Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Has anyone seen the new campaign for High Fructose Corn Syrup? I have seen it on TV (Food Network, I think) and in magazines like Bon Appetit and Cooking Light.

What is the most fascinating is that it doesn't deny that refined sweeteners contribute to obesity and have little nutritional value. The punch line is basically that corn syrup is equally bad for you as refined sugar, so have at it. (I'm not sure this is true, I still think HFCS is has undergone much more processing than refined sugar. Michael Pollan discussed this issue in his book, "The Omnivore's Dilemma," which we discussed here awhile ago.)

Are we, as consumers, that susceptible to marketing that this type of campaign(corn syrup is just as unhealthy as sugar!) can possibly be effective?


Tom said...

Of course it can be effective. Look, we're buying Obama's "George Bush is stupid, and John McCain is on his side, but if you point out my record I'll call you a liar and accuse you of negative campaigning all with a smile on my face." He's the ultimate playground bully with a lawyer's training and a "victim" mentality. If we buy his screed, we'll buy anything. Most people will accept what is pleasing to their ears, however ridiculous. I think it was St. Paul that predicted that about people with itching ears.

Anonymous said...

Lots of people--including my hsband--are allergic to corn syrup. Try avoiding it for a week! It's in almost everything, including many hot/spicy condiments, sausages and many lunch meats, breakfast cereals, etc. Avoiding it for my kids means essentially no candies at all. The industry has an enormous market & they're premptively protecting their market share.
Also, the production of HFCS uses a lot of dangerous acids & I'm sure they don't want anyone to look closely at the environmental impact of making it, as opposed to just boiling sugar cane.

Kate E. said...

Also if you want a bit of a shock, read the label on most bread in the grocery store.

I just saw some big brand advertising "Now with No High Fructose Corn Syrup"...guess they realized people were starting to look.

Kat said...

What a strange thing to advertise! I just looked, and our current bread in the pantry does NOT have HFCS - Nature's Own Wholewheat. However, I usually buy what's on sale and oftentimes that does have HFCS. I know I know, I should just make my own bread...Maybe I'll get a breadmaker for Christmas :)

Merrill said...

I've wondered who is paying for these ads -- is it a group of processed food companies getting together like the "Pork, it's what's for dinner" people or is it an actual company that makes HFCS. It's funny to know that other people are interested in this too.
Also, John McCain is on Bush's side, Tom. It's whether or not you think that's OK that you have to decide.

B-Mama said...

My question for anonymous: what kind of reaction does your husband have to HFCS? Both my oldest boys get a topical skin reaction when eating syrup and ranch dressing. Wherever the stuff lands on their faces, it creates a red mark that fades after we wipe off the slime. I've always wondered if it was some preservative in the liquids, but now you have me thinking it might be the HFCS.

Ellie Raduns said...

Have to love ad campaigns sponsored by the "American Corn Refiners Association." I'm sure their independent research is unbiased, and their main goal is to deliever you actual truth unbiased information after all their profits have nothing to lose from a little truth right?
Don't be fooled people, HFCS is one of the worst things you should consume, and can be found on numerous top 10 "never eat food lists," and it is in everything!
I recently saw an ad from the same organization informing us that HFCS was better for you than honey.
Needless to say this is all a bunch of lies, and decent. For real truth about how this sweetener is made check out

As far as the allergy comment, Corn is poorly digested and is considered a "high allergy food" for most individuals, and a skin irritation, rash etc, of any kind would indicated a problem. Corn especially has a high rate of causing "leaky gut" syndrome in both animals and humans a like. Leading to stomach aches, systemic yeast infections, headaches, constapation etc. All real desirable things right? And corn in a cows diet is one of the major reasons e.coli in milk is such a huge problem.


Molly said...

My understanding is that this is happening because the price of corn has risen so much that HFCS is actually getting as expensive as cane sugar. It used to be the far-cheaper alternative (thus its presence in EVERYTHING), but now it's actually having to compete.

So odd. I avoid HFCS on the rationale that the more basic our food gets, the better.

texas mommy said...

Thanks, Ellie, our resident nutrition guru. Very useful info you passed on, as always!

I will add that I try to use local raw honey as much as possible if I need a sweetener, because some studies show it can help a bit with allergies...also it is unprocessed and natural.