the asperity… asper + tame… get it?

I hate aspartame. I have hated it since it came out in the 90’s, and I hate that it has essentially taken over the food market.

When it was introduced, I could not get over how many of my friends, family and acquaintances fell down all over themselves in their hurry to switch from white sugar to Equal, NutraSweet, Candarel, E951, Spoonful, Equal Measure or whatever else they called it.  Equal to sugar? Nutritious and Sweet? Candy Well? Spoonful of Sugar Helps the [Poison] Go Down? Measure for Measure (and what, exactly, are we measuring)?  Who the heck comes up with these names? Obviously, clever ones without any conscience who don’t mind skirting around issues and walking the fine line between connotation and denotation. I mean, even with a snazzy marketing routine, would you eat something called Deathdust, Cancerix or Shitonastick?

Back then, any negative evidence about aspartame was hard to find on the Internet, because the warning voices were few and not believed. Information was still out there, though, if you really dug for it. I refused to touch the stuff, and tried to warn my friends. At that time, I had a lot of friends and acquaintances who were blind and/or diabetic. You would have thought the Messiah had come to them, what with the accolades I heard.  It was almost embarrassing to hear the dizzy sweet-toothed ecstasies… Get a room!  I warned my friends in the blind and near-blind community that aspartame had been proven to cause blindness… but I guess it was better to them to be blind with cookies, cakes, candies and pastries than to live, sighted, without them. I warned them that it had already been proven that aspartame became toxic when heated (just like olive oil does).   At the next potluck I attended, do you know how many of the desserts and salads that lined the tables contained aspartame? Almost all of them! Oblivious, or simply not caring, I watched people with white canes and dark glasses stuff their faces with these poisonous confections and wash them down with diet sodas. WTFreak?? I  watched their vision get worse over the years… even losing total sight in one or both eyes… but god forbid they have to pass up that carrot cake.  No one ever seemed to make a connection between what they were eating and what was occurring to their health.

It was and always is  our ignorance  – and worse, our knowing ignorance – which allows evil to creep in and take over.  How else was it so easy for aspartame to take over the market?  Just the plethora of names, the magnitude of masks, should have been clue #1 to any person who has been on this planet at least two decades. The fact that aspartame was patented and was so heavily marketed, clue #2, or are we that gullible? Really, do we need a rocket scientist to see that going from a bad, poisonous, addicting denatured substance (sugar) to a worse, more poisonous, chemical laboratory-derived, toxic substance is not a smart thing??? I can’t tell you how SICK and TIRED I am of hearing people whine, “But it’s sugar free!!!” So is a bullet in the head, but I’m not recommending that for your health, either.

Speaking of health, I hate more than just aspartame. I hate artificial sweeteners altogether. Does nobody else have a dictionary? ARTIFICIAL sweetener, as in ARTIFICIAL flowers, or ARTIFICIAL limb.

artificial 1. Made by humans; produced rather than natural.
2. Brought about or caused by sociopolitical or other human-generated forces or influences. 3. Made in imitation of something natural; simulated. 4. Not genuine or natural. 5.pretended; assumed; insincere 6. lacking in spontaneity, affected 7. relating to superficial characteristics not based on the interrelationships of organisms [from Latin artificiālis belonging to art, from artificium skill, artifice]

artifice 1. An artful or crafty expedient; a stratagem. 2. Subtle but base deception; trickery. 3. Cleverness or skill; ingenuity. 4. the command of a learned trade or skill. Synonyms: wile, trick, ruse, feint, stratagem, maneuver, dodge = These nouns denote means for achieving an end by indirection or deviousness

I pity the deceived… but for the rest of us…  Hello, stupid. Here’s your sign.

It seems to be a cycle that never stops. People drop everything to run to the stores like a herd of starving buffalo and pick up the newest, latest, greatest chemically derived poison they can get their hands on. Splenda, Xylitol… sorry, but I don’t think it’s splendid, and if it rhymes with Tylenol (and my dog can’t have it!) then why should I be ingesting it? It’s like that old Life cereal commercial… Hey Mikey!! What’s the newest poisonous improvement to your diet that we can convince you to eat? He likes it! He likes it!

I can remember as a child, that Trident used to be my favorite brand of gum. Then something changed and I began to get headaches when I chewed it. As a 7-year-old kid, I read the label and noticed that there was an ingredient change. Saccharine was being used, and was found to cause cancer in some cases. Even as a 7-year-old child, I wondered why this substance was allowed to remain on the market and be put inside my chewing gum.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve watched this mystery has repeat itself over and over again. The advertisements remind me of promotions for new movies… but once you’ve seen one movie trailer, you’ve pretty much seen them all. It’s only the movie that changes. When it comes to food marketing, does the rest of America not see this? That the latest and greatest is just the same old same old, or do we as Americans simply choose not to see the pattern?

The marketer, the chemist, the corporate executive, the “food” manufacturer, the grocer… the health care professional… do they know any of these truths about artificial sweeteners and if they know, do they care? Does the dynamic of the continuation of a known deception come from the money that is to be made or from the addicts that are clamoring for what is bad for them, even if it kills them? Probably both. Ever taken a healthy dish to a potluck and have it so avoided and passed over you wonder if they saw dog-doo in the sauce or something? I have. Which forces one into another dilemma… do I bring the sprout salad or satisfy the masses by supplying the cake and ice cream? So is it that we do not value each other enough, or that we do not value ourselves? When I love you is translated as, Here, Let me feed you that poison you like so much, what’s a person to do?

asperity 1. something hard to endure 2.severity, rigor, grimness, hardship, difficulty 3. stern, grim, gloomy, forbidding 4. harshness of manner, sharpness 5. ill nature – a disagreeable, irritable, or malevolent disposition

malevolent1. Having or exhibiting ill will; wishing harm to others; malicious. 2. Having an evil or harmful influence.

malice 1. A desire to harm others or to see others suffer; extreme ill will or spite. 2. (Law) The intent, without just cause or reason, to commit a wrongful act that will result in harm to another.

I do not know that any of this will ever change
as long as profit is valued more than people;
as long as instant gratification outweighs long-term consequences;
as long as matter is valued more than life;
and as long as people persist in wanting to believe that what is bad for you can become good for you… and keep seeking for and believing in what does not exist and can never be.

“Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness.  Behold, I say unto you,
wickedness never was happiness. “
– Alma 41:10