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OpinionLetters

Just Sayin':

A sample label provided by the Food and

A sample label provided by the Food and Drug Administration shows metric measurements -- such as grams and milligrams for fats, cholesterol and sodium -- for food. Photo Credit: AP

Avoid metric system for food ingredients

The U.S. government requires food makers to list ingredients on labels by using the metric system, but I believe weights and measures in ounces, teaspoons or tablespoons, for example, would be more understandable to Americans.

How many people know that 4.2 grams of sugar equals one teaspoon? If a 12-ounce soda has 20 grams of sugar, that equals nearly five teaspoons. Would you put that in your coffee?

Researchers say there are 61 names for sugar on packaging labels, such as sucrose, dextrose and corn syrup, further confusing the public. The American Heart Association recommends that men have not more than 150 calories, or about nine teaspoons, of added sugar each day. Added sugar is the kind not found naturally in foods, such as fructose in fruit or lactose in milk. For women, the daily recommendation is no more than 100 calories a day from added sugar, or about six teaspoons.

The average American consumes 17 teaspoons of added sugar a day, totaling 57 pounds a year, experts say. This contributes to obesity and high rates of diabetes and poor health. People must be more mindful of the food and drinks they consume to live a longer, healthier life.

George DeSpirito,

  Williston Park

  

Don’t eliminate cash from U.S. economy

News reports say there is a worldwide movement toward a cashless economy. Some merchants prefer that customers pay by using cards or mobile devices.

Aside from the obvious segregation of millions of people who have neither bank accounts nor smartphones, all of us would lose an important option without cash.

Marketplace transactions should be based on equal standing. Allowing one party to eliminate a centuries-long medium of exchange would limit the liberty of the other.

In addition, the creation of near-universal electronic records of all transactions would create a window into one’s personal habits and our social economy. This could be of great value to impartial economists, but also allow tremendous abuse by retail stores, banks, law enforcement, advertisers and social media companies. We know from experience that such data can be exploited.

Brian Kelly,

  Rockville Centre

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