Friday, 10 June 2011

Sweets for my sweet, sugar for the taxman.

I thought it would take longer to get to a tax on sugar, but things are accelerating very nicely.

Hans-Peter Kubis, of the university's School of Sport, Health & Exercise Sciences, has called for sugar to be taxed to stop an impending health 'disaster', and for fruit juice to be taken out of the 'five-a-day' health message.

School of Sport, Health & Exercise Sciences? Oh, my aching sides. This is beyond Saint Kafka's wildest prophecies. The Great Prophets themselves, Monty and the Python, did not see this far ahead. A University course in eating and breathing and lifting the heavy thing. What now for parapsychology? That's just ordinary coursework these days. Homeopathy? Pfft. A subcourse in chemistry. Teleportation? First year physics. Telepathy... [concentrate]

A tax on sugar. The teaspoon absurdity in the last post suddenly looks a little less absurd, doesn't it? Teaspoons will soon be under as much suspicion as coke spoons and bongs. Granny will be in court on charges of possession of sugar with intent to slip into tea. She had the evil teaspoon in her kitchen drawer so there can be no defence.

That camel is an extraordinary beast. Its load of straw must by now exceed the mass of the Moon.

One more straw. Then another, and another. Listen, can you hear the vertebrae cracking?

Keep piling it on, Righteous. When it falls, it all lands on you.


JuliaM said...


petem130 said...

It's something I've thought about often. I take sugar in coffee although I've now turned to sugar substitutes.

Anyway, when visiting friends etc. it invariably reaches a point when coffee is produced. rarely is sugar provided and I used to find myself in the position of having to ask for some sugar.

In the majority of cases this was like asking the host if it would be okay if I slept with his wife or if
we'd be having some heroin afterwards.

"Holier than thou" society. What a place to be and what a place to have reached.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice where this "research" was annouced,the World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress.Guess who funded it.

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...


PeteM130 is right - bien pensant Guardian reader types are particularly sneery and condescending about sugar - mention "builder's tea" and they... well, you know don't you? Hair shirts all round, cold showers, for the transgressors only of course.

Sugar - what a handy vehicle for politicians and subsidy farmers to exploit at eye watering cost - as usual to our communal tax contributions.

Budvar said...

I take great offence at the "guardian reader" epithet for not taking sugar. No no I really do :). My mother is someone who takes 3 sugars in her coffee, and if I take a drink from her cup by mistake, it makes me shudder, absolutely awful.

Sugar substitutes, my preference is a good slug of Spanish brandy....

Anonymous said...

Sugar can help make you a sweeter person, researchers claim - 2008

"The report said: The findings suggest a link between glucose levels and the expression of prejudice and the use of stereotypes "

"They believe that sweet drinks give people a sugar rush that helps supply the brain with the fuel needed to suppress outspoken opinions"

"Those who had drunk the sugary drink used far fewer stereotypes in their essays than those who had the artificial sweetener, leading to a theory that people can use restraint to keep objectionable thoughts to themselves when they have higher amounts of glucose in their body."

"Because self-control depends on processes that consume glucose as an energy source, people who have lower levels of blood glucose may be more likely to express prejudice"

That could explain a lot.


James Higham said...

That's OK - I use honey.

Anonymous said...

"Impending health disaster" Oh the over-blown language. If only the government would act to stop me having a glass of OJ in the morning, I am just powerless before the evil Del Monte corporation.....

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

Budvar - OK, OK there's always exceptions!

My experience is almost exclusively what I allude to though.

I've lost count of the number of cups of tea that I've had to water down after leaving a tea bag to mash for more than several seconds. You'd think it was poison - the eco folk are always the fussiest.

Sometimes it takes me back to my early teenage years when I discovered their aversions and revelled in tormenting visiting Mormons with various forbidden beverages :-)

Tea? nope
Coffee? nope
Coke? nope
Fanta? nope
Pepsi? nope
Beer? nope
Wine? nope

I wish Mrs Doyle had been around at the time.

Jeff Wood said...

"School of Sport, Health & Exercise Sciences"

Any institution or course with the word "Science" in it is not a science.

Anonymous said...

The health benefits of jam

Jam can curb cancer, say food scientists
"Both popular foods contain a modified form of pectin, a natural fibre found in fruits and vegetables that is widely used in food processing.

A laboratory study by the Institute of Food Research found modified pectin releases a molecular fragment that curbs all stages of cancer progression"

"Pectin supplements that claim to detoxify the body and protect against cancer are already sold on the internet, and a laboratory study published in the journal Glycobiology last year showed pectin can slow the growth of prostate cancer.

Scientists at the University of Georgia in the US found when prostate cancer cells were exposed to pectin powder or heat-treated citrus pectin, up to 40 per cent died.

The cells were made to "commit suicide" through a natural process called apoptosis that halts the creation of tumours.
Other studies on rats and cell cultures suggest pectin also fights lung and colon cancers"

Characteristics of tobacco pectin

Isn't it a shame that these days we have to research every one of our small and ordinary pleasures before someone comes along to try and ban it.


campaign for nonsensical disarmament said...

ban the teaspoon, legalize heroin.

ban toy-guns, sell the kiddies high-graphic death-squad interactive computer violence.

what's your poison? said...


fortunately, children know the difference between games and reality, and old ladies can tell the difference between sugar and heroin.

sixtypoundsaweekcleaner said...

It comes to something when an impending health disaster can be blamed on sugar.

Whatever will they think of next?

tartar state said...

au contraire, monsieur leg-iron, it is imperative that our government ban sugar and save us from our own choppers. however, there will inevitably be side-effects of such a policy - not least, catastrophic sugar-deprivation for the micro-organisms which form dental plaque and which, when fed with sweeties, instinctively squirt acid onto our toothies...thus, in the name of preserving socialist principles, i propose that the affected bacteria be re-housed and supplied with sufficient levels of sticky-stuff to meet their basic needs - a vital measure which will both prevent the condition of unemployed anaerobes from deteriorating and protect them from falling into poverty.

Leg-iron said...

I tried sugar substitutes but they gave me the squits something rotten. I'm back to real sugar now. If they manage to tax sugar I can always go for the honey option. Cheap stuff is good enough to sweeten tea but it's lousy on toast.

Besides, I'll need a good supply of honey to try out Rose's mead recipe later in the year.

The eating-apple tree looks like it has a good crop growing this year.

Incidentally, you all know I do things logically and I have given over space in my tiny garden to two apple trees. There's a reason for that.

Fruit juices have vitamins, sure, but little to no solid fruit matter. There are things solid fruit matter does in your lower gut that I can't speak of in detail because I'm under contract, but they are good things. Not all fruits are created equal. The clue is in what I'm prepared to give limited garden space to.

A fruit crumble is far better for you than fruit juice. Even though I make crumble with 2 parts flour, 1 part sugar (oh yes) and 1 part real, proper butter.

With Bramleys, gooseberries and several other fruits, there's extra sugar on the fruit too.

And custard on top. And it's still better for your gut than fruit juice. And it does count as one of your five-a-day. Add one pack chocolate raisins, one pack crystallised apricots, one Tutti Frutti ice cream (must have real fruit in it) and a Mars bar and there you go, five a day.

What? Chocolate is made from plants. It's a vegetable. So really, chocolate raisins count as two.

Note: cigarettes are entirely constructed from plant material. Suitable for vegans. Also nut-free, gluten-free, fat-free, salt-free and sugar-free and does not contain a source of phenylalanine. Why isn't all that on the packets?

If I was a tobacco executive, it would be. In bigger letters than the 'You Will Die, love from the government and ta for the extra cash' notes.

I also have a plum tree, which is again plum-laden. That has nothing to do with gut health, it's only there so I can lean over the fence at Mrs. Plastic and say 'Hey, you wanna suck my plums?' Then play the innocent when the police arrive.

I haven't tested plums. Maybe I should. A product called 'Suck my Plums and you'll feel good' would at least get a lot of free advertising in the Mail.

Leg-iron said...

campaign for nonsensical disarmament - you have a point there.

We used to shout 'Bang' or have pop-guns with corks, or potato guns, or cap guns or just make two fingers into a Colt 45, and there was no blood.

Now all those things are frowned on and kids can play video games with huge megablaster weapons and there's loads of blood.

When we shouted 'bang', the game stopped if someone was really bleeding.

Now, the game doesn't properly begin until someone is bleeding.

Somewhere along the line, the game changed.

Leg-iron said...

budvar - like the honey, the brandy in tea doesn't have to be the best. But please avoid the ownbrand supermarket half-bottles that come in plastic.

Brandy and plasticiser is not a good cocktail.

Leg-iron said...

Rose - glucose is brain food, It doesn't use anything else for energy.

Not surprising the alleged academics want it banned. It's the ultimate in pulling up the ladder.

Besides, they don't want anyone working out how stupid some of them really are.

I mean, the department of eating, breathing, and lifting the heavy thing? They really don't want anyone noticing what they're paid for.

Leg-iron said...

£60aweekcleaner - what will they think of next?

Fish and chips.

ecofriendly eve (ethical perennial propagator) said...


mr leg-iron, regarding your apple trees - what variety is the eater?

my husband's favourite is pink pearl, but i prefer cox's, or knobbed russet, as a special treat.

Anonymous said...


I have one spoonful of sugar in my many cups of instant coffee and a large spoonful of soft brown sugar on my porridge, which I eat with double cream, and I still wear the same size jeans as I did when I was 19.

Something wrong with the theory somehow.

Incidentally, your fearsome Spaminator has eaten my post on the surprising health benefits of jam.

I will be ready for them, next time.


old ma cleanspeak said...


There are things solid fruit matter does in your lower gut that I can't speak of in detail because I'm under contract,

in any case, i think we'd all be much obliged if you found the inner strength to resist the temptation, mr leg-iron.

unsyruped quaker oats said...


oh, the decadence of it all

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