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From Elsewhere: Alec Baldwin and guest Robert Lustig on the sugar epidemic

This post is part of my From Elsewhere series.

A recent study reveals that 80 percent of the 600,000 food items in America are laced with added sugar. Lustig says, “There is not one biochemical reaction in your body, not one, that requires dietary fructose, not one that requires sugar. Dietary sugar is completely irrelevant to life.

Honestly, I didn’t expect that. Not considering the source. I mean, I’m not surprised by Dr. Lustig’s comments, but that’s not what I expected to hear when I downloaded Alec Baldwin’s podcast for the first time recently. Honestly, I’m not sure what I expected. Maybe a rating tirade about angry birds, airlines or one of Baldwin’s family members. But not a serious dialogue about the epidemic of noncommunicable disease owed to our increasingly flawed food system.

So, for those tempted to write off Baldwin’s show based on his many reported personal challenges, let me prothletise: This is a good show. This episode, in particular, is worth a listen.

Some my recognize Dr. Lustig from his popular YouTube video, Sugar: The Bitter Truth which has more than 2,600,000 views. Dr. Lustig breaks down the historical and socioeconomic events which have led to a food system full of processed, sweetened food. He goes on to discuss the toxic effect all this sugar has on our bodies and suggests sugar may be the underpinnings of the chronic diseases plaguing our society.

I’m not qualified to determine if Lustig is clinically accurate. But it doesn’t take a research scientist to know all the HFCS in our food supply can’t be helping the obesity problem.

Have a listen wither through the embedded player below or by downloading the podcast episode via iTunes.

Robert Lustig: We need a new food model. We need a new food growing model. By 2050, we’re gonna need four California Central Valleys in order to feed our population, we won’t even have one. Because of the runoff in the Sierra, the changes in soil erosion, we won’t even have one. So you know what the obesity epidemic might even take care of itself because we’ll have a famine because we are misusing our food system. Michael Pollan writes about this routinely. The bottom line is biochemically our current food environment does not work for us and until we fix it, we’ll continue to pour money down a rat hole. We will continue to be sick; we will continue to die of things like diabetes and heart disease. Medicare will be broke by 2024 because there won’t be any money to pay for it. You won’t be able to see a doctor because they’ll be too busy taking care of all the other fat people in the emergency room who are having their heart attacks and there won’t be enough food anyway.

via Here's The Thing: Robert Lustig Transcript - WNYC.