Archive for September 2010 | Monthly archive page

There’s a whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on. It must be time for that insulin shot. Or, everyone’s just a bit jittery because they’re not sure WHY corn refiners have petitioned the FDA to be able to change the name of the dreaded and infamous High Fructose Corn Syrup, to a more benign sounding and somewhat subversive name, Corn Sugar. Or whether it even makes a difference for that matter.

Today, there’s a lot complete ignorance about what goes in food. Because of that, a nutritionist counter culture (or the food punks, as I like to call them) has developed, where anything that might be possibly harmful becomes the topic of the week and the trendiest thing to avoid, without a necessarily complete understanding of said substance or additive. We’re all pretty familiar with the recent gluten free, grass fed, organic, GHB-free wave. (NOT a bad thing to have going around, mind you.)

In all of this, one of the original evils has sort of been out of the news, like Paris Hilton before her recent nose candy incident. High Fructose Corn Syrup has been, until last week, soooo 2007. However, there’s been a lot of hubub lately about whether or not they should be allowed to change their name to avoid bad press. Dear HFCS, while this tactic may have worked for Prince, I don’t think this will work for you. Or that it should be allowed. Go ahead, try and trick your consumers, but here’s the deal. I’ve compiled some information to arm our readers, so your propaganda and sneaky marketing won’t work. You ask, “what’s so bad about ‘Corn Sugar’?” Here’s your answer:

“FAT FAT FATTY!” According to Science Daily, a recent study conducted at the university of Princeton, found that rats who were given HFCS gained more weight (even with the same caloric intake) than rats who were just given ordinary table sugar. Sumo wrestlers, take note. “When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they’re becoming obese — every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don’t see this; they don’t all gain extra weight.” -Bart Hobel, neuroscience and apetite specialist. In an article from, the composition of HFCS is broken down for us. Essentially, this alternate and cheaper sugar, is made of two things: Fructose and Glucose. Fructose is a monosaccharide, or simple sugar. It does not stimulate insulin secretion, or require insulin to be transported to cells. As a diabetic knows, it’s important to manage your insulin secretion and glucose levels. The problem with Fructose, however, is that insulin also triggers leptin, or the “I’m full” hormone. So, if you’re consuming calories, without feeling like you are, you’re going to gain weight. If you’re diabetic, or even if you’re not, that can be a big problem. According to me, your dearest lemon, stuff tastes better with real sugar. Haven’t you ever had a Coke from Mexico… Dang those are good. I want one right now, it’s soooo hot out… Sorry. Back to the facts. If you don’t care if you’re fat, fine. Go rock that “big is beautiful” attitude. More power to you. I mean, look at Precious, she’s awesome. But according to, (and ANYONE with common sense) obesity leads to heart, kidney, and liver problems. Therefore, indirectly, so does HFCS. It’s kind of like the transitive property that says you have slept with everyone your current mate has slept with, but worse. Can I say that here?

So, whether it’s called HFCS, Corn Sugar, or some symbol that can’t be pronounced out loud, it’s bad. It’s evil. It’s satan. It’s Christine O’Donnell in sugar form (cheaper, simpler, and really really bad for America.) And the next time someone asks you, “What’s so bad about High Fructose Corn Syrup?” you’ll have an answer. Brought to you by your friendly folks at Bambu Batu.

Song of the day: “Raspberry Beret”- Prince

Bonus Video: some propaganda from

“I always buy organic.”

” I wish I could, but it’s too expensive.”

“I heard there’s no point.”

“How can you say that? Everything else is terrible for you, AND the environment!”

There’s really nowhere to turn and no one to trust in today’s crazy world of food fanaticism, nutritionist culture, labels that tell you what to eat, what not to eat, Atkins Vs. Veganism, and a general lack of CONCRETE knowledge about what goes in to our food, and where it comes from. A lot of extreme ideologies about food have developed in this modern age. Personally, I have to say I find it fascinating that in America today, more people die from obesity than starvation, and while we have fought to have equal education for all, we have some of the least educated people in the world. Additionally, the biggest indicator of obesity is income. It’s cheaper to buy burgers for your whole family then organic broccoli. But if you’re thinking to yourself, “I can’t afford smoothies and soy products every day, but I’d like to vote with my dollar,” then this article is for you. Here are 15 foods that are just fine to buy conventionally because they are the least likely to contain pesticides, and 12 that you absolutely shouldn’t buy any other way than the big O. (NOT an Oprah reference.)

The clean fifteen:

Onions Avocado Sweet Corn Pineapple Mango Sweet Peas Asparagus Kiwi Cabbage Eggplant Cantaloupe Watermelon Grapefruit Sweet Potato Honeydew Melon

The Dirty Dozen

Celery Peaches Strawberries Apples Blueberries Nectarines Bell peppers Spinach Kale Cherries Potatoes Grapes

So there it is, a little money saving device for those of you who can’t afford to shop at Whole Foods all the time. Here’s hoping that someday, this won’t be an issue, and safe foods will be the only option, and an affordable one at that. Until then, write on Micheal Pollan, keep fighting Morgan Spurlock, grow grow grow SlO Grown Produce, and stay on your toes consumers. If you want to have a discussion about it, come down and see us at Bambu Batu… we’d be happy to show you some kitchen ware you can eat your conventional AND organic foods off of!

Song of the day: “Aint Nuthin But a Party” by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Better living with stacked rocks and Feng Shui

Feng wha? Is that a fungus? What’s that mean? I don’t really like things I don’t under… OUCH! Jeez, I’ve gotta move the bed. I keep running in to it, and for some reason I can’t sleep at night. Oh, so, you’re telling me that’s sort of what this Feng Shui business is about? Oh, ok, a meeting of the laws of heaven and earth to govern our aesthetic world, so that we can improve life by receiving positive qi. Well, why didn’t you just say so before?

It may sound a bit silly to some, but for us here at Bambu Batu, with our recent move, Feng Shui was on the mind. And with so many people moving in to dorms, and houses with people they don’t know, trying to accomplish great academic things, it occurred to us that it might be helpful to you all to have some aid in the concentration, focus and ambition department. Here are a few tips to Feng the Shui out of your surroundings so you can get that ‘A’ and sleep at night.

To squeeze the qi out of your study room:

Make sure your office space is tidy. This may be fairly obvious, but it’s the first and most important step for concentration. If possible, place your desk so that the window is to the left of it. If there is no window, place a mirror there instead. It will have the same effect. Try to avoid having your back to the door, as this will interfere with your concentration. To make the room more comfortable and inviting, place a plant or wind chime near the window. This will help to prevent bad influences from coming in the window, and will bring good luck

Don’t let the bed bugs bite:

Keep your head AWAY from the door. Try and position your bed so that you can see the door, but neither your feet or head are facing it. (This is also useful when the zombie apocalypse comes. The head is the first thing they go for.) Try and avoid sleeping under a window. Windows are entrances and exits for qi. You can either loose positive energy by dispersing it, or receive the full force of any negative qi that might enter. If you cannot avoid this, then hang a curtain to prevent the flow either way. Avoid hanging depictions of water where you sleep. This can cause insomnia and bring bad luck to the bedroom’s inhabitants.

Hopefully these six little pointers will help you in the new adventure of the home decor department. It might be a little easier to decide where you like your desk the best, if there happens to be a window in the room. If you decide you’re really invested in the Feng Shui of your home, room, or dorm, come see us. We have a pretty neat Feng Shui compass to assist you in your furniture and art decisions. Until then, happy moving!

For further Feng Shui Tips, check out our article on Bamboo Fountains for Better Feng Shui.