High Fructose Corn Syrup, a Stupid Surprise
The Corn Refiners Association has gone insane! On the heels of the FDA’s announcement that High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is natural, they’ve actually started running ads that PROMOTE HFCS, calling it a “sweet surprise.”
Serious Eats is all over it, have a look:
The ads ask what's so wrong with a little HFCS? The complexities are hardly known or explained—people just know to avoid it. In one commercial, a girl picnics with her boy and offers him a popsicle. He declines. It's not you, it's the high fructose corn syrup, babe. Instead of taking offense, she merrily explains that HFCS is made of corn, has the same calories as sugar and honey, and is totally fine in moderation.
But what does "moderation" mean? SweetSurprise.com never elaborates on dosage on the site's "High Fructose Corn Syrup Quick Facts" page. While consumers have a vague idea of "moderation" (not too much), HFCS creeps into salad dressings, juices, ketchup, breads, and even "whole-grain" breads, which can complicate attempts to be moderate.
In the second pro-HFCS commercial, two moms chat at a kid's birthday party, surrounded by sugar-high munchkins. One supports the pouring of a generic, junky-looking fruit punch drink, while the other disapproves. You don't care about poisoning your kids with that stuff? Don't you see how hyper it's making them? But when put on the spot, the HFCS-hating mom doesn't know how to explain herself.
Like the commercial before it, the Corn Refiners Association reminds consumers that they don't know a lot about the sweetener—they just know to hate it. The commercial claims that the ingredient is safe, despite the chemically-scary name. High-fructose corn syrup is just made of corn—the same corn responsible for happy things like cornbread—and is nutritionally comparable to table sugar and honey.
Honestly, how is comparing HFCS to sugar a good idea—its all crap! And saying “consume in moderation” is silly. If Americans understood moderation, we wouldn’t all be fat and sick. Instead, try eating stuff a little MORE nutrient-dense than sugar!
Take soda for example, usually sweetened with HFCS, its strong link to obesity has been well documented Just check out Center for Science in the Public Interest: Liquid Candy.