It has long been a strange but all too true phenomenon, Americans are obsessed with both eating and their weight. You can point the metaphorical finger in a million different directions but it doesn’t seem to change the strange catch 22 that many of us find ourselves in everyday. One popular solution is to rely on artificial, low calorie substitutes so that we can literally have our cake and eat it too. It doesn’t seem to matter how many side-effects are attributed to these products our food crazy, Buff Culture can’t seem to do without their lowfat yogurt and Diet Coke. Hiroaki Matsunami and his fellow researchers at Duke University have found what may be the next biggest thing in the world of sugar substitutes. The new “Miracle Sweetener” is based on a protein that is found in the berries of a West African shrub. The scientists have isolated a protein from the berry that they call miraculin, which is tasteless on it’s own, but when the tongue comes in contact with this protein it perceives things that are sour as sweet. This new compound could be the key to creating products that could aide ever hungry and image conscious Americans fight our massive obesity epidemic.