Posted by: webbhouston | January 22, 2009

Not so sweet surprise

The Corn people, the people behind High Fructose Corn Syrup have been on a campaign to cleanse their name. Their website is touted all over the television world as “You are in for a sweet surprise”.

It shows people poking fun at others for using products that contain HFCS and the people ingesting this respond with well rehearsed, educated, and calm answers about how it is “made of corn” and “natural” and “find in moderation”.  The original people poking fun of HFCS then shrug their heads and go on eating what they once made fun of.

Translation: The people who are talking about how HFCS is evil are all ignorant fools who dont know any better and just need to have their beliefs explained to them.

My response to these commercials:

Lets begin with this…

Yes, it is made of corn. It is REALLY REALLY processed and while it is made of a product found in nature, the process itself is far from natural. Calling it natural is a load of bull… unfortunately calling something “natural” is not controlled by the Food and Drug Administration so you can call anything natural… it means nothing.

How is it used?

It sweetens obviously. It also helps act as a preservative as it extends the shelf life of products. It is cheaper than cane sugar, mostly because corn is highly subsidized by our government. It enhances flavors and spices and also gives baked goods a soft and moist texture… it is what helps makes twinkies possible.

For those of us that try to avoid ingesting GMO’s it is a good idea to stay away from HFCS as it is made from corn that has been mutated to hell and back.

What does it do?

In lab tests that were done to see the results of giving rats HFCS, especially the “fructose” part of it, these were the results.

The male rats did not reach adulthood. They had anemia, high cholesterol and heart hypertrophy–that means that their hearts enlarged until they exploded. They also had delayed testicular development. Dr. Field explains that fructose in combination with copper deficiency in the growing animal interferes with collagen production. (Copper deficiency, by the way, is widespread in America.) In a nutshell, the little bodies of the rats just fell apart. The females were not so affected, but they were unable to produce live young. – ^ Shapiro, Alexandra; Wei Mu, Carlos A Roncal, Kit-Yan Cheng, Richard J. Johnson, and Philip J. Scarpace (August 2008). “Fructose-Induced Leptin Resistance Exacerbates Weight Gain in Response to Subsequent High Fat Feeding”. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol.

The problems of the above little rats are part of what is plaguing our world now. Obesity, diabetes,  heart problems, anemia, infertility…these are all issues that are rising on a daily basis in our world. Yes, eating something in moderation is fine… and the commercials tout that.  HFCS has some fructose than sugar does, but less glucose. Some believe that this is better, especially for diabetics… except that glucose can be metabolized by body cells… fructose can only be metabolized by the liver.  This makes the liver work in overtime and makes the livers of the animals that have been subjected to this look:

like the livers of alcoholics, plugged with fat and cirrhotic

Unfortunately when it comes to HFCS there is no moderation. It is in so many things that it is impossible to even have a real list of what its in… however I will try to give you a short example of what it goes in.

What is it in?

  • Sodas
  • Juices (yet another reason why I believe children should have no juice)
  • Fruits packed in syrups
  • Ice cream
  • Baby Formula (can we say breast is best?)
  • Chips
  • Cereal
  • Crackers
  • Sauces
  • Hot dogs
  • Bacon (yes even in meats)
  • Jams/Jellies
  • Peanut Butter
  • Mayo
  • Bagged donuts, twinkies, etc.
  • Ketchup
  • Fast food
  • Other foods that are high in calories and low in actual nutritional value
  • really in most everything that contains a sweetener
  • Most things that are not fresh meats, veggies, fruits, or that is not specifically labelled “Sweeted with stevia/cane juice/etc.”

Alternatives?

There are other sweeteners out there that can truly be called natural and that are healthy for you and offer many benefits that HFCS wouldnt dream of offering.

My favorite of them all is honey.  Honey – Apart from the taste and how great it is for baking, cooking, and adding depth to meals it has great medicinal properties.

For at least 2700 years, honey has been used by humans to treat a variety of ailments through topical application, but only recently have the antiseptic and antibacterial properties of honey been chemically explained. Wound Gels that contain antibacterial honey and have regulatory approval for wound care are now available to help conventional medicine in the battle against drug resistant strains of bacteria MRSA. As an antimicrobial agent honey may have the potential for treating a variety of ailments. One New Zealand researcher says a particular type of honey may be useful in treating MRSA infections.[43] Antibacterial properties of honey are the result of the low water activity causing osmosis, hydrogen peroxide effect,[44] and high acidity.[45]

Honey appears to be effective in killing drug-resistant biofilms which are implicated in chronic rhinosinusitis.[46]

Of course we all know that our grandmothers gave us honey for sore throats and when we had colds.  HFCS couldnt touch the proven effects of honey with a ten foot genetically modified corn pole.

While nobody will argue that we are eating more and we are eating worse as a society and that our habits are to blame for the rising of illnesses that ail our nation… this sweetner is part of the larger picture.  HFCS is not a sweet surprise… it is mighty sweet… I’ll give them that.  Maybe the only surprising thing that I can find about it is how many things that it has made its way into. It does little more than make sure that eat more of it (research has indicated that it works by making us not feel full when we should and by becoming almost addicted to it) and it have no beenfits other than being cheap.  Part of the reason why we spend less on food than we ever have in history is because of processed foods like this.  Personally I would prefer to spend a little more and avoid consuming it.

It is hard to avoid honestly, but reading labels is something we should all do and if you se HFCS on the label… put it back. Eat fresh foods and make more meals at home. I know that the bread that we make at home do not contain HFCS because I know what goes into it, we made it ourselves.

You want one more reason to stay away from HFCS?  I am happy to give it to you. 🙂
It takes so much processing and refinement that it is not at all green.  It uses up so many fertilizers and pesticides that go into our soil and the processing of it uses up a great deal of energy.  As if you needed another reason to not consume it…

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Responses

  1. great post! thank you!

  2. Those commercials are annoying – and I’m sure plenty of people will fall for the propaganda.

    I want to list another alternative that I know that you already know about: agave nectar. The vegan version of honey and super delicious!

    PS. I love this: “ten foot genetically modified corn pole.”


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