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.

Trackbacks (0) Links to blogs that reference this article Trackback URL
Comments (2) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Elijah Lynn - September 10, 2008 1:04 PM

Absolutely amazing! Sugar and Honey are low nutrient high calorie "junk" foods too!

Dried fruits such as mango, pineapple and apricots are my favorite "natural" candy!

Nathan - September 12, 2008 11:31 AM

I was on the same page as you. I recently was taught and researched on the web (more) the problems with high frutrose corn syrup. Moderation, is the key here. When you put this substance in about 75% of packaged food, how can you ever consider any kind of monderation. I have trouble sometimes just finding bread without it in there. I switched to diet and finally got used to it, to help "moderate" my intake of it. I am always switching to non-corn surup jelly to help also. Ketchup is impossible to find in the us without it. And any other kind of sauce usually has it also. If I go out to eat, unless the they bake their own fresh bread, it is impossible. So how do you "moderate" this stuff, and where do they post what is "acceptable." As far as I know, it is hush, hush and they dont release that info. I guess you could say, tobacco is okay in moderation also. The problem is (like sugar) it is highly addictive. Yes, they are right, but no they just want to see more, not see us healthy. I have a sorta vision, idea, that if we regulate corn syrup and the very least require full disclose on packaging of what the risks are of intake, we could switch a lage amount of the corn we use in syrup to production of ethonal. It is a win, win situation. The famers win, the people get healthier, and the ecomony and american people get to move some of the burden of lack of corn to convert to ethonal to at least a better margin. It is a waste to put it in our bodies when it is killing us. I bet if they took a survey of a 1000 americans and found how much corn syrup they average in intake, it is way over the acceptable "moderate" level (what ever that is).

Post A Comment / Question Use this form to add a comment to this entry.

Remember personal info?