Friday, April 02, 2010

Great news! Well, maybe...

You gotta love the maple syrup folks for trying.

Pure Maple Syrup Contains Medicinally Beneficial Compounds, Pharmacy Researcher Finds

Of course, the story is a little less exciting than the headline. Maple sap contains these compounds (antioxidants, etc.) at really, really low levels. So next they're going to see if maybe boiling down to syrup concentrates them to the point where they're actually useful. They hope so, because after all, syrup comes from trees, and trees are plants, and plants are just chockful of healthy goodness:

"We know that plants must have strong anti-oxidant mechanisms because they are in the sun throughout their lives," Seeram said. "We already know that berries, because of their bright colors, are high in anti-oxidants.Now we are looking at maple syrup, which comes from the sap located just inside the bark, which is constantly exposed to the sun."
Oh, please.

I love maple syrup. It's a crop that is grown without chemicals (as compared to the astonishingly toxic array used on sugar cane) and over with minimal environmental damage. It's an industry with a backbone of small producers. Most importantly, it's delicious. I think that should be enough.