Friday, August 24, 2007

Sweet Malaise

My illness compels me to take a certain vitamin every other day. For more than a week now I haven't taken any; I forgot them in the previous house I stayed. House moves never come without leaving some things behind. After ten days of a roller coaster ride I finally collect the pieces of my life together, and went to buy more vitamins.

Not only they sold me the wrong vitamin, but the pills were covered in sugar, as I found when I took one an hour ago. The nauseating taste is still in my mouth. Why put sugar in a vitamin pill? The pill has no taste that needs disguising. I suppose they add it because they think people like it. It makes you happy, no? Like the candyman? But I feel like someone has slipped a drug into my food.

It is astonishing how many things contain sugar. It is difficult to come across packaged food or beverages that don't have it in them. After five years of a diet based on fruit and vegetables, the taste of sugar now strikes me as crude and vulgar. I can feel the effect it has on me, like the effect drugs have on people who never took them. I don't like it: it sends rushes through my body, it makes me edgy and erratic.

Sugar has been cultivated from very ancient times but it developed from a luxury drug to a mass-market narcotic only in the age of European colonisation. The connection of sugar with the slave trade is well know. To cover a history stained with blood and exploitation the sugar traffickers became art-sponsors, and Tate is only one example. But there are important correlations and parallels between sugar and fossil fuels. Both have been so successful because of what they give us: plentiful energy. Both are - socially and environmentally - devastatingly unsustainable. For more on this double addiction read Louis de Sosa on the Oil Drum.

I have still to write about the Climate Camp but life has really been out of control. I have been urging it to behave better and finally it seems to relent. Back soon with more.


نیکی said...

the main brand of ibuprofen sold in the US is coated with some kind of sugar, but i kind of like it. I guess they do figure that most of us are addicted to sugar and bet that even that hint of sugar is enough to influence people's choice of painkillers.

mink said...

I think my anomaly is that I always liked sour things much more than sweet ones. That's why I liked sucking on aspirin when I was a child. And I always eat the piece of lemon in my drink. I sometimes leave the peel though.

Hagar said...

פעם לקחתי גלולות נגד הריון. היה כתוב שזה מכיל סוכר. כשהבעתי בקול את התהיה למה, הציע מישהו לידי שזה אמור לעזור לחומר להיספג בדם מהר.

(hebrew. how very unsocial.)