The Case for Sugar

Happy Valentine’s Day, from! According to Salon’s well-timed interview with food expert Brian Wansink, sugar isn’t the absolute evil you’ve been told it is.

Wansink, author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, explains that there is, in fact, a place for sugar in our world:

The thing is, there was a kind of witch-hunting phase where we demonized sugar back in the late ’80s. But if you look at it, there’s a really nice case to be made for sugar. Let’s use chocolate milk as an example. If you’re trying to get kids to drink milk, and you add just a little more chocolate and a little more sugar, and add 30 more calories to it, you know, I don’t really think that’s bad compared to them ordering Goofy Grape punch with the same number of calories and really nothing in it.

He goes on to defend sweetened protein bars, corn syrup, and Domino’s new pizzas (which apparently taste less like cardboard than their old pizzas).

Wansink’s argument is certainly nothing extraordinary; his chocolate milk example is just a slightly more sophisticated version of the vegetables-in-the-mashed-potatoes trick. What is extraordinary—shocking, even—is that a food expert is going against the mainstream and is telling the truth about the costs and benefits of sugar.