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Trick or high-fructose-corn-syrup-laden treat?

21st October 2008

Trick or high-fructose-corn-syrup-laden treat?

Earlier this year after reading Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food,” the husband and I decided to eliminate high fructose corn syrup from our diets. It’s all part of our commitment both to eating healthier and living sustainably. And we’re not alone. There’s even an entire messageboard dedicated to sharing ways on how to reduce HFCS consumption.

I quickly found that eliminating HFCS completely is near-impossible, however. The artificially-processed sweet stuff is found even in bland oyster crackers. So, we’ve not gone entirely HFCS cold turkey, but we have been successful in avoiding it as much as we can. Sometimes its just a matter of switching brands of foods we already eat. The husband’s one dish he can fix well is vegetarian chili, for example. The chili beans we used to buy contained HFCS, but the Bush Brothers’ beans brand does not and the cost difference is negligible. And while we’ve tried to reduce our HFCS consumption, we’re not so rigid as to give up our favorite movie-night snack of Chocolate Quakes.

HFCS is often used as a popular whipping boy for obesity, but an American Medical Association study released this summer found that it contributes to obesity no more than other caloric sweeteners. The corn people jumped on the AMA’s report, incorporating the finding in its promotional literature, while conveniently omitting the part where the AMA suggests limiting caloric sweetener consumption to no more than 32 grams of sugar daily. And while HFCS is a cheap replacement for cane sugar, it’s not an exact ratio. LiveScience reports:

Cheap high-fructose corn syrup became the way to make lousy, processed food that is largely devoid of nutrients taste better. The stuff began to appear everywhere starting in the 1980s, from products that indeed contained cane sugar, such as soda, to foods that never had it, like soup. You’ll find high-fructose corn syrup in hundreds of commercial food products that once had the potential of being healthy, such as bread, breakfast cereal, crackers, yogurt, canned fruits and vegetables, and countless sauces and condiments, along with most sweetened drinks and snack foods.

How about you? Do you try to limit your consumption of HFCS or is it a non-factor in your dietary choices? Why or why not?

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 21st, 2008 at 2:02 pm and is filed under Food News, Health, Nutrition & Fitness, New Research. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

There are currently 47 responses to “Trick or high-fructose-corn-syrup-laden treat?”

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  1. 1 On October 21st, 2008, Eucritta said:

    I avoid HFCS … mostly because I don’t like its overpowering, cloying sweetness, but also because when I do buy canned goods or the like, I prefer ones that are pretty much just what’s pictured on the label, with as few … so-called enhancers in them as possible. I see it as not only a health issue, is the thing, but also one of business practice in other ways, as I believe sweeteners, salt, msg, and other overpowering flavor agents are used to mask deficits in quality and care.

  2. 2 On October 21st, 2008, Jill said:

    I live in England, where HFCS is not an issue.

  3. 3 On October 21st, 2008, Rachel said:

    Why isn’t HFCS an issue there, Jill? Is there some kind of ban or something?

    Agreed, Eucritta. My personal ethos is to avoid processed foods and unnatural chemicals as much as possible. And do you know that they put sugar now even in canned vegetables? I can afford to buy organic now, which doesn’t have it in it. But the cheaper store brands at my grocery store have sugar in most canned veggie products.

  4. 4 On October 21st, 2008, Bree said:

    It’s not an issue for me. Also, I’m in a financial situation where I can’t afford to try and replace all my foods with the organic, non-processed kind.

  5. 5 On October 21st, 2008, Ian said:

    In re “Why isn’t HFCS an issue there, Jill? Is there some kind of ban or something?”:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-fructose_corn_syrup

    “These tariffs significantly increase the domestic U.S. price for sugar, forcing Americans to pay more than twice the world price for sugar, thus making high-fructose corn syrup an attractive substitute in U.S. markets. [...] Large corporations, such as Archer Daniels Midland, lobby for the continuation of these subsidies.[13]”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rent-seeking

    “In economics, rent seeking occurs when an individual, organization or firm seeks to make money by manipulating the economic and/or legal environment rather than by trade and production of wealth.”

    America has an HFCS problem because our legislators currently better represent monied corporations, rather than us, their constituents. (One would hope we won’t elect a president whose staff is known to be rife with lobbyists.)

  6. 6 On October 21st, 2008, Living400lbs said:

    One of the big reasons HFCS is so common in the US (and not elsewhere) is that a) we have lots of corn producers who can make HFCS cheaply b) we have high sugar tariffs to protect our own sugar producers. The combination means that HFCS is cheaper than sugar in the US. Outside the US, the equation usually works differently.

    Re: my own intake? I’m not deliberately avoiding it in food, but lately I’ve been focusing on eating more fiber, which I find moderates the sugar high/lows I used to have. The organic wheat bread I eat now not only has over 3 times the fiber of the cheap Wonderbread-like stuff, but it tastes better and, um, has no HFCS. The afternoon snacks I pack are things like celery & peanut butter or a half sandwich … which have less HFCS than the stuff in the vending machine. Etc.

    I avoid most sugared or HFCS drinks because they tend to give me headaches.

  7. 7 On October 21st, 2008, Rachel said:

    Interesting stuff. Thanks, Ian and Living400lbs.

  8. 8 On October 21st, 2008, ladykuri said:

    We avoid it sort of by default. We eat naturally, locally and freshly (preferring frozen to canned when fresh isn’t available) as much as possible. HFCS is none of those things. Well, it’s local where I grew up, but that’s another reason to avoid it- the “corn processors association” of ADM, Tate & Lyle, et al are a bunch of crooked, human rights violating, environment destroying, price fixing, government manipulating bastards. Not going to support them if I can avoid it. Oh, and there’s also the little fact that stuff with HFCS tastes like ASS compared to natural counterparts. I’ll pay a premium for Jones soda and the few other things that *need* sweeteners, and eat natural, not sweetened savory foods thanks.

    Oh yeah, then there’s also the part where HFCS foods turn my normally sweet and mature stepdaughter into a raging screaming irrational beast if she eats very much (suspected intolerance, it’s pretty common for kids with ADHD like tendencies to do much MUCH worse when they consume HFCS or artificial dyes).

  9. 9 On October 21st, 2008, Bree said:

    I do want to say when it comes to fruits and veggies, I do not do canned or frozen. I only prefer it fresh where I can pick it myself.

  10. 10 On October 21st, 2008, stew said:

    important to note, and Michael Pollan emphasizes this in the Omnivore’s Dilemma, that HFCS is harmful in large part *because it is so cheap.* If equivalent calories of sugar were equally cheap, we might expect the same results re: obesity epidemic (this is why the recent HFCS ads have a grain of truth).

    The price of HFCS (not just it’s price relative to sugar) is low in large part because of agricultural policies instituted during the Nixon presidency–subsidies which favor large food processing companies, but hurt the American farmer (and the rest of us, in myriad ways)–by keeping commodity corn prices artificially low.

  11. 11 On October 21st, 2008, Rosa said:

    Okay, so I’m from Iowa and HCFS is part of my cultural heritage. I do cook with it – my mom’s cinnamon roll recipe calls for it, and so do some other baking and candy recipes I make occasionally. Though when you buy a bottle, it’s just labeled “Corn Syrup.”

    I don’t buy much processed food. We cook from scratch most of the time. However, I don’t see much difference between HFCS, sugarbeet sugar, cane sugar, rice syrup, “dehydrated cane syrup”, or any of the other sweeteners.

    The thing I do strongly avoid are artificial sweeteners like aspartame.

  12. 12 On October 21st, 2008, Twistie said:

    I read labels religiously for HFCS. My husband has type II diabetes which he mostly controls through diet, so I have to watch stuff like that like the proverbial hawk…and that’s why we have so few processed foods in the house.

    Whenever possible, I use fresh foods. When I use processed, I read labels and do my best to avoid things that will raise his blood sugar too much.

    I nearly cried with joy when I finally found a brand of canned tomatoes that didn’t include HFCS or added sugar but did fit into my food budget. Darn thing was about twenty cents a can cheaper than the name brand, and had no added salt, either!

    That said, I do have a bottle of corn syrup in my pantry. I got it so I could make pie out of the lovely fresh pecans a friend sent me from her parents’ tree over the summer. But I’m also looking for a couple pecan pie recipes that rely on cane sugar for sweetening, too, because corn syrup is messy to deal with and kind of icky sweet to my tastebuds.

  13. 13 On October 21st, 2008, Shelly said:

    Twistie, Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything cookbook has a pecan pie recipe that does not use corn syrup.

    I am the designated pecan pie producer for family holidays, and I think this year I’m going to make both, and see which people prefer. The non-corn-syrup pie is different, but still quite yummy. Personally, I liked it better.

  14. 14 On October 21st, 2008, Nicole said:

    We do avoid HFCS, just because I like to try to eat things as close as possible to their natural state. If I’m going to have something sweet, for example, it’s going to be a cookie that I make out of flour, sugar, butter, etc. with my own hands. I don’t necessarily think that HFCS is the devil or anything, but it seems to me that byproducts of a food that has been used for decades to fatten up livestock just may not be the best thing for me and my family.

    I got a little added impetus to continue my avoiding ways when I saw an ad in this month’s Cooking Light. It’s from the Corn Sweeteners’ Council and it’s got one person saying something like, “HFCS made me fat!” The other person responds, “No, it’s taking thirds that made you fat.” Nice.

    Makes my occasionally Quixotic quest to find the no-HFCS BBQ sauce a little easier to continue.

  15. 15 On October 21st, 2008, Miriam Heddy said:

    The thing is, many of the anti-HFCS arguments out there use, as their primary claim, the “obesity epidemic” and argue for a correlation (which they see as causal) between increasing fatness of Americans and HFCS.

    If you debunk the “epipanic” (as we in the FA world often–and quite successfully do), you’re left with a big question: what harmful effects does HFCS actually have?

    I’ve yet to see something convincing on this, but I’m willing to read more.

    As a household, we’re vegetarian and tend toward natural foods. My older kids (8 and 5) think “soda” refers to unsweetened, sometimes flavored soda water/seltzer, which they love.

    So HFCS isn’t much of an issue for us either way.

  16. 16 On October 21st, 2008, La di Da said:

    Like the UK, we don’t really have HFCS in anything much here in Australia, so it’s easy to avoid if you want. We have a pretty big sugar cane growing industry that supplies us with most sweetness. And would probably be quite against allowing cheap HFCS imports, etc.

    I do have a friend who likes American candy because of the HFCS though, as it’s wheat-free – a fair amount of candy here is made with wheat-derived glucose syrup.

    (If anybody ever gets on the HFC Causes Obesity! soapbox, point out to them that Australia and the UK have similar Officially Obese rates to the USA yet minimal HFCS presence.)

  17. 17 On October 21st, 2008, Cindy said:

    I don’t avoid HFCS, refined sugar, flour butter or caffiene.

    I enjoy fresh food, whole grains and the like, but I don’t avoid processed food, either.

    Cutting out HFCS steers me right back into the loving arms of my BED.

  18. 18 On October 21st, 2008, Living400lbs said:

    Twistie, I hear you on corn syrup being messy. Once a friend mistook the bottle of corn SYRUP for corn OIL when making waffles. Pour a healthy dollop of corn syrup on a hot waffle iron, you’ll be cleaning it for hours….

  19. 19 On October 21st, 2008, Liz said:

    I avoid HFCS even more after reading Michael Pollan’s books and prior to that as well. Mainly by reading labels and avoiding packaged food for the most part which is cheaper anyway. If I want “treat” food I try to make it myself or get stuff that is made with real sugar, alternative sweeteners in general make me feel bad so it is just simpler to make stuff from scratch.

  20. 20 On October 21st, 2008, Eucritta said:

    Rachel, where it gets weird for me is when plain frozen veggies include sweeteners, given that freezing preserves both flavor and color pretty well. Hot-pack canning doesn’t necessarily — it depends on the veggie — so there, a bit of sugar added to a batch can make at least some sense. Sugar, not corn syrup … I like my green beans without treacle, thanks.

    Twistie, the use of corn syrup in canned tomatoes is one reason I think it’s used to mask poor quality. Thing is, properly ripe tomatoes are sweet, sometimes very sweet depending on variety and year, and that sweetness intensifies somewhat when they’re steamed or stewed. So that HFCS should be added to any tomato suggests to me that the tomatoes used were of poor quality and/or not actually ripe despite being red … like, say, those anaemic tomatoes supermarkets sell in winter.

  21. 21 On October 21st, 2008, meerkat said:

    I have been avoiding HFCS and hydrogenated oils for ages. In Japan, I am not sure they use the same sweetener, but I know they use a lot of hydrogenated oils and they are not distinguished from nonhydrogenated oils in the labeling. :(

  22. 22 On October 21st, 2008, Bronwyn said:

    I don’t consciously try to avoid HFCS because I’ve found that at this point in my personal recovery trying to do things like this hinder me greatly- at this point I am still trying to get where I can comfortably spend money on food so I can keep myself well fed- And while price differences in some things are negligible (in which case I go for whichever has the least sugar, period), in other ways I just can’t do it.

    It’s too much all at once, but I hope to get rid of it. I don’t really believe that HFCS is the reason we have obesity issues but the whole issue pisses me off a great deal because I think it’s ridiculous what the food industry is like.

  23. 23 On October 21st, 2008, Alexandra Lynch said:

    By dint of food and symptom diaries, I diagnosed myself as having fructose intolerance, and as I have removed sources of it from my diet am much happier and feel better.

    I make most of my food from scratch and rely on my freezer and canner a lot. However, part of what interests me is in living as “normal” a life as possible, which includes occasionally having ice cream, and eating out once in a while, and so sometimes I think something’s safe and it isn’t.

    Fortunately, the amount in white bread or a hamburger bun is not enough to set me off unless I am eating it for three meals a day for several days.

  24. 24 On October 21st, 2008, Tiana said:

    If you debunk the “epipanic” (as we in the FA world often–and quite successfully do), you’re left with a big question: what harmful effects does HFCS actually have?

    I’ve been wondering that, too.

    Personally I’d never heard of it before I started reading FA blogs because they call it by a different name in my country, three different names actually depending on who’s talking and how much fructose is in it. I doubt we use it as much as you do in America – at least I haven’t come across sweetened vegetables yet. Yikes. I never thought to pay attention to it since I figured that it was just some form of sugar.

  25. 25 On October 21st, 2008, wiscck said:

    I moved from the US to Hong Kong a year ago, and now almost never eat anything with HFCS (only food imported from the US has it) and I can say that my weight has not changed significantly.

  26. 26 On October 21st, 2008, Rachel said:

    what harmful effects does HFCS actually have?

    In and of itself in moderation, HFCS isn’t all that unhealthy and harmful. The problem comes when you consider quantity consumed. HFCS is in so many products these days and in such large amounts, that you end up consuming way more sugar than your body really needs. And environmentally, it’s much more damaging to the planet to produce than say, cane sugar.

  27. 27 On October 21st, 2008, libbyloo said:

    I’m allergic to all corn-based sugars, so no HFCS for me…

  28. 28 On October 21st, 2008, Tiana said:

    The environment argument sounds convincing, but I doubt that HFCS in an of itself can make us consume more total sugar than usual. If it’s in something that’s supposed to be sweet, you’d just get sick of the taste faster. The real problem is that people put sugar – any sugar – into meals that we don’t expect to contain it, and thus we accidentally eat it on top of what we actually wanted. I don’t understand why it should matter if that happens to be HFCS or not – whatever it is, it’s unnecessary. If we’re currently in need of sugar, it’s not. What exactly makes HFCS so evil?

  29. 29 On October 22nd, 2008, Entangled said:

    A couple other people have mentioned this as well, but thinking of HFCS (or anything else) as a “bad” ingredient brings back way too many memories of disordered eating. Given the choice, I’d usually prefer something made without it, but I have trouble believing it’s a big bad boogeyman (and neither is anything else – take that, orthorexia).

    I do have a preference, though, that when I buy canned beans it contains beans. And when I buy frozen broccoli, broccoli is what’s in the bag. I don’t like my veggies to taste sweetened or overly salty, so I will check for that.

    But, yeah, no need to get worked up over it (unless of course it’s due to food allergies or the like). That just strikes me as way too close to assigning moral value to food, something I’ve been working so hard to avoid. I just don’t think what you eat is something to get superior about (but a lot of people disagree with me).

  30. 30 On October 22nd, 2008, twilightriver said:

    I have a digestive intolerance to corn and the ingredients derived from it such as xantham gum, mono and diglycerides, dextrin, and dextrose, just to name a few.

    I’m no less fat now than I was when I ate without restriction. I just have less bloating, fewer bellyaches, and no more diarrhea or migraines. My oral health has improved as well, but I couldn’t begin to tell you why as my brushing/flossing habits haven’t changed.

    I am as suspicious of people who claim that a certain kind of food is bad as I am of people who claim that certain foods are miraculously beneficial.

    Then again, the reason I discovered the cause of my symptoms was that a friend told me corn makes people fat. I hadn’t yet given up dieting, so I eliminated everything with corn for a couple of days and felt human for the first time in years. I had already tried avoiding gluten and all of the other things that might have caused my symptoms, so I know it’s the corn. The other ingredients that don’t sound like corn, but come from corn (like xantham gum) bring my symptoms back, so I avoid those too.

    Digestive intolerance may as well be an allergy, but at least it won’t send me into anaphalactic shock.

  31. 31 On October 22nd, 2008, ricki said:

    1. It’s my understanding that “corn syrup” (which is mostly sold under the brand name Karo in the US) is not quite the same thing as HFCS, which is a more-highly-processed product.

    2. I do tend to avoid HFCS if I can. Mainly because I don’t like the taste – it is far too sweet to me. (Maybe different people taste differently?). It also seems to me that food manufacturers use it as a way of covering up cheaper ingredients because the sweet taste overpowers everything else.

    I do think the “truth” about it lies somewhere between “It’s just like regular sugar; it has no effect on your health sugar doesn’t have” and “Oh noes! It’s the cause of the Obesity Epidemic and it causes all kinds of disease and makes Baby Jesus cry.” Unfortunately, it seems the nutrition/food news we get in this country falls exclusively into one of those two camps: either everything you could possibly eat is going to kill you somehow, or you could peel the asphalt off the street and eat it and you’d be just fine.

    3. That said, I find food crankery (people who do the OMG YOU SHOULD NEVER EAT THAT to other people) annoying. Or the people who claim that everyone should buy and eat local. Or whatever. That may be great for some, but it’s simply not possible for all. It’s called walkin’ a mile in other people’s shoes. For every newspaper columnist on one of the coasts who exhorts me online to eat local…well, I’d like them to live where I live and work a full time job like I do and see how easy it is.

    I refuse to make “foraging” for local food a second job, which seriously, would be what it would be if I wanted to do it.

  32. 32 On October 22nd, 2008, Rachel said:

    But, yeah, no need to get worked up over it (unless of course it’s due to food allergies or the like). That just strikes me as way too close to assigning moral value to food, something I’ve been working so hard to avoid.

    There is a vast difference between labeling something as “healthy” and labeling something as a “good” food. The two terms are not interchangeable unless you personally consider them so. For me, I’m at a point in my own ED recovery where I can distinguish that a food is unhealthy because it doesn’t contain any nutrients my body needs, but just because its unhealthy doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a “bad” food and thus off-limits entirely. What that unhealthy label means instead is that it should be consumed sparingly and in moderation.

  33. 33 On October 22nd, 2008, QuiltLuvr said:

    I’m a chemist and the chemical difference between fructose, sucrose and glucose is tiny. I don’t think it hurts to limit HFCS but I don’t think it is particularly beneficial either.

    We just practice moderation. Although I think my continued good health into my 50s can be attributed to my german peasant farmer genes, not anything I have done.

  34. 34 On October 22nd, 2008, Mary Sue said:

    I do limit it, but mostly because I limit added sugars in my diet. I’ve noticed a definite WHEEHEEHEEEEEEE*twirl*crash* response to HFCS. I have ADD, the brain-chemisty’s-screwed-up kind, and I react to many things differently than others do (wanna see something funny? Feed me a sleeping pill. Last time I took one, the kind that’s basically Benadryl, I was awake all night and so antsy I cut, pieced, sandwiched, ironed, and tied a full-sized quilt.)

  35. 35 On October 23rd, 2008, InTheWild said:

    I have diabetes, and I have seen some interesting research that indicates that the diabetic body processes HFCS differently than sugar. So, while the caloric intake is the same, the HFCS is not broken down in the body the same way, and can negatively impact diabetes. I don’t know how true this is, and I am not a fan of “one size fits all” anything (therefore, I don’t think any one ingredient should be banned just because some folks have a different reaction). Because of the diabetes, I limit sugars and things like HFCS, but I also have to avoid all artificial sweeteners because I have a nasty reaction to them. Thank goodness for stevia!

    And speaking of HFCS, has anyone else in the U.S. besides me been seeing all these TV commercials sponsored by the corn council (or whatever), trying to debunk the notion that there is anything wrong with HFCS?

  36. 36 On October 23rd, 2008, JeanC said:

    I’ve been working on reducing HFCS in our diet simply because I do not want it in every damned thing I eat. Sorry, it does NOT belong in my bottled spaghetti sauce and anything else that doesn’t need sweetners. It is fine in soda on occasion(tho I prefer Shasta diet with Splenda and am now buying my Coca Cola from Costco where I can get cases of Mexican coke made with cane sugar which is a hell of a lot more satisfying then coke with HFCS) and some sweet items.

    But it is used as a filler to mask poor quality ingredients and to pump up the bottom line. If you don’t have to shell out the money for quality produce, then you can make bigger profits.

    Someone pointed me to the site for the pro-HFCS commercials and I about puked. Yeah, it is fine in moderation, but when you put in EVERYTHING you aren’t getting it in moderation. I’ll continue to read labels, avoid it where I can and consume it according to MY definition of moderation, which means I put items back on the shelf if it has it in it and buy the product that doesn’t.

  37. 37 On October 23rd, 2008, Cindy said:

    I’m starting to hate the term *in moderation.* What does that mean, clinically? What does that mean, culturally? I now have no idea. I eat something sweet everyday. It’s but a pinch of my daily food, but I eat sweets. For some, this is out of balance. I should only occasionally be eating cookies. And eating three servings of fruits and veggies is supposedly moderate, but one is all I can get most days.

    And even if HFCS is in everything, should we assume that means we’re ingesting wagonloads of it? I’m not a scientist, so I have no credibility here.

    I appreciate Rachel’s stance very much — her dietary pursuits are an extension of her philosophical and ethical principles.

    What makes me go nutso are the people who preach “all organic all local” as a means to live years longer.

    Two generations ago, when my grandparents were children, most of their food was farmed locally on family farms. And they died more than a decade sooner than their children and my parents.

  38. 38 On October 24th, 2008, i-geek said:

    I tend to avoid it for a few reasons:
    1) The husband has sensitivities to a lot of artificial food additives, so the stuff I buy that he can eat without problems tends not to have HFCS by default.
    2) I try not to eat things with high amounts of refined sugars or starches too often, as they make my blood sugar go all wonky. Since I don’t like feeling shaky, nauseated, and disoriented, I don’t eat many sweets.
    3) We like to cook from scratch whenever possible, and the only time I use corn syrup when cooking from scratch is when I’m making candy at Christmas.

    I’m not convinced that gram for gram, HFCS is any better or worse than any other refined sugar sweetener. However, I think it’s used too often in things that don’t need it.

  39. 39 On October 24th, 2008, Rachel said:

    I’m starting to hate the term *in moderation.* What does that mean, clinically? What does that mean, culturally?

    “In moderation” obviously means different things for different people, so I can only tell you what it means for me. I try to follow a 90/10 percent rule: I eat healthy foods with nutrients my body needs about 85-90 percent of the time and “moderate” my intake of nutrient poor foods to about just 10-15 percent of my total diet.

    What makes me go nutso are the people who preach “all organic all local” as a means to live years longer.

    Hahaha, you should come to one of our local Earthsave meetings and sit at the raw foodist table!

  40. 40 On October 24th, 2008, ricki said:

    I suspect that for some people who use the term “in moderation,” they mean “you should ALMOST NEVER consume.”

    Or at least that’s the vibe I get.

    I’m really sick of constantly being reminded of “moderation.” Even the little squares of dark chocolate I buy have some drivel on the package along the lines of, “Like any indulgent treat, these are to be enjoyed in moderation.”

    I’m sorry, but eff that. I’m tired of being nannied at in that way…and yes, it does kind of reduce my enjoyment of whatever because I feel as if someone is telling me, “yeaaaaahhh….that’s not so gooooood for you. You might want to noooooot eeeeaaaaat iiiiitttt.”

    Of course, “Moderate” exercise means an hour a day of jogging.

    And the alcohol manufacturers use it in their ads to mean, “Don’t get sloshed, drive home, and then sue us when you get in a terrible accident that maims you for life.”

    So like Humpty Dumpty, people can take words and make them mean what they want them to mean.

  41. 41 On October 25th, 2008, Joelle said:

    We avoid it in our house, as it totally screws with my blood sugar. Particularly in the morning, when I have juice with breakfast. We now only buy the juice that has only juice in it, and not all the other crap (flavorings and HFCS, etc). Though, I will consume it in small quantities, because as you said, it is nearly impossible to avoid completely here.

  42. 42 On October 25th, 2008, whatsername said:

    Oh yes, I avoid HFCS as much as possible. I decided it was a good idea after reading a book by Dr. Andrew Weil, and a different Pollan book; “The Botany of Desire”. It’s getting easier to do as more soft drinks (the main place I still get it) are using evaporated cane juice to sweeten more and more. I guess quite a few of us are doing this though, because commercials have started up in my area of Northern California telling us we’re stupid for doing so! It’s great.

  43. 43 On October 26th, 2008, Trick-or-Treat : Halloween Candy Alternatives | Crunchy Domestic Goddess said:

    [...] the idea of handing out “treats” that are laden with sugar (or worse, high fructose corn syrup AKA HFCS) AND chemicals was less than appealing to me. But what is a good alternative that [...]

  44. 44 On October 28th, 2008, Jackie said:

    I’m guessing you haven’t heard of the ads by the Corn Industry, or http://www.sweetsurprise.com. HFCS is NOT artifical, it simply is corn. There is nothing to be afraid of, I’m sure it’s more natural than most of the things people eat. This is also interesting information:

    http://www.sweetsurprise.com/get_sweet_smart.php

    I find it interesting, that for a group of people who are used to being lied to or sold hysterical fear statements about the food they eat, that there would be an article on a fat acceptance website spreading the “booga-booga!” about HFCS.

  45. 45 On October 28th, 2008, Rachel said:

    I find it interesting, that for a group of people who are used to being lied to or sold hysterical fear statements about the food they eat, that there would be an article on a fat acceptance website spreading the “booga-booga!” about HFCS.

    I should first clarify that this isn’t a fat acceptance website. I identify as a fat rights activist, but not as a fat acceptance activist. Second, even if I were to identify as a fat acceptance activist, discussing matters of health does not negate this: You can be both health-conscious and promote fat acceptance. And as you can read in the comments above, there are many different reasons why people avoid HFCS, whether it be for health, environmental or economic reasons. To dismiss these concerns as “booga booga” hyperbole is really kind of insensitive to everyone here.

    As I mentioned in my post, the corn folks are all over the AMA’s findings and the website you linked to is their prime online promotional vehicle. HFCS meets the FDA standard of “natural” mostly because the FDA’s only definition for “natural” is that no artificial ingredients are added. In HFCS, the enzymes, from bacteria, are natural. The rest? Well… as the Live Science article explains, it’s not just “simply corn:”

    “High-fructose corn syrup could be all-natural if cornstarch happened to fall into a vat of alpha-amylase, soak there for a while, then trickle into another vat of glucoamylase, get strained to remove the Aspergillus fungus likely growing on top, and then find its way into some industrial-grade D-xylose isomerase. This funny coincidence didn’t happen in nature until the 1970s in a lab somewhere in Japan.”

    If you want to consume it, fine. But please don’t knock others for choosing not to consume it.

  46. 46 On October 28th, 2008, whatsername said:

    I’m surprised someone would come to what they think is a fat acceptance website and try and tell us that trusting an industries commercials is a better idea than doctors and investigators of food. :P I’m sure the industry has NOTHING to gain by making sure we believe HFCS is nothing.

  47. 47 On November 4th, 2008, Sarah said:

    I moved to the US 3 years ago from the UK. It is only recently that I have found out I am allergic to HFCS. It has been a process of elimination. I eat ‘similar’ food and in same proportions as I did in the UK.I do not and never have eaten processed foods,But my weight has jumped up considerably since living in the US. For months I just couldnt understand it. It seems every food here is laced with the cloying ghastly taste of HFCS…Even canned tomatoes???? Come on US wake up to the toxic way you prepare foods. There should be a government health warning on most canned and packaged foods in the US. HFCS is like an injection of poison, and yes it DOES create obesity..I am a proven example of it!

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