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Feeding Plants Artificial Sweeteners (2010) (jefftk.com)
21 points by luu 6 days ago | hide | past | web | 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.

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


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.


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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