What I’m Watching Now (Fed Up)

Another in the series. Fed Up should do for the sugar industrial complex what earlier investigations did for tobacco and now are doing for the oil companies’ lies about their understanding of global warming.

The logline says, “An examination of America’s obesity epidemic and the food industry’s role in aggravating it.“ It’s a blockbuster collection of the evidence against sugar. It should be required watching for every parent, healthcare provider, and educator. There are wrenching stories here with images of children, ages 14 and 15, and some much younger. They each weigh more than 200 pounds and feel helpless to do anything about it. A look at their daily diets should inspire despair, except for the one family that committed to cooking meals at home. The entire family grew healthier.

Katie Couric and her team lay out the evidence in chilling detail: The campaign started to reduce fat in processed food because of its link to coronary artery disease. As one of the experts says food without fat tastes like crap, so the companies increased the sugar content. At the same time, the sugar lobby succeeded in preventing labels from listing daily value for sugar as it does for carbohydrates, proteins, and so forth. As often as I read labels, I’ve never noticed the blank following the designation of grams. The industry succeeded.

There is also an analysis of how the industry cultivates lawmakers to subsidize sugar beets, cane, and most especially corn. High fructose corn syrup is being demonized, but as the experts point out sugar is sugar is sugar. The body metabolizes it the same way, even the fake stuff. And it all contributes to unhealthy cravings for more – hence weight gain, diabetes, etc.

Two frightening pieces. No children had Type II diabetes in 1980. That’s why it was called “adult onset.” No wonder it’s described as an epidemic. The lobby got to Michelle Obama so that she backed off the message to cut sugar in her Let’s Move campaign and subbed in more exercise.

Most telling is the list of companies that declined interviews. It scrolls for what seems like many minutes. Credits from the merchants of death.

USPS Sloth

Another consumer complaint. An organization in central Connecticut mailed a first-class letter to California on August 10. It arrived on September 5. This journey of nearly a month is a clear indication that the infrastructure in this country is collapsing.

When I lived in Philadelphia in the 1980s, my parents and I would compare notes on how long it took a letter to arrive. Theirs almost always arrived within three to four days. Mine could take anywhere from two days to a week depending on where I mailed it. For whatever weird reason mailing it from the main post office seemed to add extra time. On occasion it would take more than a week but usually only during blizzards or other natural disasters. I do remember Mother writing a nasty letter, as only she could, to the postmaster general complaining about a letter that arrived mangled and much delayed. I think she received an abject letter of apology, which arrived promptly.

Regarding that letter to California, normal delivery now takes four or five days. The distance is about 3,000 miles. Trains take about three days. Leisurely driving a week, plus. I can only assume that USPS has reinstated the pony express and that  the horses collapsed.

From now on it’s FedEx even if it means driving twenty minutes to the office.

Gas Gouge

I bought gas the day the owners of the drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico announced shutdowns in anticipation of Harvey. This was days before the storm got anywhere near Texas, I paid $2.34 per gallon for regular, the same as a few weeks before.

On Sept. 1, the price around the area was plus or minus $2.60, compared to $2.51 nationally. That day I saw one station at $2.71 and an Exxon station gouging for $2.99.

The price at my station on Labor Day was $2.75, still below the Connecticut average of $2.84 but above the $2.64 nationally.

The stations raised their prices in anticipation of the shutdown, since the gas sitting in the Gulf could not possibly have gotten to Connecticut over night. Plus it would have been at the pre-Harvey price.

Can’t wait to see if prices drop, and if they do, how long it takes.