Tara Nanayakkara

Sugar Me This

I read somewhere that there is talk of introducing a sugar tax to generate revenue for the economy. My understanding is that it would work like a tobacco tax. Excuse me? If anyone thinks they can penalize me for buying that melt-in-your-mouth slice of vanilla bean cake topped with light, fluffy butter-cream icing, they have another think coming. Aside from portion control and all-round self-control, when was the last time you heard of someone being pulled over for driving under the influence of...uh sugar?

We accept that sweet overload, be it processed or even natural can play havoc with one's blood sugar. We know the risks all too well, obesity, diabetes and a grocery list of other ills that can compromise good health. Now can we also accept that common sense can play an even bigger role in righting the wrongs of the food industry that make the over-consumption of sugary products so easy. For example, do restaurant slices of cheesecake and other desserts need to be as large and imposing as they are. Why not cut the portion size and the price. Diners will be saving money and their waist lines. Do social organizations really need to have all-you-can-eat dessert parties. If we rethink our concept of foods with a less is more approach, we can actually have our cake and eat it too, icing and all.  Oh yes, that brings me to another point. With the comeback of the cupcake in recent years, what is with this larger-than-life trend of smothering a morsel of cake with a meteor size swirl of florescent buttercream that makes you wonder if there is actually a cupcake beneath it all.  Small changes can add up to big successes at the end of the day.

I can tell you right now, I was never one of those parents who banned sugary treats from my house. Neither was I raised by parents who did that. Chocolate bars, cakes and squares, bring it on. From the time they were small, my children would sit with me by the heater and we'd have "snack" before bed and this was usually milk, with two cookies or a peanut butter cup each. Yes that's right, one peanut butter cup each. We didn't eat our own 50 g chocolate bar; we break it into pieces and shared it. To this day, my daughter and I share desserts when we are out and about.  Of course, I would choose a home-made desert over a shop bought one, but again, I will repeat myself, it is all about portion control. As we like to say in our household "no one needs to eat their own."

Now sugar me a doughnut and I'll have it with coffee with cream and sweetener to go; please and thanks.