Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Project 4 Theses

Original Thesis:

Aspartame is a low-calorie sweeter considered to be 200 times sweeter than sucrose. The compound is created by joining together the amino aspartic acid and phenylalanine, and is common in diet sodas, puddings, chewing gums, and yogurts and acts as a non-saccharide substitute for its higher calorie counterpart. It is bitterly debated whether it is a safe alternative, or if the hazardous repercussions for a low-calorie sweetener are too great. Some critics make vicious claims that it is carcinogenic because of its production of methanol in small doses, but because we consume the compound in such large doses, the toxin accumulates. Furthermore, methanol begins to be stored as formaldehyde which collects in the retinas. Defenders of aspartame claim it is commonly found in nature, which is ultimately true, but due to its superior sweetness over normal sucrose, humans are being exposed more than ever.

First Variation:

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener discovered in 1965 which is 200 times sweeter than sucrose. Due to its sweeter nature, much less is used in sugary beverages and sweet foods than is regular sugar, which means there are fewer calories. However, scientists have repeatedly done studies on the chemical to test the hazards of ingesting aspartame. It remains the most researched food item to date, and some insist on its safety relying on the fact that is found in nature, while other scientists argue the potential cancerous risks associated with the sweetener. Due to the large quantities of this non-saccharide consumed, health risks seem largely plausible.

Second Variation:
            As obesity continues to become a growing threat in the modern world, the artificial sweetener aspartame became much more appealing. Nearly 200 times sweeter than sucrose, aspartame can thus be used in smaller amounts than normal sugar, therefore providing fewer calories. While it seems like a simple cure to the obesity epidemic, a large number of scientists caution the hazards of its use. It remains the most widely researched food source because of the ongoing debate. Used in many foods including pudding, diet sodas, and as a sweetener, people worldwide are consuming this chemical in large doses, and it begs the question- at what cost?

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