning. A serialized webcomic featuring the sugary, crunchy stars of your childhood - destroying your childhood dreams one after another. Via Monkeyfilter.
"I'm #1 at the box-office, Sugar Tits!" The mystery continues: what or who is Sugar Tits? Is it a baby pacificer? Is it a breakfast cereal? Is she an "attractive female law officer dispatched to oppress good Christian men by her masters within the international conspiracy of invisible Zionist superjews"? Maybe it's Mel's next movie?
After 12 weeks, viewers of the UK version of "The Apprentice" saw Michelle Dewberry beat off Ruth Badger to win a £100,000 a year job working for Sir Alan Sugar. Inspired by the show, some organisations are leaning towards this style of hiring for their own recruitment. Not surprisingly, others are dismayed.
Want the real "Real Thing", plenty of people know to look for the yellow cap and stock up on some passover Coke. But unsanctioned by the corporation, Mexican Coke is now showing up in the USA, in the old fashioned glass bottles.
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