Science

Carbon Free Sugar?

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You can't make this stuff up

As a way to attract a certain clientele, one of our very good local coffee shops here in Central Virginia offers fair trade, shade grown, bird friendly mocha. Now thanks to Domino, their customers can rise to even greater heights of environmentalist rectitude—they can sweeten their double espressos with certified CarbonFree® sugar. Wow, a carbohydrate without carbon! If the carbon is removed from sucrose, what's left? Water. 

It turns out that what Domino is actually promoting is:

Sugar is a naturally sweet product from our earth, so it's natural for us to want to be good stewards of our environment. We have a head start at this, in fact, because the sugar cane plant converts sunlight to energy more efficiently than any other major crop.

As a result of this, and the various earth friendly farming techniques and energy producing efforts at our Florida facility, specially marked packages of Domino® Sugar have been certified CarbonFree® by Carbonfund.org, a non-profit organization that certifies products with carbon neutral footprints.

The label CarbonFree® means the product's carbon footprint is rendered neutral by cutting greenhouse gases.

OK then. While New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg may hate sugar, it is, at least, also largely DNA Free.

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  1. How stupid do you have to be to convince yourself that carbon is a pollutant in a world mostly comprised of the stuff?

    Oh no! That evil corporation dumped carbon up stream. We’re doomed! Somebody save Frappe!

    1. There is a consensus. You want to be in the majority, don’t you?

    2. Water is good for you. How could you possibly drown?

      1. Yes, let’s ban water!111!!! Or at least set reasonable restrictions on who can use it and how it may be used, since people could drown!111!!!!!!

      2. Still, though, the proper phrase is obviously “Carbon dioxide free”

        1. A carbon atom convort with two oxygen atoms, it’s sin I tells ya!

          1. ‘s’ got lopped off in the creation of that tag.

    3. My favorite is how they spin turning a waste product (bagasse and a form of pulp liquor) that they are legally prevented from just dumping or burning off into a saleable product as a sacrifice you should pay a premium on their primary product for. Fuck right off. I’m already paying a tariff premium on the shit. I’ll be goddamned if I’m paying your carbon bullshit premium, too.

      1. From a purely capitalist viewpoint, this is a win-win for the company and a win for anyone who doesn’t rush out to buy the latest Gaia hairshirt.

        Seriously, they should be selling this, as long as its safe for human consumption, as a means of maximizing profit.

        1. Smoke and mirrors. Despite what carbonfund.com will tell you, there are raging debates on what level of fossil displacement is actually happening.

          The challenge is finding an efficient way to burn the leftover lignin in a refinery’s or power plant’s boilers. The lignin could be dried in a centrifuge or sprayed wet into a boiler, but both require a lot of energy, Cornell’s Pimentel says.

          He figures it takes about 1.5 gallons of oil to make a gallon of cellulosic ethanol. It also takes roughly twice as much cellulosic material as corn to yield an equal amount of fermentable sugar, Pimentel wrote in a 2005 article in the peer-reviewed journal, Natural Resources Research.

          But Michigan State’s Dale and University of California-Berkeley professor Alex Farrell published a paper last year that says cellulosic ethanol displaces more fossil energy than it consumes. What’s more, cellulosic ethanol produces about 88 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline*.

          *My comment. From an allocation standpoint, this is almost certainly bullshit. If you do the gate-to-gate comparison (just bagasse to ethanol, then burn ethanol) versus oil in ground to gasoline combustion, this may be true. If you consider the full lifecycle (sugar in ground to ethanol) it is likely to be very much more than 22% of gasoline emissions. I’m in the field, and those numbers set off my bullshit detector.

          1. Oh, I’m not looking at this form the bullshit point of view of an serial Gaia cuddler, just from the standpoint of producing as little waste as possible so as to make money from whatever the resource is.

            Duping the eco-freaks is just a fringe benefit.

  2. Hey, I’m sure they have a line of kosher and hallal sugar as well… this is more of the same.

    1. Don’t support kosher or hallal sugar. For that, they don’t stun the sugar before they rip it from the ground.

    2. Hey, I’m sure they have a line of kosher and hallal sugar as well… this is more of the same.

      They do. Here

  3. Is it you that’s been paying hosting on that site since 1999, Ron?

  4. Sugar is already technically a CO2 sink. At least until we eat it.

  5. various earth friendly farming techniques

    It’s harvested by slaves using big knives?

  6. Well, I’ve bought my last bag of Domino sugar.

    1. Had you bought your first bag of Domino sugar? What kind of libertarian would buy any brand of sugar other than Imperial?

      1. It is all good. Domino is French, comes from the Latin dominus meaning “lord, master.”

      2. Imperial? Does it come with complimentary blood diamonds?

  7. For fuck’s sake.

    1. I hereby renounce carbon and will now move to silicon.

      1. Hortas are illegal in Florida. You’ll have to lay your spherical eggs elsewhere.

        1. Well, okay, what other elements can I use as a basis for life?

          1. Just fucking covert to pure energy already, you piker.

            1. Not all of us have man-crushes on Wes, you weird little being.

              1. Well, I did see an ad last week for Going Organian.

                1. Well, I did see an ad last week for Going Organian.

                  How are you at keeping treaties?

                  1. Really awful. In fact, I completely vanish after a few episodes. It’s a common energy being failing.

              2. You know, Randian, you’re like a young Mozart.

                1. Up until now, Epi – if you’ll forgive this – you’ve been… uninteresting.

                2. Epi, I assume you pre-ordered Borderlands 2, which is being released tomorrow. The previews I’ve seen look awesome.

                  1. I will begin downloading from Steam tomorrow morning, and then will not get a chance to play tomorrow night because I have a number of things I have to do. Maybe–maybe–I can get in an hour or an hour and a half, just to check it out.

                    1. We’re picking up ours tonight at midnight. We are pretty pleased to finally be able to play split-screen online since we had to throw down a few times about which of us got to play online with friends. At last, peace in our house.

                    2. I’ll wait until Thanksgiving, so it can be a four-day orgy of weed, turkey and violence.

                    3. My husband and brother both feel a little cough coming on; I predict they will miss the next 2 days of work. And our kids will be in school. Good times. Out of curiosity, SF, which character class do you prefer?

                    4. I’ve played through with all four, but Lilith remains my favorite. Phasewalk is the best save-your-ass-at-the-last-minute power.

                    5. I prefer Lilith, too. My jackass brother has called Zer0 and Mr. Sometimes wants the Commando, so I’ll play Siren again. I’m a little skeptical of Phaselock (I am not a “control the flow of battle” kind of player), but will wait to pass judgment until I’ve played a while. Still, it’s hard to beat all the elemental boosts of a Siren.

                    6. I also dug the SMG damage class mod, as they are my favorite weapon class. Come to me, my sweet Double Anarchy…

                    7. You get out of here with that non-elemental garbage. Nothing beats the Combustion Hellfire (with the Mercenary mod). Except for maybe a 660 Plaguebearer mod paired with a good Pestilent Crux. Shoot baddies in the face, Phasewalk to heal, lather, rinse, repeat. Of course that only works if you have a Roland for a partner and you are able to sweet talk him into wearing his team ammo regen mod; those shotgun shells go fast.

                    8. The Double Anarchy rips out zombie brains like nothing else. That is the source of its pleasing nature.

                    9. OK, now I will have try it. I’ve mostly used explosive rounds (Detonating Justice, Blast Hammer, etc.) to brain zombies…I think I still have a good Double Anarchy at Moxxi’s.

              3. Not all of us have man-crushes on Wes,

                Could it really be considered a man crush?

                1. Was Wes a catamite for anyone other than The Traveler?

                  Discuss amongst yourselves.

  8. The label CarbonFree? means the product’s carbon footprint is rendered neutral by cutting greenhouse gases.

    Everybody laughed when the Pope said, “Hey, what if we let the suckers just give us money to absolve them of their sins?”

    Laughed and laughed; all the way to the bank.

    1. Cruel world where Edmund Burke wins. I’ll sum it up, if you get rid of the insanities of the old world, where the game has been fixed but you at least know the rules, human irrationality will find other means to manifest, and the result will be based upon rules so unpredictable you’ll never learn to master them.

  9. From DNA Free:

    Consumers would be shocked to know that even organic foods contain DNA. A representative from Greenpiece said “not enough research has gone into studying the long-term effects of eating DNA”.

    1. Shit. . .I used DNA to run all of my cells. Can I take anything to stop it?

      1. Arsenic.

    2. What? That’s… what’s beyond weapons-grade stupid?

      1. Ezra Klein stupid.

        1. This might need to be beyond Ezra stupid. This might need to be the “they’ve gone Plaid” of stupid.

          1. Prepare Hit Und Run for ludicrous stupidity! Fasten all seatbelts, seal all entrances and exits, close all shops in the mall, cancel the three ring circus, secure all commenters in the zoo!

            1. Why are you always preparing! Just do it!

            2. secure all commenters in the zoo!

              I resent that, some of us Assholes are obviously needed on the bridge.

              1. He’s an Asshole too, sir! Major Asshole!

                1. Apparently it’s a joke site. Sorry guys.

      2. o3 stupid?

        1. That’s a lot of stupid.

        2. having just cycled to my locavore fair trade foodie shoppe, i ll wifi wiki greenpeace DNA to see what ur on about

          1. What I quoted is referring to GMO foods. But if they mean genetically modified foods, then continually calling it “DNA” is really retarded.

            1. Also, it’s apparently a joke site. Sorry about that. What’s the relevant internet law again?

    3. “not enough research has gone into studying the long-term effects of eating DNA”

      No, only a couple of billion years of worth of research. I guess will know for certain what the results are upon heat death.

      1. fuck, I can’t type today.

        No, only a couple of billion years of worth of research. I guess will we’ll know for certain what the results are upon heat death.

    4. Holy fuck! They actually think that they can grow produce without DNA.

      Creating DNA fee food is very difficult. Normally all cells of a plant contain DNA. For example, in a normal tomato, every cell that goes to make up the fruit contains DNA which provides the instructions to the cells of the fruit to make seeds, tomato flesh and the flavorings we know as tomato. We have produced tomato plants that have the floral meristem modified such that the meiotic divisions that normally give rise to the fruit do not transmit any chromosomes.
      Once we have done this, the real problem is to get the DNA free fruit to develop in the absence of any instructions from the DNA. This is still in the experimental phase and we have yet to fully test it but what we are trying to do is to set up a phylotaxic phase transition of the subquarkic atom field surrounding the young tomato plants. This causes the Sheldrakian morphogenic fields of the tomatoes to expand from the tips of the plants into the area surrounding the fruit and thus supply the genetic information to the fruit in the absence of DNA

      1. They haven’t done it yet but they have “images” of DNA free food.

        Apparently, we can solve world hunger if we can just get rid of the DNA.

      2. They may actually be able to do this…once.

      3. Uh, guys, I think this is a joke, much on the order of the Dihydrogen Monoxide website.

        1. Tonio is correct, unfortunately. One of the “scientists” they name is “Dr. Frank N. Stein”.

  10. Carbon free eh? So I guess it’s not organic then.

  11. You think that’s stupid – back in the days of the Low-Carb diet fad, my company (a market research consultancy) was approached by a startup Atkins wannabe, whose product portfolio included a Low Carb Water brand

    We were sitting around the conference table, and when they got to that, I raised my hand and was like, “oh, come the fuck on”…. the person presenting, anticipating some “pushback” quickly made a comparison to how many companies tout the “high vitamin C!” content of their juice, when in fact its just a natural characteristic of juice in general… but I’m like, “yeah, but you’re suggesting there were carbs in the water in the first place….when that’s plainly ridiculous… what next: “this water does NOT contain any radioactive materials nor was involved in the holocaust in any way”?

    During the awkward silence, I could see one of their people taking some notes = “…hmm holocaust-free products… interesting…”

    1. Obviously, they should have called it No Carb Water.

      1. “Water Lite”

    2. Actually, the only way you could certify that water was Holocaust free would be to find trapped water deep underground or to mine it off-world.

      1. Posh! All you have to do is *triple purify it*

        Also, it is declared kosher

        1. Oh, I see. It could be mixed with traces of water from Holocaust survivors, then blessed by representatives of all major religions and repudiated by Hitler’s surviving relatives.

        2. Purifying it makes the holocaust residue stronger.

    3. “Our water is the only water that is certified piss free!”

      1. “That’s the Fairsley Difference!”

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP4yX2rkpBc

        “Here, you can shop comfortably, knowing your children will *not* be abducted and shipped off to a Pakistani whorehouse….”

        1. Fucking awesome.

    4. Go back 10 years before that and ask people if they thought anyone would ever get rich selling little 16 oz bottles of water?

    5. “During the awkward silence, I could see one of their people taking some notes = “…hmm holocaust-free products… interesting…””

      What? A world without soap?

    6. It is much more likely that you have radiactive materials in the water than carbs, as there is a naturally occurring radioactive isotope of hydrogen.

  12. Thank you for explaining. If I had seen that in the grocery, I would have come to a full stop for a long time – trying to decide if I imagined all that bio-chemistry class.

  13. Woaaah Ohhhh…

    DOMINO!

    1. When that sweetener bends over, I forget my name. [Yes, different song–so what?]

  14. Sucrose is C12H22O11 so if yu remove Carbon you have H22O11.

    1. Or H2O x 11.

        1. Is heavy water safe to drink? How expensive is it to make these days?

          1. No, please, we’re in XKCD territory here.

            1. Is that your final answer?

          2. Wikipedia sez: “Because it would take a very large amount of heavy water to replace 25% to 50% of a human being’s body water (which in turn is 70% of body weight) with heavy water, accidental or intentional poisoning with heavy water is unlikely to the point of practical disregard. For a poisoning, large amounts of heavy water would need to be ingested without significant normal water intake for many days to produce any noticeable toxic effects.”

            In fact, a glass of heavy water a day might reset some oxidative aging. But going solely on a diet of heavy water will eventually poison you.

            1. Okay, so it needs to be marketed as a prescription drug. That’ll help make it cost effective, too, as I think distilling heavy water will likely take some effort.

              1. if it’s an drug, it’s health care, which is a right. so you can get other people to pay for it.

                1. So, maybe some sort of government project, say, a Manhattan Project, to produce mass quantities of heavy water for consumption is in order? Under ObamaCare, who do I see to make this law?

                  1. I’ve already deemed it passed as an essential health benefit. Let’s get started on capturing the regulatory process.

                  2. Under ObamaCare, who do I see to make this law?

                    Are you sure it’s not already in the legislation? Don’t lie to me and tell me you’ve finished reading the entire text of the PPACA already.

              2. Tritium water would be more dangerous.

                T20 would be pricey though.

            2. Just so it doesn’t include ANY pesticides.

              /Ken

          3. Yes. Some Norwegian guy tried it in the 40s or something after everybody decided there was no imaginable way it could harm him.

            And nothing else happened.

            1. Wasn’t that Breivik’s dad?

          4. It is safe in small quantities. The ill effect would show up until you replace about 25% of the water in your body with it.

            Various sources on the internet mostly agree…

            1. Agreement does not occur on the internet, so I know you’re lying

            2. So we issue some disclaimers.

              1. It appears that heavy water interrupts cell mitosis.

                CANCER TREATMENT!

                1. We are going to be so rich.

      1. so, this one goes to 11?

  15. various earth friendly farming techniques

    erm.

    Anyone here ever seen a sugar plantation, say, in Jamaica?

    half naked men with machetes hacking at cane while half the field is set on fire… doesn’t really scream, ‘earth friendly’. More like, fiery earth-rape by savages

    1. Maybe Gaia likes it rough?

      1. Have you seen the way she dresses?

    2. More like, fiery earth-rape by savages.

      Great. You’re insensitive comment is going to cause a horde of Jamaicans to storm our embassy in Kingston. Proud of yourself?

    3. More like, fiery earth-rape by savages

      NOBLE savages, asshole. Some people…

  16. Also, I assume when H+R posts have no author byline, we should assume that it is a press-release from the Earth Rapers, the evil Koch Brothers, who want nothing more than to dash the noble attempts at rectifying our impact on the environment and force consumers to digest nothing but the most evilly of evil, harmful, dolphin-killing, water-polluting, nutrient-sapping, carbon-loaded sweeteners designed specifically to cause instant-diabetes so that the population will be forced to survive only through consumption of their evil synthetic super-corporate diabetes-drugs.

    We know your game, REASON.

    1. Duh. You didn’t get the memo?

  17. what’s beyond weapons-grade stupid?

    Remember the movie Ruthless People? Where the idiot tries to steal the ransom with a hundred cops surrounding him, and the head cop says. “That might be the stupidest human being on the planet.”?

    (or words to that effect)

    1. “I DARE you to kill her!”

      (hangs up)

  18. More bullshit from the domestic sugar cane lobby. Just you wait, they’ll be pushing to mandate that they get subsidies to produce carbon free sugar while slapping tariffs on evil imported sugar from other countries.

    I remember one time a friend and I bought a Coke for $1.00 that was Hecho en Mexico and a Coke made in this country for $1.75 and found that the Mexican Coke used actual sugar and was much better than the domestically produced Coke.

    1. Are you serious?

    2. I remember one time a friend and I bought a Coke for $1.00 that was Hecho en Mexico and a Coke made in this country for $1.75 and found that the Mexican Coke used actual sugar and was much better than the domestically produced Coke.

      Are you serious?

      1. Mexican Coke (ha!) is sold all over Southern California.

        1. Mexican Coke (ha!) is sold all over Southern California the USA.

      2. Sugar Coke is much better. We bought some at Fresh Market and gave it to the kids. They loved it. Too bad it’s so pricey here.

        1. Don’t know where you live, but like Mad Scientist said you can find it easily and cheaply across Southern California. Just go to a minimart or Mexican grocery store. I particularly like the glass bottles, I think it makes the Coke colder.

          1. Plus, glass bottles won’t make your kids into girlie sissies by pumping them full of BPA!!1! Let’s hit all the tropes.

          2. Florida. Not cheap here. Despite all the subsidized sugar.

            Coke! I call on you to provide us with Sugar Coke as is our right!

            I had Sugar Coke for the first time since the company went corn syrup in the U.S. while in Malaysia in the 90s. I couldn’t believe how much better it was.

            1. Try a bodega or a tienda instead of Fresh Market. You might be surprised.

              1. I will make discreet inquiries.

    3. Wait, Mexican coke is just sugar?! I’ll have to switch brands. From now on, only Columbian coke for me.

  19. Sounds good to me dude, where do I sign?

    http://www.AnonWays.tk

    1. TIGGY!!! TIGGY!!!

  20. Carbonfund.org, a non-profit organization that certifies products with carbon neutral footprints

    Does Carbonfund factor its certification process and overhead into the carbon neutrality of each product?

    1. How many reams of forms did it take to certify that product and how many does it take to maintain the certification? All I see are dead trees as far as the horizon.

    2. Nope, just that the number of zeroes left of the decimal on check is correct, and that the check clears.

    3. I went to carbonfund’s 2010 990 form.
      http://www.carbonfund.org/pdfs/990-2010.pdf

      Confirming again to me that these geenies aren’t really very good grifters or possibly actual believers.
      27 employees
      $1.2million in salaries
      equals $44k per employee.
      Assume a few top guys take home 150k or so and rest are 20k enviro drones just out of college. You can’t get a trophy wife on that grift.

  21. Has anyone commented yet that this post is unsigned? What is reason hiding from, exactly? Big Carbon or Big Sugar or Big Carbonless Sugar or Big Sugarless Carbon or the Marzipan Mafia or what?

    1. Doesn’t Bailey ususally do the science posts?

      Big Carbon or Big Sugar or Big Carbonless Sugar or Big Sugarless Carbon…

      Those sound like the names of pimps.

      1. Big Bottom.

        “Talk about mud flaps, my girl’s got ’em.”

    2. Its always Bailey when its unsigned.

  22. Stupid hipsters will literally buy anything as long as it has a kewl little label that says “organic”, “fair trade”, “carbon free”, “locally sourced”, “artisanal” or other meaningless platitudes just so they can get that warm smug feeling that comes from knowing that their farts don’t stink. Sheesh, I thought the artisinal mayonnaise thing was bad.

    On another note, couldn’t someone sue Domino for false advertising? “What do you mean there are carbon atoms present in the molecules of this sugar? I was under the impression that this sugar was ‘Carbon Free’! I’ll sue you in England!” I smell a frivolous lawsuit.

    1. “* see side panel for details”

  23. Only Domino’s offers a free phosphorus-free lemon phosphate soda with every order of
    carbon-free spagetti carbonara.

  24. And it’s also fat free!

  25. How to Eliminate Sugar from Your Diet

    Sugar can lead to many diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol. So it’s definitely important to watch what you eat when it comes to sugar

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