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Oct 27, 2010 09:35 AM

NY Times: Is candy evil, or just misunderstood

There's a lot of interesting discussion about how candy -- and by inference, other foods -- have become symbols for various emotional, social and even moral issues. As someone pointed out to me a while back, these days we talk about food being "sinful" more than we talk about sex being "sinful"!

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  1. Maybe it just has bigger social implications? I mean, I think a lot of foods are under attack right now because of the rising obesity rates and health issues. And as we all know, fat people are the root of all evil in the world and it's totally fine to discriminate against them (being sarcastic, of course! I am a proud, healthy fat person :o).

    Sex, on the other hand, has gotten sort of blase, especially after the Lewinsky scandal and Janet Jackson's Superbowl Half-time Show.

    Also connected: Fat people aren't sexy, therefore food that makes people fat are evil just for existing, even though the real issue is moderation and lack of resources (both educational and financial) for a lot of people...

    Oh, and one more thing: Yummy Earth Organics candy is the best candy I've ever had, and I thought I had sworn off hard candy after high school! :o)

    7 Replies
    1. re: yfunk3

      Where can I find these Yummy organic candies? My 2 1/2 daughter would love these.

      1. re: Monica

        Good, but it's still candy (not any better for you than any other candy):

        1. re: ferret

          Heh heh. Never meant to imply that it was healthier or better than other candies. Just that it was more delicious. :o)

      2. re: yfunk3

        I agree, but it's not just about fat, as Dr. Kawash pointed out, it's about pleasure (which is why even a healthy, normal-weight person will describe a gooey chocolate dessert as "sinful"). Our Puritanical roots still tell us that pleasure is bad, but since our 21st century brains won't let us admit that, those feelings are sublimated to "concerns" about fat, and not just about being fat (which has also always been associated with hedonism), but the health concerns about "obesity." In other words, we're not uptight, moralistic and anti-pleasure, we're just *concerned* about everyone's health.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Well said, Ruth! These are my beliefs exactly. Additionally, have you noticed how people are concerned about other people's health, not their own, and and want to ban/limit/tax to death certain foods so that "other" people won't be tempted? But I think the most telling term is "sinfully delicious," as if pleasure were a sin. Lord save us from our well-intentioned neighbors!

          1. re: gfr1111

            Exhibit A is the Center for Science in the Public Interest, who I swear will not be satisfied until humans are relieved of the burden of eating real food and can subsist entirely on perfectly sterile, perfectly balanced nutrition tablets.

            1. re: gfr1111

              I am so glad I grew up with the family that I did. We had very well-balanced meals, but dessert was part of that balance, and dad instilled a healthy love of chocolate in all 4 of his daughters.

              I am big on baking and candy making. But a few years ago I was so busy at work that, rather than my usual homemade dessert, I bought a cake for Christmas dessert . The cake was from a very good restaurant in my area, that opens a bake shop just for the winter holidays. It was chocolate, with chocolate mousse filling and chocolate ganache icing. Oddly, it was called "Chocolate Heaven."

              When my sister took her first bite (not knowing the name of the cake) she exclaimed "THIS is Heaven!"

              No "sinful" connections in any household in my family.


          If candy is sinful, call me a sinner but get me to Papabubble before I die!
          I don't know what's more pleasurable watching them make this crafted treat or eating the out of this universe flavors.

          1. Reading the article, I thought they had a good premise - candy has a way worse built-in prohibition in my mind. The high calories and no redeeming nutritional qualities of a muffin sold at deli for instance - you'd be better off having a Snickers bar for breakfast.

            2 Replies
            1. re: pitu

              For some reason, there was a period of time in my life in the 80's where I thought muffins were "healthful"--because I thought bran muffins were, and, I guess, therefore, all muffins were. I don't know, but I just recall that they were being marketed almost as health food. Anyone besides me remember those days, or was I just really misinformed?

              At least the Snickers has nuts!

              Anyway, interesting article, Ruth!


              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                Absolutely. Some organization at my high school sold them in the mornings and I'm sure we all thought we were getting a good breakfast! Unfortunately, I still have some students who plump down in their desks every morning unwrapping a chocolate-chocolate chip muffin (that's been sitting on the shelves at Costco for God knows how long) and thinking it's a nutritious breakfast. A Snickers would actually in that case be a better choice! :\