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Feeding Plants Artificial Sweeteners (2010) (jefftk.com)
21 points by luu on Feb 14, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 14 comments

Turns out putting saccharin on radishes mostly just attracts ants and kills the plants (https://www.jefftk.com/p/radish-experiment-day-9-saccharin-b...) and the surviving ones don't taste any different (https://www.jefftk.com/p/saccharin-does-not-affect-the-taste...).

It looks quite obvious that saccharin isn't good for plants, but it's good to have results of a simple experiment to demonstrate it. Good work! Thanks a lot!

Throughout the experiment I was telling friends that I knew it was a silly idea that was very unlikely to work, but it was also easy and fun to try, and if it turned out to work it would be very interesting.

> The main reason most people don't enjoy eating lemons is that they are insufficiently sweet. I think a lot of people would be interested in lemons that tasted like lemonade.

Yeah, people would eat many Xs if they tasted like Ys ... Some people should really go in a no (added) sugar diet for a bit, even things like lemons become sweet after a few weeks of no junk/sugary food. I've witnessed people dipping slices of apple in white sugar so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

I've never done the no-sugar thing, but I did switch to drinking fizzy water rather than soda a few years ago. Today I'll occasionally order a Coke or Dr Pepper and it tastes so syrupy sweet to me now that I can only manage to drink a small amount. I enjoy it, but it gets overwhelming quickly.

Ten years ago I would routinely get a 20+ oz soda with my meal and that feels unimaginable to me today. Part of that is just me getting old. Consuming a bunch of sugar today leaves me feeling hungover tomorrow.

When I think of how much high fructose corn syrup I ran through my liver when I was young I want to cry a little. It's so disgusting!

Yeah I agree here. But then again, I can eat lemons like an orange and I find them delicious.

Your dentist must like you.

But Brawndo's got what plants crave! It's got electrolytes.

Does not work like that. Physiology of plants 101.

This is not different than some people thinking that a colagen cream magically puts inside the big molecules that are just extended over the skin, or that you can take iron in your diet just touching a iron bar.

The first comment on the post mentions Miracle berries. The taste-modifying protein miraculin contained in miracle fruit has been added to tomatos to increase sweetness and thus reduce the amount of sugar they need to add to ketchup. see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22160133 I'm surprised there is not more research into adding miraculin to other bitter (but healthy) foods.

That's fascinating! My experience with miraculin [1] wasn't very positive because it completely removed the sour flavor, though perhaps in smaller doses it would make sense?

I guess I'd also worry that it would be hard to cook and eat because it adds an unusual dependency between ingredients: normally you don't worry that your ketchup on your hot dog will later make your cake taste too sweet.

[1] https://www.jefftk.com/p/miracle-berry

This doesn’t work but the obvious solution is to add the sweetener after - mix in with lemon juice or whatever.

And another obvious solution would be to use any of the thousands of Citrus varieties developped for almost anything.

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