Is Aunt Betty Out to Get You?

Photo by Abby Batchelder

Almost all of us have an Aunt Betty. She’s the sweet, thoughtful family member who always goes that extra mile to make everyone feel happy and welcome. Her house always smells of freshly baked cookies, and she has a specialty that we can’t wait to receive every summer:

Her strawberry jam.

Now, thanks to the work of scientists (or, as some might describe them, those people who just have to ruin everything), we know that jam is bad for us.

But how could that be? It’s made of fruit, for goodness sake!

It turns out that the process of making jam annihilates every healthful benefit that fruit may offer. The fruit has to be heated to extreme temperatures, which cancels out virtually all of its beneficial properties. Most jams are based on fruits like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or cherries, which are high in vitamin C. What is the easiest way to destroy Vitamin C? Heat.

What should we tell Aunt Betty? Our advice is to keep this information from her, and just accept the annual jam. You never know, those scientists may one day find that they were mistaken, in which case you would find yourself sitting on a sweet stockpile of spreadable fruity delight.

One can always hope.

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About Do Not Eat This

A side project by Grist.org
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2 Responses to Is Aunt Betty Out to Get You?

  1. Carolina says:

    I’m not going to ‘sit on it’, I’m going to eat it. As long as you don’t consume an entire pint in one sitting, it is not going to harm you to have a slice of good wholegrain toast with a spoonful of homemade strawberry jam. Especially if you’ve had fresh fruit as part of your breakfast. Or, instead of having it for breakfast, have it as an afternoon snack. Not every bite of food we eat has to be crammed with nutrients. Just make sure that the majority of what you are eating is healthful. Enjoy a treat of some sort each day…it helps keep you young and happy.

  2. Mariana says:

    That same thing holds true for just about any msgease on FB! I really try not to react too strongly because sometimes they are just song lyrics!! haha

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