Because soda, and diet soda, in particular, is one of the most common drinks available in offices, I wanted to share with you an article I saw in the Tuesday, February 5, 2008, New York Times by Nicholas Bakalar entitled: “Symptoms: Metabolic Syndrome Is Tied to Diet Soda.” It read: “Researchers have found a correlation between drinking diet soda and Metabolic Syndrome – the collection of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes that include abdominal obesity, high cholesterol, and blood glucose levels – and elevated blood pressure.” The study tracked 9,500 men and women ages 45 to 64 for nine years. It found that “the risk of developing metabolic syndrome was 34 percent higher among those who drank one can of diet soda a day compared with those who drank none.” The co-author of the paper was quoted as saying: “Why is it happening? Is it some chemical in the diet soda, or something about the behavior of diet soda drinkers?” An interesting question and one that needs more research indeed. In the meantime, I believe that the healthy bet is to move from soda (diet or otherwise) to water if you haven’t already.
Fruit News: Satsumas – those wonderful sweet mandarins that are so easy to peel – have been called by some the “Sharpei’s” of fruit because of their wrinkly skin. We’ve had some questions on these – people who aren’t familiar with them sometimes fear they are past due because of their saggy peels. Fear not, the skin is supposed to have a squishy feel to it – it’s like a natural air-bag around the fruit for protection. And it makes them super-easy to peel.
During the Lunar New Year (Gung Hay Fat Choy! (Happy New Year!)) mandarins, especially those with stems and leaves attached, are a symbol of prosperity and good fortune. If Jim Morrison were here today singing to us about the Satsuma, I think he would deepen his voice and croon: “This is the End… The Satsuma End, my friend. Of our beloved Man – Dar – In…” Yes, we are coming to another end, a seasonal switch as the Satsumas are winding down, and other mandarins are gearing up. You’ll now start to see Mercots – smaller mandarins that are very sweet but with skin that is both thinner and tighter to the fruit, unlike its cousin, the Satsuma.