Letters for April 22 

Readers sound off on vegan cooking, Desley Brooks, and our arts coverage.

"Dairy-Free Decadence," Taste, 3/18

A Compassionate Article

Thank you so very much for writing this article. It is wonderful to see your dedication to expose people to vegan alternatives! In fact, it would be great to do a follow-up story featuring Compassionate Cooks (www.compassionatecooks.com), a group run by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, whose mission it is to demystify "vegan" cooking and baking — all while doing it healthfully and affordably — and joyfully. Patrick-Goudreau authored a cookbook titled, The Joy of Vegan Baking (www.joyofveganbaking.com), which was awarded Cookbook of the Year by VegNews Magazine. This cookbook is like HEAVEN in my kitchen and even my non-vegan friends rave about the breads and desserts I bring to work and parties.

Kristine Williams, Oakland

How Many Letters Must We Write Before You Stop the Slander?

The March 18 article, "Dairy-Free Decadence," may mislead consumers about high fructose corn syrup.

High fructose corn syrup may have a complicated-sounding name, but it's actually a simple sweetener, made from corn, that is nutritionally the same as sugar.

High fructose corn syrup is not sweeter than sugar; and high fructose corn syrup, sugar, and honey all contain the same number of calories (four calories per gram).

The American Medical Association in June 2008 helped put to rest misunderstandings about this sweetener and obesity, stating that "high fructose syrup does not appear to contribute to obesity more than other caloric sweeteners."

Even former critics of high fructose corn syrup dispel long-held myths and distance themselves from earlier speculation about the sweetener's link to obesity as the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition releases its 2008 Vol. 88 supplement's comprehensive scientific review.

Many confuse pure "fructose" with "high fructose corn syrup," a sweetener that never contains fructose alone, but always in combination with a roughly equivalent amount of a second sugar (glucose). Recent studies that have examined pure fructose — often at abnormally high levels — have been inappropriately applied to high fructose corn syrup and have caused significant consumer confusion.

High fructose corn syrup is made from corn, a natural grain product. High fructose corn syrup contains no artificial or synthetic ingredients or color additives and meets the US Food and Drug Administration's requirements for use of the term "natural."

Consumers can see the latest research and learn more about high fructose corn syrup at www.SweetSurprise.com.

Audrae Erickson, president, Corn Refiners Association

"Desley Brooks Versus Chip Johnson," Full Disclosure, 3/18

A Double Standard

While I don't always agree with Councilwoman Desley Brooks, I do admire her for standing up to false allegation let by San Francisco Chronicle, Chip Johnson about the councilwoman involvement over the actions by then city administrator. It is not surprising giving that Johnson condemnation of Mayor Dellums over what he feel is not accountable to the people of Oakland.

It's funny, he never apply it when Attorney General Jerry Brown was mayor for eight years and Brown was as corrupt as ever with some back doors dealing and was very disrespectful toward the people of Oakland, especially people of color. On the hand, Mayor Dellums, while not perfect is trying his best to help Oakland like for example getting green jobs in the city and trying to get more cops on the street to fight crime that is questionable in my opinion.

Yet, Chip Johnson, along the Chronicle, the Tribune, and you, the Express, are not getting the current mayor the credit that he deserve but you praise former mayor, Jerry Brown but he didn't do anything but cause working-class people of color to leave Oakland due to his policy. This shows a racial double standard.

Billy Trice Jr., Oakland

"Convergence of Robins: Broken Stairs," Local Licks, 3/25

A Nice Portrait

Thanks for the kind words. Just wanted to say — I couldn't have written a better description of the music in two sentences if I tried. You are a really talented writer. The painting reference is right on (my other passion that I've neglected for the sake of this music.)

Nate Toutjian, Oakland

"From Poet to PA," Events, 3/11

A Lot of Cutters

Your article on James Schamus included the sentence: "Overnight, he transformed himself from a scholarly Berkeley Ph.D candidate to the guy who yells 'cut' on a film set and picks up everyone's lunch."

There are many people who yell "cut" on a movie set. First, it's the director, followed by the assistant director, followed by the production assistants.  Perhaps a more accurate description of a PA would be "one of many people who yells 'cut' on a film set." (There are also female crew members as well.) I know that wouldn't have sounded as sexy though.

However, "picks up everyone's lunch." YOU BET!

Theresa Donahoe, Oakland

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