Not much left to chew on (Day 65)…

gummy

Foil, paper and plastic packaging; artificial sweeteners and zero nutritional value; a sticky glob you chew on, spit out and often get stuck on your shoe — all for the sake of fresh breath, and maybe some oral fixation. Really, gum is pretty dumb.

I’ll admit, I often crave a piece after eating garlic bread or French onion soup, but I’m always disappointed. Brands like Excel, Dentyne, Trident and now Mentos and Juicy Fruit all come in ridiculously over-packaged sleeves (even their websites are over-packaged), with each piece encased in its own dispenser, so it feels less like you’re opening gum than popping pills.

Plus, they’re always so sweet that in the end my tongue feels more syrupy than clean, and the ones that are sugar-free all have aspartame or sucralose, which hurts my stomach.

There really is no fun in gum, other than the satisfaction of popping and snapping it, which drives my father nuts — so, I’m sure he’ll be elated to hear that I’m giving the stuff up as my next green change.

Well, let me amend that a bit: I’m giving up packaged gum. I might try and make my own with real mint or cinnamon flavour; otherwise, I’ll just get another recyclable toothbrush and a travel-sized tube of natural toothpaste and keep them in my ever-expanding purse for whenever halitosis strikes.

Photo courtesy of canonsnapper on Flickr

6 Responses to Not much left to chew on (Day 65)…

  1. Lori V. says:

    Congrats on this small change, Vanessa. I, on the other hand, will not be making this change. My biggest reason is that chewing gum helps you feel satiated when you are hungry, and my youngest son was just put on new medication; one of its big side effects is that it turns off the part of your brain that tells you that you are full, and so he always wants to eat. He’s gone from severely underweight to a pretty average weight, but he’s gaining at about two pounds a week, so any little thing to help will be attempted! One of those trade-offs I’m always talking about… 😦

  2. Alina says:

    That’s odd. My perception was always the opposite of Lori’s, and I have a scientific explanation for it too (possibly made up, but it makes sense to me). I always had the feeling that chewing gum actually makes me hungrier, a LOT hungrier. My pseudo-scientific explanation for this is that chewing stimulates your stomach juices to prepare for incoming food. So my theory is that all those acids bubbling around with nothing to munch on make you hungry! Maybe that’s why your kid keeps eating? I dunno, does this make sense?

  3. Eva says:

    Alina, I was under the same impression. Gum makes you hungrier, I too gave it up. I would go from hungry… to starving in no time at all. I read years ago something about swallowing all that saliva does stimulate stomach acids in preparation for real food, in turn making you HUNGRY. At least it seemed that way for me.

  4. aimée says:

    yup, gum pretty much sucks on all levels (bad for you- aspertame, bad for the environment- packaging).
    so, ok guys, i’ve got the solution! courtesy of an old yoga journal tip:
    purchase some organic fennel and/or anise seeds and keep them in a small container in your handbag… fennel and anise are very good for you, good for breath and digestive help, and if you reuse your small container, there’s no environmental damage!

    -aimée
    p.s. just found my next blog topic! ha!

  5. Lori V. says:

    It’s only been recent studies that have shown gum to make you feel less, not more, hungry. I’m thinking it was only sugar-free gum, too, but I may be wrong about that. I just Googled “chewing gum hunger” and was given a plethora of pages. Of course, a lot of our experiences with it might be placebo effect, too.

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