Word Inflation


The English language is a world wide language for many reasons. One of the reasons is because English is so precise. Or it can be, when used correctly.

These days it often seems words are used as a club simply to try to beat people into submission on a variety of beliefs.

I wrote about obesity on Monday this week. Real obesity is a serious issue. A person who is seriously over weight or obese may have many health issues and a shortened life span. However, labeling people like me, who are neither over weight nor obese as being obese, is what I mean by “Word Inflation.”

Word Inflators over react to information. Everything is a crisis. Everything is an epidemic. The world is always coming to an end.

It would be OK if all Word Inflators did was talk. But they want to do more. They want to ban things they do not like for EVERYBODY.

So Word Inflators use emotional words to proselytizing their belief system. People guilty of Word Inflation over state and exaggerate their case. They magnify fears people may have way out of proportion.  For instance: sugar = cocaine.

Word Inflation often has a monetary component to it as well. Some people use Word Inflation to scare you into buying a very expensive product or pill they are hawking.

I bring this up today because this week the Word Inflators went ballistic over a news report.


This week reports of a study from France said that refined sugar is far more addictive than cocaine. Of course, the Food Police (blood relatives of  Word Inflators) went ballistic and immediately wanted to ban sugar in all its various forms.

Do you see the scare words in there? More. Cocaine. The Word Inflators have conflated sugar and one of the most addictive substances know to human kind, cocaine. Oh my word! We will have drug crazed people crawling all over the grocery store aisles trying to get their fix.

This French study is not the first study that found sugar is addictive. Many studies have shown such a link.

Is sugar really as additive as cocaine?

How can we separate the wheat from the chaff?

First of all, the body NEEDS sugar to survive, especially the brain. Why Your Body Needs Sugar.

So now that fact is out of the way, let’s take a closer look at our question; is sugar really as adictive as cocaine?

A great place to start is at Penn State University.

First they ask the question: Is sugar habit forming?

In medical terms, a substance is addictive if it:

*induces a pleasant state or relieves distress,
* causes long-term chemical changes in the brain,
*leads to adaptive changes in the brain that trigger tolerance, physical dependence and uncontrollable cravings,
* causes dependence, so that abstaining is difficult and creates severe physical and mental reactions.

Jan Ulbrecht, associate professor in biobehavioral health and medicine in the College of  Health and Human Development at PennState does not think so [Emphasis mine.]:

“Since the human body does not become physically dependent on sugar the way it does on opiates like morphine and heroin, sugar is not addictive,” he argues.” [Emphasis mine.]

The article goes on to recap several studies and as real scientists do, and they leave the question open for more study.

One of the things in the discussion that caught my attention was this:

In several of the noted rat studies, Corwin notes, the rats were given extremely large amounts of sugar, up to 46 percent of total caloric intake. Sugar makes up about 15 to 28 percent of total energy in the average American diet.

In that paragraph you can see a real life example of  Word Inflation at work. In some studies the rats were given far more sugar than most Americans actually consume. No wonder the rats became addicted. The study seems to have been loaded to make the rats addicted in order to ‘prove’ the sugar hater’s belief.

You can read the entire Penn State article here: Is sugar addictive?

Another article comes to about the same conclusion as Penn State. I think. Sugar is an Addictive Drug? Eh…Sort Of by Jake Young is full of scientific lingo. It is the kind of article that makes reading scientific treatises so difficult. In other words, it is full of qualifiers. Yes, this occurred but it could mean this or this or this and more study is needed.

BTW, that is how real scientists talk. No Word Inflation in this article. Here is the most useful quote:

Some news articles in reference to this research that say that “sugar as addictive as a drug.” This is not accurate. Sugar is addictive as a drug in the sense that they appear to use similar mechanisms, but this has nothing to do with the degree of addictiveness.

Sugar may be mechanistically similar to crack in terms of addictiveness, but I have never heard of someone stealing a car radio to get a Twinkie. It is likely that the quantity of drug required to get “addicted” to sugar is quite much higher. It is likely that “withdrawal” from sugar shows a statistically significant behavioral change in rats, but nothing like the withdrawal from cocaine. [Emphasis mine.]

So saying that something has a similar mechanism says nothing about the relative addictiveness of substances.

What To Do?

All I know is that I am not giving up my chocolate based on any of these so called studies. As far as I am concerned the jury is out on this question, with the evidence pointing to sugar NOT being addictive like cocaine is addictive.

On this issue I am drawing a line in the sugar!
Featured Recipe        Bacon Wrapped Corn

I know I am rushing the season. However, in my defense, the grocery store has had fresh corn-on-the-cob prominently displayed in the produce department for several weeks now. I mean, it was inevitable that I would succumb to temptation. And I am not the least bit sorry either.

Just look at it this way. You have advance notice about this scrum-deli-ishous recipe before the corn season starts. The first time I saw the corn in the store this year this was the only recipe that popped into my head. 

There are dozens of versions of this recipe. Mine is more like Martha Stewart’s found in the June 2011 edition of Everyday Food. The slight differences are I use regular pepper not cayenne pepper.

I also add some butter to the finished corn. My neighbors and friends gave me that idea. As they told me, “You can’t have corn-on-the-cob without butter.”  You know what!? They are right!

I have tried other version of this recipe that use herbs or spices on the corn. Many are good, however I prefer tasting more of the corn as this simple recipe allows me to do.

Play around and see what kind of combination you like best.

This is also as fast and easy a recipe as you can make. It is so easy and looks so elegant on a plate with any meat entrée. Easy elegant. Delicious. I like.

The fact that it is also fast and easy makes it a near perfect recipe! The fact that the dish is so inexpensive does make it the perfect side dish!

This is what you will need for 4 servings:

2 ears of corn on the cob

2 slices of bacon

Salt and pepper to taste


Butter (4 teaspoons)

NOTE: You will also need 4 toothpicks to secure the bacon. Soak these in water for about 5 minutes before using. This will prevent the toothpicks from catching fire while under the broiler.

Here is what you do:

Turn on your broiler.

Shuck and wash the corn. Dry corn completely.

Using a corn brush remove all the corn silk.

Cut the ends off the corn. Then cut the corn in half.

Sprinkle the salt and pepper over all sides of the corn.

Wrap a piece of the bacon around each ear of corn and secure with a toothpick, and place on a baking sheet.

Broil for about 10-15 minutes. (Broilers vary. Yours may need less or more time.)

Turn the corn often during the broiling. Broil until bacon is crispy and the corn is tender and slightly charred.

Sprinkle with more salt and pepper if desired. Serve with a pat of butter.

Eat and enjoy and I know you will. This is one tasty corn-on-the-cob!

Bon appétit!!! 


2 ears of corn on the cob     $1.00

2 slices of bacon                 $0.50             

Salt and pepper to taste


Butter                                 $0.41

Total cost for 4 servings =$1.91
Cost per serving =$0.48

Quote of the Day

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you, and be silent.

Epictetus, Greek Philosopher


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