I drink organic shade grown coffee but I put sweet and low in it. Gasp. I know, it makes no sense and I’ve tried to stop. I can’t. Over at 5 Minutes for Going Green I wrote a post about my natural weight loss struggle and the zero calorie mentality that basically has me hooked on artificial sweeteners.

This was before my new love affair with Stevia. Have you tried this stuff? Holey Moley! Good by artificial sweeteners, hello Stevia! Very expensive but well worth it. It is so sweet that I can use half the packet in my coffee and make it go the distance. Plus, zero calories and it’s natural. A herb native to Paraguay but has been “treated like a drug by the FDA”. Again, proof that the FDA is in bed with the chemical companies. The more I read about Stevia and the ongoing saga with the FDA the more I am convinced that money has everything to do with what is on our shelves, verses health and safety. Artificial sweeteners are big dollars in the U.S. and the FDA can’t have a natural herb like Stevia knocking all those pink and yellow packets off the grocery store shelves. Oh, my…what would happen?

Stevia won’t be found labeled as a sweetener. It is labeled as a dietary supplement and thus found in health food stores. Is this why I haven’t seen it at the grocery store next to my sweet and low? Yup. There have been some safety concerns raised about the product but I’m pretty sure that there are concerns over artificial sweeteners too. Hmmm? Aren’t these still allowed to be bought and sold and ingested? Read more about the claimed side effects, here. Funny how it is sold in health food stores but has been labeled as not safe by the FDA for food. Does anyone else find that odd?

I suppose you should make up your own mind on the safety of Stevia and artificial sweeteners but I’m going to start using Stevia because it’s natural and the studies and the FDA just aren’t adding up. It’s been used for over 400 years and no conclusive study is showing it is dangerous.

Following extensive research, Dr. Daniel Mowrey MD, Herbalist and renowned scientist, reported:

“More elaborate safety tests were performed by the Japanese during their evaluation of Stevia as a possible sweetening agent. Few substances have ever yielded such consistently negative results in toxicity trials as have Stevia. Almost every toxicity test imaginable has been performed on Stevia extract [concentrate] or stevioside at one time or another. The results are always negative. No abnormalities in weight change, food intake, cell or membrane characteristics, enzyme and substrate utilization, or chromosome characteristics. No cancer, no birth defects, no acute and no chronic untoward effects. Nothing.”

More informational reading on Stevia:

Stevia Safety Studies

Toxic or Tasty

Herb Research Foundation

Photo: istock

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