I recently came across a press release (the kind that all the science sites use) with the headline "Plant-based sweeteners may help individuals control their blood glucose levels."
I thought that was odd, because table sugar comes from sugarcane or beets, and last I heard those were plants. So I went to the article. It said, "A new study shows that it is possible to reduce the level of sugar in
muffins without affecting their textural properties by replacing half of
the sugar content with stevianna or inulin, which are plant-based
Well, yes, stevianna and inulin are plant-based sweeteners. But so are sucrose and fructose. Even the evil high-fructose corn syrup is plant-based. The only non-plant-based natural sweetener I know of is lactose, or milk sugar.
I think the reason for this idiotic headline is that "plant-based" has become a buzzword for "healthy," like "fruitsnvegetables." Popular science journalists thrive on buzzwords, like "artery-clogging fats," just as Greek poets thrived on buzzwords like "rosy-fingered dawn."
The problem is that the average reader won't take the time to think about the articles they read. In fact, they may not even read them. They'll just see the headlines, or hear someone read them on TV and think, "Oh good. Plant-based sweeteners will cure my diabetes."
I suppose there's nothing much we can do about this. Journalists are always looking for snappy headlines that will entice people to read their articles. In this case, it worked with me.
Well, enough. Time to go make a cup of plant-based caffeine drink.