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Thursday, July 6, 2023
Good Thursday Morning to You!

Reuters broke news last week that the Coke Zero I drink and the Trident gum I chew may cause cancer. Actually, the words used were “possibly carcinogenic,” which doesn’t sound deadly but doesn’t sound healthy either. That designation came from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) about aspartame, an ingredient in both of these sugar-free items, as well as Crystal Light, Log Cabin Sugar Free Syrup, Sugar-free Jell-O, Equal and Nutrasweet.

The media jumped on this like sauce on ribs. CBS. Forbes. Vox. CNN. Washington Post. The list goes on. Those of us who consume sugar-free products with aspartame stopped gulping and chewing for a moment and took note.

I read in the past about aspartame creating cravings for other products with aspartame, and I find that to be true. When I drink a Coke Zero, I crave Trident gum — and vice versa. But, like most things, I assumed the average person had to consume massive amounts of aspartame for it to be a legitimate health concern. I continue to live by the “little bit of everything is good, too much of one thing is bad” mantra. And, after researching these stories a bit further, I will continue to live by this and drink my one can of Coke Zero each day.

The best piece I read on this subject was from Verge, which stated, “You don’t have to freak out about aspartame in your diet soda. The IARC will reportedly classify aspartame as a possible carcinogen. But this isn’t a food safety agency, and the context matters.” Yes, it does.

The story stated that IARC “only assesses the hazard of a given substance, not the risk. For example, there is a hazard of a meteor destroying the Earth or the sun causing skin cancer. But that’s not what matters to the average person. What matters is the actual risk of a hazard happening.”

According to the story, the IARC reviews data about a substance and then declares whether it’s carcinogenic, probably carcinogenic, possibly carcinogenic, or unclassifiable. The article goes much more in depth, but data from the story confirms my view. “The FDA sets the ADI for aspartame at 50 milligrams per kilogram of weight.” The story also did the math for us, stating if you weigh 150 pounds, you could consume 3,400 milligrams per day. A packet of NutraSweet has 37 milligrams. A 12-ounce can of Diet Coke has 200 milligrams. That means you could consume 91 packets of NutraSweet or 17 cans of Diet Coke every day.

So don’t throw out your Crystal Light, Log Cabin Sugar Free Syrup, or Sugar-free Jell-O quite yet. And, maybe more importantly, be careful what news you listen to, watch or read.

Cheers, and have a thoughtful Thursday. Thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305


CITYVIEW's  Best Of Des Moines

CITYVIEW announced its 2023 Best Of Des Moines readers' choices Jan. 31. You can find all the results from the poll in the February issue of CITYVIEW magazine!

Best Whiskey

1. Prairie Fire – Iowa Distilling Company

2. Foundry Distilling Company

3. Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery


Read More

Your Clear Mortgage forecast from Jason Parkin

Temperatures will remain around 80 for a few days with chances of storms moving in Friday with rain chances through the weekend.

For help with preapprovals or refinancing, get in touch with Carrie at carrie.mortgage.

Featured Home For Sale
Attention Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.
8848 Summit Drive,
Clive, IA 50325
This Clive ranch has a lot to offer for such an affordable price. The home has many updates over the last several years, but most notably are a new roof and all new appliances. The main level boasts 3 bedrooms and a full bathroom.
See More Homes For Sale

FROM KCCI: Iowa lawmakers to hold special session for abortion legislation

DES MOINES, Iowa — The governor's office confirmed Wednesday that the Iowa Legislature will hold a special session starting on Tuesday, July 11, to enact legislation to restrict abortion access in Iowa. On June 30, KCCI obtained an email sent by an Iowa lawmaker that directed state representatives to hold July 10 open for a special session. ..READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Fireworks thrown at police officers, firefighters in Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines firefighters and police officers responded to a call about a potential structure fire, in the Oakridge Neighborhood, late on the Fourth of July....READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Principal Park ceremony celebrates 32 new US citizens

In the past 15 years, 450 people have become U.S. citizens at Principal Park's Fourth of July naturalization ceremony. ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5


He has how many board games?!

A deep dive into the city’s biggest board game collection

By Cyote Williams

Brett Trout looks through his extensive board game collection.

Before we could entertain ourselves and our families with the likes of party style-video games such as Mario Party or Jackbox, we needed other ways to pass the time when hosting company or simply enjoying a family game night.

Many childhood years have been spent playing the classics of Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, or a five-hour long Monopoly slugfest.

Read more in the July issue of CITYVIEW!


Ma Yu Ching's Bucket Chicken House, or Ma Yuxing, is the world's oldest restaurant. It was originally established in 1153 and has moved many times with dynastic changes and other things. It has been in continuous operation since 1855 and is an official "Intangible Cultural Heritage" of China.

An unused Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket from 1950 sold for $35 at auction house Aspire.

Thursday night is crispy fried chicken night at Chicago Speakeasy (1520 Euclid Ave., Des Moines) and $14 steak dinner night at Sully's Irish Pub (860 First St., West Des Moines).

— Jim Duncan

Birthdays and Notables!

These celebrities were born on this date: 50 Cent, Brian Posehn, Brian Van Holt, Chris “Woody” Wood, Jennifer Saunders, John Dickerson, Kevin Hart, Manny Machado, Ron Duguay, Sylvester Stallone, Tia and Tamera Mowry, The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning Chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:
What did the executioner say when the alarm clock went off this morning? - I BEST BE-HEADING TO WORK!- John Zeitler, Gail Tomlinson.  Or, I HAVE TIME TO KILL!- Brent Antisdel. Or “This is gonna be a killer of a day!” - Diane Doro. Or Time's Up! -Kirk VanGundy. Or, "It's a new day - 'Chop-chop'!" - Carolyn Rogers

Today's Riddle

What happens when you ask your dogs to make you some breakfast?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

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