It Looks Like High Fructose Corn Syrup Manufacturers Are Getting A Little Nervous

The Corn Refiners Association is sick and tired of people expressing uncertainty about the dubious heath benefits of high fructose corn syrup, so they’re running some commercials featuring aggressively annoying people getting schooled on the “facts” about our most omnipresent sweetener. All we managed to glean from the commercials is that not consuming high fructose corn syrup makes you rude. In the first one, one mom walks up to another (who is pouring some sort of pink liquid from a jug) and says, “Wow, you don’t care what the kids eat, huh?” What a jerk.

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  1. chiieddy says:

    My husband and I saw those ads over the weekend on TLC and were laughing hysterically.

  2. SuffolkHouse says:

    1) What are the proven harms in eating it?

    2) They don’t say it is rude for saying anything. It seems they are asserting that claiming it’s harmful without any support is stupid. That is stupid.

    I don’t eat the shit because I think the US government props up huge corporations with subsidies for the poison. Then they stick it in everything, including my fucking bread.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @SuffolkHouse: 1) It isn’t treated by the body the same as real sugar, for one thing. It turns into fat more readily than other sweetners because it is absorbed much faster, a rate at which your body doesn’t have the opportunity to burn it fast enough. This can lead to problems with the liver and insulin resistance, which can then lead to diabetes.

      As opposed to real sugar, it also contains lots of extra stuff from the process used to create and extract it from corn.

      I’m fairly certain that most of the really harmful effects of HFCS come from the form most commonly used in sodas, though I’m sure the type found in almost every other food stuff isn’t much better.

      I saw one of these commercials the other day, and I was just like WHAT?

  3. simplegreen says:

    “… what, that it’s made from corn???!!”

  4. celestebai says:

    Rude AND ignorant. Come on, pick me, I know the answer! Advertising…making people believe anything big corporations want. Hope my parents see it so next time I make a decision not to eat something with high fructose corn syrup they try that line on me. I sure wouldn’t say, “uhhh…ummm…that….”

  5. The_Atomic_Pod says:

    Awesome. Just avoiding being a green counter-culturist hipster is enough for me; actually giving us some facts is a bonus.

  6. gregcuc says:

    Well at least its “fine in moderation”… you know like alcohol, and fish high in mercury.

  7. sir_eccles says:

    They come across like the public information films in the Simpsons. I half expected Troy Maclure to pop in:

    “Hi, I’m Troy Maclure and you may know me from such films as “what could possibly be wrong with highly processed and refined artificial sweeteners” and “Tobacco, it’s a natural leaf”.”

    • jpmoney says:

      @sir_eccles: Well said, if I could I would moderate +1.

      I saw these over the weekend and my first thought was “wow, it really must be that bad if they’re doing the anti-information campaign”. In a way it assures me how bad the stuff must be.

    • WarOtter - I went to Japan and all I got was this tumor. says:

      @sir_eccles: +2 intarwebs

    • @sir_eccles: Actually, IIRC, they did have a sugar reference. Homer was warming up to Flanders, and they were having a picnic. Maude didn’t want the kids to have sugar and Marge says something like, “Why would the sugar council tell me something wrong?”.

    • crabbyman6 says:

      When we first saw this my wife and I were asking what the heck that was all about and laughing hysterically. We had the same thought as sir_eccles.

      Just read a good article on this. Basically HFCS doesn’t trigger insulin and leptin release because the enzyme is designed for glucose not fructose, so you don’t fee sated and therefore will eat more food while intaking the same amount of sugar calories because you haven’t triggered the cascade. [www.naturalnews.com]

      Also, does the corn industry REALLY need to advertise, aren’t they making enough money already and having supply problems cause food prices to rise?@

  8. B says:

    I avoid it because it tastes gross. Real sugar for me, please.

    • ornj says:

      @B: Second. Does any one else notice that products made with real sugar and even potato chips made with sun flower oil or whatever just taste better?

      • wiggatron says:

        @ornj: I’m sure most everyone here will attest to that. I can definitely taste the difference, but it’s not enough that I actually care. I do hate the fact that it’s in everything us Americans consume. Like others said, why the f*ck does my bread need to have HFCS in it?!

      • JamesEnsor says:

        @ornj:

        Actually, the chips made with the Sunflower Oil have an odd taste of sunflower seeds, as opposed to a “potato-chippy” aftertaste.

  9. Chongo says:

    everything in moderation…

    From what I’ve read the biggest problem is that because HFCS is concentrated that people consume it in larger doses, leading to a stronger chance of (wilford brimley voice) type 2 ‘betus’.

    • Burgandy says:

      @Chongo: I thought no one else cared how Wilford butchered that word, glad to have the company.

    • RevRagnarok says:

      @Chongo: I believe that is it – fructose is a simple sugar so is broken down more “easily” and therefore affects the blood sugar levels. Sending those levels on a roller coaster can play havok with the body’s attempts to regulate it. (I am an engineer not a doctor. This is my understanding from undergrad biology and reading Atkins’ book.)

  10. Ben Popken says:

    Too bad you can’t eat it in moderation because they pump it into everything.

  11. So they say if I don’t want to eat the damn thing (which is hard, because it shows up in everything) I’m an idiot? Thanks HFCS!

  12. yourbffjill says:

    If everyone in the US were to take these commercials to heart and truly consume HFCS in moderation, the corn refiners would be in huge trouble. Because it’s in freaking EVERYTHING.

  13. emis says:

    Whole Foods makes non-diet soda that uses cane sugar instead of HFCS… it’s not bad, but it’s feel-your-teeth-rotting sweet, so you end up not wanting much.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @emis: That’s precisely the problem with HFCS. If something has too much sugar in it, your stomach rebels and you’re sated. Sugar intake is halted. Puppies rejoice.
      Same thing with HFCS and you’re not sated, instead shuffling towards the grocery isle, groaning, “Moooore…”

    • colinjay says:

      @emis:

      I was drinking the Whole Foods 365 Cola for a few months because they are relatively inexpensive for a cane sugar cola ($2.50 for a six pack). After trying a few other cane colas. I’ve switched over to Jones Cola for my HFCS fix. They are about the same price, if not a little cheaper at $4-5 for a 12 pack.

      The 365 cola was just too sweet to tolerate drinking an entire can. It was much better over ice than from the can and had a good cola flavor. The Jones is not quite as good flavor wise, but more importantly has a less sweet taste.

      After drinking real cane sodas, regular Coke tastes more like a chemical and not a soda. Mexican cokes are okay, but prohibitively expensive.

      FYI- Jones with some good rum and a hint of lime makes a fantastic summer drink.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @emis: Jones Soda ftw!

  14. EBounding says:

    It would have been awesome if that woman whacked the other one in the face with the jug.

  15. emis says:

    …I think Hostess needs to start using this for Twinkies…

    Guy: “Want a twinkie?”
    Girl: “No way man, you know what they say about trans-fats”
    Guy: “What?”

    …and then just have the girl stand there with a dumb look on her face.

    It could work for anything… cigarettes, salt, weed, cell phone radio emissions, cosmic rays…

    We’re already “dumbing down” everything else on TV, this is just the next logical step.

  16. Am I the only one who noticed the “better than thou” woman in the first commercial is Buffy’s roommate in Season 4? Lol.

  17. British Benzene says:

    Anyone else notice that the “in moderation” part in the first video is almost [i]sotto voce[/]?

    And as others have said, try shopping the mainstream brands and consuming in moderation and you won’t be eating much.

  18. Micromegas says:

    In my experience the people who avoid HFCS also make a point to be as condescending as possible to people who don’t. I fully support these ads, not because I think HFCS is a great thing, but because people should mind their own damn business and let others consume whatever they want.

    • ZoeSchizzel says:

      @Micromegas: I work in an environment where I’m in contact with hundreds of moms and kids, and I’ve never met one who is sanctimonious about HFCS.

      Personally, I try my best to avoid it. When I was drinking soda (two cans per day) over a period of a year, I began to gain weight in areas of my body where I do not normally gain weight — in my upper body and my face. I’m small-boned and naturally thin, with a tendency to carry any excess weight in my hips and thighs, but on high doses of HFCS I looked puffy and bloated. After I cut that shit out, I lost 20 lbs in about 6 six weeks. Seven years later, I gain and lose the same 5-10 lbs, but I’ve never had the puffy-weight problem. Just my own experience, YMMV.

    • SuffolkHouse says:

      @Micromegas:

      Yeah!

      Hey, wait…do you work for Merck?

  19. SkokieGuy says:

    Our government has price controls on domestic sugar (to keep prices high) and places caps on imported sugar.

    This forced food manufacturers to look for lower cost substitutes, which just happen to be grown right here in the USA.

    [www.cato.org]

    Because the body does not respond chemical to HFCS in the same was as sugar and related substances, there is increasing data to suggest that HFCS is a significant factor in the rise in obesity and diabetes rates in our country.

    [www.wnbc.com]

    • If I want to get “facts” about the health issues of HFCS I’d trust an unbiased news source over a multi-million Web site and campaign created by HFCS manufacturers.

  20. Shark1998 says:

    PEOPLE-

    VERY FEW EDIBLE THINGS ARE BAD FOR YOU IF TAKEN WITH MODERATION.

    The problem is most people don’t know what “Moderation” means.

  21. Jonbo298 says:

    I think this advertising will backfire, because it will get people to Google “High Fructose Corn Syrup” or just the letters “HFCS” since Google will do both the abbreviation and full word of it, and you see the top results of sites that talk about how bad it is/can be for you. Not enough people know what HFCS is, so this will get them to read it in greater detail.

    The sponsored link is to the HFCS “Facts” site, but most don’t pay attention to that link and they will notice all these links below showing how bad it is/can be for you. Great work though “Corn refiners” on making people aware of the product and how it will start the downfall.

  22. nicemarmot617 says:

    I’m a supertaster. I can taste the HFCS in some things, especially soda.

    Solution? I don’t eat or drink anything with a clear “corny” taste. If I can’t taste it, I don’t worry about it.

  23. savvy999 says:

    I just avoid any food additive that is best expressed as an acronym, or that one cannot buy off the shelf at my grocery store.

    We can buy sugar, honey, even little packets of NutraSweet or Aspartame. Not so with HFCS. That tells us something right there, yes?

    HFCS is like BASF– we don’t make the foods you eat, we make them mysterious.

    • antijamsect says:

      @savvy999:
      wrong. you can buy HFCS. its called Karo Syrup. Its in the baking aisle.

      [www.karosyrup.com]

      • kidgenius says:

        @antijamsect:

        Actually, you’re wrong. Karo is regular corn syrup, not the high fructose variety. There is a difference. HFCS has enzymes in it that convert some of the glucose in the corn syrup to fructose, thus making it HFCS.

        • mrooney says:

          @kidgenius, @savvy999: Actually Karo syrup can contain HFCS; I am sitting next to a bottle which does. From [karosyrup.com] itself: “Karo light corn syrup is a mixture of corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup”, where Karo light (and not Karo lite) refers to the standard “clear” syrup as opposed to the dark version which attempts to imitate molasses as an ingredient.

          I suspect they have removed HFCS recently from the ingredients due to the hype, but it at least used to be there and it might be useful to be more informed before you attempt to correct someone. Last week I was at a relative’s house who baked with Karo syrup, and sure enough HFCS was in the ingredients list on their bottle, too.

      • savvy999 says:

        @antijamsect: Wrong. Karo is specifically only “Corn Syrup”, often with additives… not High-Fructose (meaning concentrated) Corn Syrup. Look at the Nutrition Facts for each Karo product here [www.karosyrup.com]

        The difference is only a matter of concentration, the ratio of glucose to fructose, but still a difference. Karo = CS, not HFCS.

        Ah, wiki to the rescue to explain the difference: [en.wikipedia.org]

        “High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a variant in which other enzymes are used to convert some of the glucose into fructose. The resulting syrup is sweeter and more soluble.

        Corn syrup is also available as a retail product. The most popular retail corn syrup product in the United States is Karo Syrup, a fructose/glucose syrup.[4]“

      • HeartBurnKid, creepy morbid freak says:

        @gmoney: “The idea that it’s hard is silly. Now it’s hard if you demand a cookie or a soda.”

        Or bread.

        • gmoney says:

          @HeartBurnKid, creepy morbid freak:

          really? Your town’s grocery stores have no deli sections?

          Wow.

          • HeartBurnKid, creepy morbid freak says:

            @gmoney: Oh, they have deli sections… but even that isn’t always a guarantee. If I go to Winco, then yeah, the bakery bread doesn’t have HFCS, but if I go to Albertson’s… guess what? Apparently, Albertson’s just bakes the bread on premises, the get the dough pre-made from an industrial supplier, and it has HFCS in it.

    • crashfrog says:

      @savvy999: What are you talking about? I can buy a jar of Karo corn syrup in any grocery store in the country. Hell I have some sitting on the counter.

  24. DarkKnightShyamalan says:

    Moral of the story:

    Everyone who doesn’t eat corn syrup is a racist.

  25. cgi5877 says:
    • papahoth says:

      @cgi5877: Interesting, no proven harm.

      @crabbyman6: wow great source, the author’s bio at the end “Helmut Beierbeck has a science background and a strong interest in all scientific aspects of health, nutrition, medicine, weight loss, or any other topic related to wellness.” He has a science background, wow. This “study” [www.ajcn.org] has been shown to be wrong since it was published in 2002.

      @Dervish: correct, there is a lot of bull shit on HFCS out here with zero evidence.

      @colinjay: anyone drinking sugary drinks that is a bunch of empty calories should not be complaining about HFCS.

      @BrodskyLaw: Hey the author is “Linda Forristal, CCP, MTA is the author of Ode to Sucanat (1993) and Bulgarian Rhapsody (1998).” Now thats someone I can believe on HFCS. George Bush says its bad too.

      @Oranges w/ Cheese: “I’m fairly certain that most of the really harmful effects of HFCS come from the form most commonly used in sodas, though I’m sure the type found in almost every other food stuff isn’t much better.” You are fairly certain? Based on what? Research? Dropping acid?

  26. celestebai says:

    The sad part about this commercial? I let my kids drink kool-aid at a church function one time, and my mother-in-law used the whole “I guess you don’t care about your kids” line on me. For the exact same reason.

  27. Tambar says:

    Most mysterious place I’ve found it (so far) has been in a can of kidney beans. So I rinse all the beans now. But I’m sure I’m still getting some grams of sugar regardless. Then I eat them while wearing my tinfoil hat!

  28. scooby76 says:

    I wish I could have been there when they were filming that commercial, I would have gone on for 15 minutes on what bad about HFCS…

  29. SuperSnackTime says:

    If the corn industry is motivated to defend HFCS (which is of course obvious and the position taken by many of the current posters), is it not equally likely that various “Green” grocers/producers (specifically, those using cane sugar and other not-HFCS sweeteners) are equally motivated to attack HFCS?

    A few of the positions (not all) here seem to be solely/primarily “the corn industry says HFCS is not so bad = HFCS IS bad,” but if we accept that argument as acceptable to this debate, why are “Green” (just using a sloppy catch-all term here) grocers/producers absolved from the same critique) i.e. “the Green industry says Cane Sugar is not so bad = Cane Sugar IS BAD.”?

    I would contend both sides are equally motivated to attack the other position/ prop up their own position, for the sake of EVIL PROFITS.

  30. chiieddy says:

    “It’s made from corn”
    “So’s ethanol and you don’t see me eating it.”

  31. UnicornMaster says:

    The website says it is “Nutritionally The Same as Table Sugar” which is untrue. It is made of the same components and same ratios of fructose and glucose, but in table sugar it is chemically bonded while HFCS it is its individual components. There is a difference.

  32. Shark1998 says:

    Uhhh…..A spoon full of HFCS will make the medicine go down? (Sing with the Mary Poppins(sp?) tune)

  33. ianmac47 says:

    I bet cigarette companies wish they thought of the “fine in moderation” tagline.

  34. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I think there has been some recent buzz that indicates that HFCS interferes with appetite control. Apparently, if you consume real sugar, your body knows when you’ve had enough and shuts down your hunger cravings. But this isn’t the case with HFCS.

    Sorry, I don’t have any articles to link. I heard it on news blurbs a few weeks ago.

    • satoru says:

      @crabbyman6: Posting something from ‘naturalnews.com’ does not really lend much credibility to your argument. Please note that if you actually read the studies quoted in the article you will see:

      [www.ajcn.org]
      Conclusion: There was no evidence that commercial cola beverages sweetened with either sucrose or HFCS have significantly different effects on hunger, satiety, or short-term energy intakes.

      • SkokieGuy says:

        @satoru: Well let’s look at the study you provide:

        First of all, it included a vast sampling of 37 people, which when split into 5 groups, resulting in 7.4 (!) people per group. Not a pretty significant sampling, huh?

        Second, the data was mostly self-reported (“perceived sweetness, hunger and satiety profiles,or energy intakes at lunch”). No analysis of insulin, leptin or other biochemical markes was included.

        Third, the study was (suprise) supported by a grant from the American Beverage Association, by the Corn Refiners Association, and by fellowship T32 DE07132 from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (to PM).

        Alternate health sites (like naturalnews.com) exist because most mainstream avenues for receiving health information and our government regulatory bodies have been corrupted by industry influences and can’t be trusted.

    • emis says:

      @LatherRinseRepeat:

      I’ve read the same things about appetite control–not just with HFCS, but other dietary items and ingredients… the “my body doesn’t know when it’s full” line is used by overweight people and diet programs over and over… there may be a subtle difference due to ingredients, but I think it really comes down the individual, our brain and will power are the keys to not over eating…

      I have two cats, they’re about the same age, were raised together, similar breeds. They eat the same food… one of them is a fatty and the other is not…

      The fatty is much more sedentary, and I suspect spends more time at the food bowl then the other based on casual observation…

      Why is one fat and the other not? Whatever the reason is, it’s not the food.

      There are lots more reasons to hate HFCS, but the “it causes overeating” is a cop-out IMHO :^)

  35. Seopad says:

    Fine in moderation??? lemme see, its used in almost everything in place of suger so when you add it up on a daily basis how is that “in moderation”???

  36. rewinditback says:

    The process for making this sugar substitute is a complicated one that combines cornstarch with various enzymes, which then create glucose and fructose. High Fructose Corn Syrup is less expensive to produce than to use sugar in products.

    Besides overloading our bodies with empty calories, HFCS also limits Leptin secretion in the digestive system. Leptin is a hormone that signals the brain when you are full.

    Therefore, if your brain never gets the message that you are full, you are likely to over-eat and ingest more calories that lead to weight gain.

    In addition, this manufactured sweetener increases the production of Ghrelin. Ghrelin is secreted by the stomach and increases your appetite.

    Ghrelin sends signals to the brain to indicate that its time to eat and interferes with your body’s natural appetite control system. Therefore, HFCS puts your appetite into “hyper-overdrive.”

    Our bodies were not designed to digest and process high fructose corn syrup. As more studies are done, there is mounting evidence that it harms our bodies on many levels and is not safe for human consumption.

    The majority of nutritionists blame high fructose corn syrup consumption as a major culprit in the nation’s obesity crisis.

    • British Benzene says:

      @rewinditback: “Besides overloading our bodies with empty calories, HFCS also limits Leptin secretion in the digestive system.

      In addition, this manufactured sweetener increases the production of Ghrelin. “

      I had not heard of these effects before from HFCS, do you have any documentation? Not trying to be a jerk, just would actually like to see the studies.

  37. dmuth says:

    When discussing HFCS with people, I bring out the big words like “Glycemic Index” first. That usually gets the other person curious so I then go on to explain simple carbs vs. complex carbs, diabetes, etc. :-)

  38. Dervish says:

    @Trai_Dep: Studies have been performed that show no difference in satiety between consuming HFCS and regular sugar.

    Many of the studies that implicate HFCS as much worse than sucrose are misleading. They either compare HFCS to pure fructose, which absolutely has different metabolic effects, or they don’t use a control at all.

    The wikipedia entry on HFCS is a reasonably good way to get an idea of the relevant research. From that entry: “Some of the above-referenced studies have addressed fructose specifically, not sweeteners such as HFCS or sucrose which contain fructose in combination with other sugars. Thus, although they indicate that high fructose intake should be avoided, they don’t necessarily indicate that HFCS is worse than sucrose intake, except insofar as HFCS contains 10% more fructose. Studies which have compared HFCS to sucrose (as opposed to pure fructose) find that they have essentially identical physiological effects.” Another good source (and a good health blog in general) is [junkfoodscience.blogspot.com]

    I don’t like it because of the taste and the agricultural/industry-subsidizing issue, but it’s not what’s making us fat.

    • johnva says:

      @Dervish: The evidence you just posted does not disprove that HFCS is what is making us fat. I agree that it probably isn’t significantly different metabolically. The issue with obesity is that HFCS is being added to all kinds of products where regular sugar would not be. They’re adding it, for example, for texture or to promote increased shelf life (it has a mild preservative effect). So the issue I have with HFCS is not that I think it’s some poisonous magic sugar that will make you balloon up. It probably isn’t. It’s that it causes people to consume more calories than they otherwise would just because it’s been added to so many things.

  39. Nic715 says:

    “Fine in moderation”?! Too bad it’s in EVERYTHING!!!

    I also just love that on the website they claim that it “doesn’t make you fat” noooo, it just causes heart disease! Great…so I won’t require an oversized coffin when I’m dead…THANKS!

    • zentex says:

      @Nic715: that’s what I’m saying. You can’t moderate your intake if it’s in EVERYTHING.

      I call serious FUD with this ad campaign, not to point out the obvious or anything.

      • johnva says:

        @Alex Chasick: Yes, this astroturfing campaign is trying to heavily promote the “natural” angle. The mere fact that it’s produced from a natural ingredient does not make it “natural” (which is really a vague propaganda term, anyway, but I might define it as “naturally occurring”).

  40. harvey_birdman_attorney_at_law says:

    You know what they say about HFCS?
    No, what?
    It’s produced by a domestic monopoly of corn harvesters who keep the price of can sugar artificially high through government controls while simultaneously receiving billions in taxpayer funded boondoggles. The average corn farmer is not a family run farm but rather a farming industry run by the likes of Archer-Daniels-Midland who don’t make enough just producing corn so they have to steal money from every American in the form of subsidies. In many years, corn farmers are paid NOT to grow corn. Corn is less environmentally friendly than can sugar. It is more expensive to produce. It requires more energy to convert corn to ethanol than it does cane or beet sugar. It tasts different from regular sugar. It is highly processed and refined using such natural products as chlorine (aka bleach). It may be more easily absorbed into the bloodstream than sucrose, thus resulting in higher blood sugar levels and has been linked to diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and cancer. Further, it corrupts our democratic government by sending powerful lobbyists to Washington to bribe and cajole our representatives into continuing the unending cycle of subsidies and tax breaks.

  41. EnergyTurtle says:

    I found this on the Mayo Clinic Website,
    [www.mayoclinic.com]

    Of course, the HFCSfacts website contradicts most of this information, but many studies have shown that HFCS is more readily converted to fat than is cane sugar. I believe this is because of the high ratio of fructose to glucose in HFCS. Combine the gross proliferation of HFCS in the food supply with a (sadly,typical) sedentary lifestyle, and you have a recipe for a total health disaster.

    I personally do my best to avoid it, but I also don’t beat myself up if I do let some slip in on accident. The stuff isn’t very good for you, but a little bit is not gonna kill you either. Just try to stay active, and keep some balance in your diet.

  42. Alex Chasick says:

    Why yes, I DO know what they say about HFCS: They say it destroys biodiversity by requiring even more corn crops (Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan, blah blah blah), that its being cheaper to produce than sugar has not led to decreased prices but rather increased consumption in the form of enormous serving sizes (which is admittedly as much the consumer’s fault as the producer’s), that some scientific studies have shown that HFCS, by having a higher fructose content than ordinary sugar, can contribute to obesity and insulin resistance ([www.ajcn.org]), that a study by the American Chemical Society suggests a link between consumption of HFCS and diabetes ([www.newswise.com]), and that it’s incredibly disingenuous to describe something as heavily processed as HFCS as natural (as companies have previously done: [consumerist.com]) or even free of artificial ingredients.

    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      @Alex Chasick: See, those are more the reasons I avoid it. Corn producers talk on the news about not having enough corn for ethanol, fuel and food and how food prices will go up. Well, if less HFCS was used in food, then those foods wouldn’t be as affected price-wise by corn, correct? And I’ve had pop with cane sugar and with HFCS and I like the taste of real sugar better. *shrugs* That’s just me.

  43. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    There’s a full page ad in today’s Chicago Tribune calling the attacks on HFCS a “schmear” & showing a bagel spread with the stuff.

    A little too Noo Yawkey for the rest of the country me thinks.

  44. Carl3000 says:

    BUT IT’S MADE FROM CORN

  45. SkokieGuy says:

    And let us not forget that virtually all corn grown in the USA is genetically modfied. Since no labelling is required, we are ingesting a staggering amount of GMO products, via the HFCS that is in virtually all prepared foods.

    My take on our food supply, be it HFCS, irradiating food, GMO organisms, cloned milk or beef, is that the government allow consumers to make their own decisions and require labelling, so we can make a choice about what we consume.

    I remain amused and disturbed that a significant number of consumerist readers seem to advocate against consumer choice.

  46. Dervish says:

    @Alex Chasick: Chi-Tang Ho’s study (linking HFCS and diabetes) was performed against a diet soda control – not a sucrose control. The study produced no evidence that HFCS was any worse for you than sucrose.

    Regarding the first study you cited, the data shown is that overall levels of both fructose AND glucose have increased significantly in our diet. In fact, from the conclusion section, “First, added fructose (in the forms of sucrose and HFCS) does not appear to be the optimal choice as a source of carbohydrate in the diet.” It seems to say the problem is that we’re eating more sugar in general, but makes no claims that HFCS is the sole issue.

    • Alex Chasick says:

      @Dervish:

      Chi-Tang Ho’s study (linking HFCS and diabetes) was performed against a diet soda control – not a sucrose control. The study produced no evidence that HFCS was any worse for you than sucrose.

      I can now only find the link to the study abstract, and not the final report, so if he did actually compare HFCS sodas and diet sodas, that’s my mistake (although I don’t know why such an obvious study would be conducted). In any case, I dispute that he didn’t find any evidence that HFCS was worse than sucrose; from the abstract:

      In the current study, Chi-Tang Ho, Ph.D., conducted chemical tests among 11 different carbonated soft drinks containing HFCS. He found ‘astonishingly high’ levels of reactive carbonyls in those beverages. These undesirable and highly-reactive compounds associated with “unbound” fructose and glucose molecules are believed to cause tissue damage, says Ho, a professor of food science at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. By contrast, reactive carbonyls are not present in table sugar, whose fructose and glucose components are “bound” and chemically stable, the researcher notes.

      You also wrote:

      Regarding the first study you cited, the data shown is that overall levels of both fructose AND glucose have increased significantly in our diet. In fact, from the conclusion section, “First, added fructose (in the forms of sucrose and HFCS) does not appear to be the optimal choice as a source of carbohydrate in the diet.” It seems to say the problem is that we’re eating more sugar in general, but makes no claims that HFCS is the sole issue.

      I cited the first study because it analyzes the negative effects of fructose. Because sucrose is equal parts glucose and fructose, and HFCS is 55% fructose and 45% glucose, it seems that HFCS is worse. That being said, let me clarify that I agree that added consumption of sweeteners, whether HFCS or sucrose, is the main issue; whatever extra “evils” inhere in the consumption of HFCS (e.g., any negative health consequences, excessive processing, crop monocultures, etc.) are secondary to concerns over our Western diets and the inclusion of sweeteners in almost everything.

      • Dervish says:

        @Alex Chasick: “In any case, I dispute that he didn’t find any evidence that HFCS was worse than sucrose…”

        The issue was that he didn’t test sucrose at all. He confirmed that HFCS-sweetened beverages have higher levels of these carbonyl compounds than diet sodas, but NOT that these compounds are not also present in sucrose-flavored beverages.

        Further, his comment about glucose and fructose being “bound and chemically stable” in sucrose is inaccurate in the case of sucrose-sweetened beverages, since most of these beverages are acidic enough to cause cleaving of the sucrose molecule into glucose and fructose – like HFCS.

        My response to your posting of the AJCN study was based on your claim “that some scientific studies have shown that HFCS, by having a higher fructose content than ordinary sugar, can contribute to obesity and insulin resistance.” But that is not what the cited study indicates. It does note that HFCS 55 has more fructose than sucrose, and it does note the metabolic effects of fructose, but nowhere does it state that HFCS and its extra fructose is causing us to get fat.

        It’s true that HFCS 55 does have a slightly higher percentage of fructose than sucrose. If that extra 5% of fructose caused a significant difference in how it’s processed by our bodies, it would have come through in the data gathered by the multiple metabolic and satiety studies that compare sucrose and HFCS.

  47. SOhp101 says:

    I don’t bother talking about HFCS with anyone because I want to avoid that holier-than-thou attitude. If someone’s interested or they constantly talk about their health or weight then I will, but otherwise he/she will probably not listen.

    If you want to eat HFCS, fine; it’s a free country. But it irks me that it’s in pretty much everything, especially cheaper food products due to the enormous subsidies our federal government provides for corn seed corporations. Who eats cheaper food products? Children and families in lower income brackets who can’t afford to purchase foods with more natural forms of sugar in them. HFCS is hardly natural.

  48. howtragic says:

    Instead of arguing over the pros/cons of HFCS, how about we all just eat normal food? For life of me I cannot figure out the appeal of eating over sweet, over salted, packaged crap. Drink some water every now and then instead of soda. If you really need a sweet, then go to a deluxe bakery and really make it worth it. Cook your own damn food! If everyone did this consistently, I promise we not be this fat as a nation.

    And please spare me the line that bad food is cheaper. It absolutely is not. I bought a bag of lentils the other day and served it with brown rice and caramelized onions. Cost me around $2 and it made 5 servings or more.

    But other than that, yeah these commercials are stupid. And that stuff they were drinking, didn’t look like something a human being ought to be consuming, HFCS or not.

    • johnva says:

      @howtragic: I totally agree. The HFCS thing wouldn’t be such an issue if people weren’t eating way too much processed crap already. Eat real food, people! It’s worth paying a bit more for high quality food. Even if you discount any health benefits, you’re going to enjoy eating much more than you would eating the processed crap.

    • gmoney says:

      @howtragic: sanctimonious much?

      As for moderating tastes, guys it’s not hard to avoid the stuff. Meats? Seafoods, Veggies? Fruits? Fresh versions of all have none of the stuff. 100% juice if you want juice. Milk.

      The idea that it’s hard is silly. Now it’s hard if you demand a cookie or a soda. But to say that HFCS makes moderation impossible is more far-fetched than the commercial some of you are mocking.

    • kimsama says:

      @howtragic: Oh my god, I LOVE mjeddrah.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @howtragic: But.. but.. its America! And I have to work, pick up my 6 kids, make dinner before the hubby gets home so we can all pile in front of the tv and be *together (while we irradiate our brains)*. I don’t have time to actually COOK!
      [/sarcasm]

      Truly, its just laziness. Cooking takes time, skill, and fresh food is much more expensive than the over-packaged, portioned, preservative-filled stuff.
      Why do you think people on diets eat up the “diet food” when all they really need to be doing is eating “real food” instead?? Its CONVENIENT.

      • mythago says:

        @Oranges w/ Cheese: Yes, how awful that women no longer grind their own grain and make all their own preserves. It’s so conveeeeenient to just buy that bag of flour. Stupid lazy cows, if only they bothered to cook like us self-congratulatory clever people, nobody would need to worry about this nutrition stuff.

  49. EricLecarde says:

    “And like sugar, its okay in moderation.”

    That’s the funny thing. HFCS is in everything. I get something outta the fridge that isn’t sweetened with it. Fortunately, for my occasional cola fix, my local grocer sells Cott Cola, which as no HFCS. Although they should really consider changing the name to something more appealing.

  50. colinjay says:

    The first commercial reminds me of my childhood. My parents kept us away, not from HFCS, but from sugar. We drank sugar-free Kool Aid, no sweet cereals for breakfast and very few things with refined sugar or HFCS.

    I’m not sure what wives tale they were following, but I’m glad I didn’t get loaded up with either as a kid.

    I look down on folks who shovel shit in their kids mouth regardless of whether its a natural or man-made poison.

  51. gmoney says:

    I just checked, it’s not in my housebrand processed peanut butter. Good ol’ sugar.

  52. ct_price says:

    If you like good old fashioned Coca-Cola when it was made with sugar…and you happen to live in a metropolis with a large Jewish population, stock up on Coke and Sprite during Passover – the Jews know how to drink a soft drink when corn is off-limits. Delicious nectar – Sprite made with sugar is D-I-V-I-N-E. Yum yum yum.

    • Hyman Decent says:

      I don’t like diet soft drinks and I don’t like to drink much water (I know, bad). I’ve found one soft drink that’s not highly sweetened, though: Lipton White Tea Raspberry. While it contains HFCS, it has just 16g of sugars per 8 fl. oz. and 34g per half-liter bottle.

      @ct_price: The formula of Sprite was changed not that long ago – maybe after last Passover?

  53. GeoffinAround says:

    HFCS is not “in everything”. For example… fruits, vegetables, potatoes, most dairy, chicken, beef, pork, lamb, pasta, cane sugar, agave nectar, brown sugar, nuts, diet sodas, coffee, & any sugar-free foods.

    It is very possible to “enjoy” HFCS in moderation. Would you want to? It’s your call.

    If you’re not sure, try baking your two favorite pies – bake one with Karo & the other with the natural sugar of your choice. Slice & match with plates labeled on the bottoms, serve them to a group of people, & decide once & for all your preference.

  54. twid says:

    Michael Pollan, author of the Omnivore’s Dilemma, talked about this on an interview on Fresh Air. You can listen to it here:

    [www.npr.org]

    He says that while HFCS isn’t necessarily bad in and of itself, he sees it as an indicator that the maker of the food doesn’t care about food quality. HFCS is a cheap filler food, so if what you’re considering buying has it as an ingredient you should take that as an indicator that the maker doesn’t really care about quality.

    • gmoney says:

      @twid: Or the manufacturer could be convinced that the value sugar adds to his product, tastewise, is trivial or non-existent, so it makes no sense to not use it.

      This would be parallel to something along the lines of using expensive rice to make rice krispie treats.

    • Dervish says:

      @twid: Or they’re using it for a specific technical reason, like texture or homogeneity throughout shelf life.

  55. Dervish says:

    @johnva: I don’t have the evidence to confirm or deny what you’re saying, but I do think it’s a long shot to blame increased calorie consumption on HFCS to the exclusion of all other causes.

    I have read – anecdotally, so take it with a large grain of salt – that increasing prevelance of obesity is an issue even in countries that have low HFCS usage. I’m trying to back this up, but I’m having trouble getting data about HFCS use by country…

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @Dervish: I think its a combination of things. Soda I think is the main culprit here, considering the caffiene is moderately addicting, and you can drink quite a bit of soda without even thinking about how many calories are in it.

      I would also blame deceptive packaging. For many years, plenty of foods have been marketed as “fat free” even though they contain copious amounts of sugar (Soda being one of these items) which then, when unused by the body, turns readily into fat. Also notice that until recently, the nutrition facts “serving size” on soda bottles only listed an 8 oz. serving (see 20 oz. sodas for an example) though its fairly obvious someone is going to drink the whole bottle which is 2.5+ servings, but not do the math and realize that its several hundred calories instead of the measly 200-something in only one serving.

    • johnva says:

      @Dervish: I’m not saying it’s to the exclusion of all other possible causes. I’m saying that it’s probably a contributing factor.

      I’d like to see a study on whether the use of HFCS has increased the average calorie content per slice of manufactured bread (for example). That’s something you might be able to investigate objectively. It would be harder to link it to obesity directly.

      Overall, I think the largest cause of obesity is probably sedentary lifestyle. But corn syrup in myriad processed foods can’t be helping.

      • Dervish says:

        @johnva: I would also be interested in seeing this. I know its main use is as a sugar replacer, but what foods does it show up in today that didn’t contain comparable sweeteners, say, 40 years ago? And in cases where it has replaced sugar (as in bread), has it had an effect on total caloric value?

  56. I’m so glad you guys finally posted on this. I’ve been watching it with my roommates, and they’re more amused at my little shrieks of protest than anything (they’re used to me being OCD about accuracy, which is why I don’t watch much TV).

    In regards to someone asking why the corn growers association needed to advertise: read the Finance section. The entire corn industry took a major hit in the last five years as they started to dedicate more crops to ethanol, which turned out to be intensely stupid and a waste of corn, which is part of why the price of food (meat, milk, as well as bread and cereal all depend on corn) has been skyrocketing.

    The logical fallacy of the “it’s made from corn, so it’s natural!” is ridiculous. Splenda is made from sugar; that neither makes it natural, nor something I’m going to ingest, much less subject others to, as the mother in the first commercial is doing.

    I’m lucky in that my stepdaughter has no problem with asking for water instead of HCFS drinks, and that most of our friends keep apple or orange juice in the house. She sees me ask questions about my food in restaurants (is it all beef? Is it made from real lemons?), and she asks me about why we ask those questions. I would rather she eats “junk” food we make at home than stuff we get in packages from the store, so we both know what goes into it.

    The harder part is getting the 5-year-old to be gracious when she’s offered something she knows she oughtn’t have. I’ve taught her to say “No, thank you” and leave it at that, but a 5-year-old loves to lecture adults, and I have to head her off at the pass when I see the lecture building.

  57. Groovymarlin says:

    I saw the “popsicle” one this weekend and was too busy laughing at the phallic imagery in the beginning to pay much attention to what was actually said about HFCS in the rest of the spot. Wild.

  58. NightElfMohawk says:

    I just try to avoid it when possible, like when I do the shopping. I eat somewhere where I have no control over the food prep, I realize it’s in the stuff. But Mexican Coca-Cola with real sugar tastes better. And the fact that HFCS is usually the second, third or fourth ingredient in nearly everything I look at at the grocery store is the truly horrifying part on my end…

    Normal corn syrup, I’m not quite so worried about. Even my Ben & Jerry’s has that in it. It’s the mutant variant (HF-type) that I try and get away from.

  59. BrodskyLaw says:

    Here’s an interesting article on how HFCS is made and its effects on your organs. [www.westonaprice.org]

  60. TACP says:

    It’s the cool ingredient to attack now. In the ’80s, it was MSG, in the ’90s, it was trans fat, and now it’s HFCS. Ironically, all these people giving their kids juice are just giving them lots of fructose anyway. Whole fruit is a lot more nutritious.

    I’m hypoglycemic, so I don’t get enough sugar sometimes. I tried Mexican Coke and it didn’t taste much different, IMHO.

  61. TCameron says:

    Just call them at 202.331.1634 and let them know how terrible their ads are.

  62. pmathews says:

    I’m not sure what the “heath” benefits of high fructose corn syrup are but isn’t he dead anyway?

  63. Sherryness says:

    If it’s “fine in moderation” then why are they adding it to every single item on the plate (not just popcicles and “fruit” drink)? I.E. salad dressing, bread, Worcestershire sauce, roasted meats, etc. – Where’s the moderation by the industry?

  64. DashTheHand says:

    I don’t care about the health benefits, but I can definitely tell the difference in flavor from a HFCS product and natural sugar/cane sugar product. HFCS loses every time.

  65. Tmiea says:

    I avoid it because it triggers my IBS, which doesn’t leave a whole heck of a lot to choose from since it is in pretty much every food or drink out there. The claim that this sugar substitute is “made” from all natural mother earth corn and is being touted to be better for you than natural sugar… is flat out NOT true. Ask any one that suffers from IBS and they will tell you that high fructose corn syrup is at the top of their don’t list…do we really know what high fructose corn syrup is or should we just trust the word of the Corn Refiners Association… you decide.

    • richcreamerybutter says:

      @Tmiea: I avoid it because it triggers my IBS

      After cutting as much of this out of my diet as possible, most of my IBS-like symptoms (which I’d had for YEARS) went away magically. I’ve been trying to figure out the trigger ingredient for a long time by gradual exclusion, and this seemed to be the one. Yay!

      Just to clarify, I wasn’t eating a lot of prepackaged crap to begin with (and never soda). As everyone can testify, it’s added to everything. I know that if I want to enjoy Worcestershire, I have to accept that I’ll be ingesting a little. Sadly every “organic” version I’ve seen also excludes anchovies.

      MSG was mentioned earlier, and I think some of these ingredients’ effects vary by person. MSG has never bothered me, and is not only naturally-occurring, but an essential source of umami.

    • papahoth says:

      @Tmiea: Worth about 2 cents too. One of the major reasons we have seen an increase in weight in adults in the US is the amount of adults that have quit smoking. In fact the amount of obesity increase in adults is about the same as the amount that have quit smoking. Kids? Let’s try a lack of exercise.
      And this is the second time you have posted your 2 cents on this and inflation is not helping.

      Bottom line — if there is a problem with HFCS then someone needs to prove it because right now there is zero evidence. You people kill me talking about your “natural sugar.” The natural sugar that we get by processing sugar cane or sugar beets. The reality is we should not be eating any sugars but we like them. So exercise and quit blaming something that has zero scientific evidence to blame.

  66. mike says:

    I’m glad that I’m not the only one that was troubled by these ads.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: High-Fructose Corn Syrup is the nectar of Satan. It makes people commit adultery.

    /Obscure?

  67. LadyHeather says:

    Ha. A few weeks ago somebody wrote a letter to my local paper about the evils of HFCS. Well the Corn Refiner’s Association was all over it and wrote a response letter detailing how HFCS is no worse than other forms of sugar and that it is super awesome because it allows us to leave icky processed foods on the shelf longer. What makes that weird is that I live in a small city in northern British Columbia. These people are doing some serious media monitoring.

  68. dcwilson303 says:

    I too was very troubled by these ads. A few years back I wanted to loose some weight, the first thing I did was to cut High Fructose Corn Syrup from my diet. My has been thanking me ever since then. Now when I go to grocery stores I read the ingredients. The amount of packaged food products containing HFCS is astounding. Its no wonder we have a weight problem in the US.
    ~my 2 cents

  69. citybuddha says:

    Take HFCS and substitute it with any substance.
    always fine in moderation….

  70. VA_White says:

    Mexican coke is pretty easy to get in this part of Texas but it’s expensive. So when I buy it, I buy one little bottle for each member of the family and we have it as a treat. Which is how soda should be enjoyed anyways, HFCS or not.

    They are freaking delicious. Crisp and tasty and refreshing. The best. The syrupy American kid is nazz.

  71. VA_White says:

    American “kind”

  72. zapwizard says:

    These ads really piss me off. My wife loves sugary foods despite a doctors order to avoid the stuff for a year. She is not diabetic (tested) but it does affect her. She recently started eating lots of applesauce. A bowl a day for breakfast. Great!
    Applesauce is good for you right?
    Well when I went to buy more I found out there were two bottles: Unsweetened (100% apples) and Sweetened!
    The sweetened is 6% sugar by volume, and it’s HFCS. Why the hell do they have to add sugar to applesauce. Don’t they use apples as a natural sweetener in other products? I bought the unsweetened but she noticed the difference and didn’t like it.

    She saw this horrible ad on TV and stated to me: “See it is OK in moderation.” These ads won’t make people go out and learn more, they will just help them justify their eating habits.

    P.S. If you live in an area with a mexican supermarket or where they carry products from mexico you can buy name-brand sodas made with cane sugar instead of HFCS.

    • GeoffinAround says:

      @zapwizard: I don’t mean any offense, but your wife is simply looking for ways to justify her reluctance to chance. It’s the same reason one of my conservative friends thinks that Sarah Palin is a “sharp lady with a good head on her shoulders” based on a speech. They would not alter their behavior whether there are HFCS ads or not.

      It’s confirmation bias… if there’s anything out there that confirms what we believe, we latch onto it. The best way to changes minds on HFCS is to live without it yourself – the subject will come up plenty with friends & family.

  73. Scoobatz says:

    Most importantly, how does the douchebag in the second clip know there’s HFCS in the popsicle just by looking at it? He’s having a picnic with a very attractive woman and this is where he takes the conversation?

  74. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    I eat a low-carb (Atkins) diet, and several of the LC message boards have had posts from a woman claiming to be the president of the Corn Refiners Association. The posts were in response to accusations by people on the LC boards that HCFS is in *everything* nowadays, and is full of empty calories. I mean who needs HCFS in their bagged carrots? Or cod liver oil?

    “The Corn Refiners Association launched a multi-media advertising and public relations campaign because high fructose corn syrup has been the subject of considerable attention and misinformation.

    Most of the problem stems from the confusion about what high fructose corn syrup really is. High fructose corn syrup is made from corn and contains no artificial ingredients or color additives. Whether a sweetener comes from the cane, cob or comb – whether it’s sugar, high fructose corn syrup or honey – they’re all basically the same as far as your body is concerned.

    Scientific research continues to confirm that high fructose corn syrup is no different from other sweeteners. It is essentially the same as table sugar and honey, and has the same number of calories.

    If you’re interested in more information, you can see the latest research and learn more about high fructose corn syrup at HFCSfacts – Get the facts about High Fructose Corn Syrup – Home and SweetSurprise – Factual Information About Common Sweeteners like Sugar, Honey and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).

    Audrae Erickson
    President
    Corn Refiners Association”

    Naturally she was laughed off the boards.

    Here in Canada, high-fructose sweeteners are also deceptively labeled as inulin, iso-glucose, dahlia syrup, tapioca syrup, glucose syrup, corn syrup, crystalline fructose, agave syrup, and even fruit fructose. You have to be so dang careful if you are trying to avoid this stuff – its almost impossible!

  75. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    I also love how they try to spin “But its NATURAL!!! It comes from a plant! It has to be healthy for you!” Well hemlock, nightshade and castor beans are “natural” too but you sure as heck won’t see me eating those!

  76. It’s the tone of the commercial that offends me more than the bending of the truth: “Humph…. guess you don’t care about what your kids eat!” Bitch! Kiss my Black ass!

  77. Dave J. says:

    New ad campaign:

    “HFCS: It’s toasted.”

  78. BeatrixPeafowl says:

    I have stopped buying products containing HFCS and am systematically
    tossing out items on hand that do. I just pitched my Hershey’s hot
    fudge and caramel sauces, have stopped drinking domestic soft drinks,
    and have urged my preferred whole foods store to join the trend to strip
    these items from the shelves. HFCS have even found their way into
    Orangina and San Pellagrino Limo and Orange drinks and you can tell when
    you taste them.

    I read recently that the FDA had not approved the labeling of any food
    as “natural” if it contained HFCS, because HFCS is not a natural
    ingredient, but a manufactured product.

    I don’t use a lot of sweets, but when I do I demand pure cane sugar.
    Cuba would be glad to sell it to us.

    Joseph Chiaravalloti

    304 Hillcrest Drive

    Hamilton, Illinois 62341

    217-847-2447

    ~RSVP to~

    chiara65@post.harvard.edu

    /It is hard for the ape to believe he descended from man//./

    H.L Mencken

  79. PlanetExpressdelivery says:

    Limited exercise and the wide availability of food is the cause of obesity in the industrialized world. If you really want to lose weight and help yourself, move to Chad. Chad, Africa.

  80. HooFoot says:

    Too bad these ads don’t mention that HCFS tastes like crap. There is a noticeable, better taste and texture difference in the products that use real sugar.

  81. keikothemeowmeow says:

    I was SO glad when I saw this on tv.

    I’m so tired of everyone telling me how bad HFCS is for me..usually people that are three times my weight and BMI.I know the “risks” and I balance it out with exercise.

    I’m sick and tired of people piging out on food then blaming the food.Consumers have a responsibility.Idiots such as these are the reason why “caution: hot” have to be written on lighters, blow torches and coffee makers.

    If you blame the product you’re no different from the fat girl that sued McDonalds.

  82. sonneillon says:

    I try to avoid high fructose corn syrup, but I try to avoid all processed sugars.

  83. Lucky225 says:

    wait, what’s wrong with HFCS? It’s the same amount of calories as sugar and made from corn syrup?

    Notice how they leave out the FRUCTOSE part lol

  84. fisherstudios says:

    According to the new york times best selling book ‘skinny bitch’ that I read recently, we should all avoid sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

    food companies love to shove sugar, corn syrup, and other sweeteners into their foods because they know we are addicted to the taste.

    And in case it isn’t obvious, they’re not exactly healthy things for you to eat. Have an apple instead, or some tropical fruit.

  85. QuasarErazar says:

    At my sisters suggestion I cut out “candy” from my diet to loose weight. So I asked her: “what is candy?” and she said anything with corn syrup.
    Since dropping HFCS from my diet I have lost 15 pounds.
    YMMV

  86. MsAnthropy says:

    I’m from the UK, where we have plenty of unhealthy, sugar-filled crap on the supermarket shelves if unhealthy, sugar-filled crap is your thing. But it is also MUCH easier than it is in the US to avoid eating junk without going all out and making every last meal 100% from scratch. For all the people sanctimoniously saying that it’s just ‘laziness’ if anyone ever finds themselves consuming HCFS or any other undesirable ingredient, don’t you think there’s a slight difference between someone who lives entirely on a diet of Hot Pockets and someone who might occasionally buy a jar of pre-made pasta sauce instead of making it from scratch each and every time? Or someone who pulls a jar of salad dressing off the shelf instead of going for straight olive oil and vinegar every time they eat a salad?

    To lump everyone who ever buys pre-packaged food from the grocery store – THAT is lazy. What irks me ever since moving to the US 18 months ago is that whereas before I knew what a reasonably healthy (but not puritanically so) diet consisted of, and was able to maintain exactly the same weight with very little effort, over here I have to be constantly on the lookout for things that are going to cause that insidious weight gain. And HCFS is hidden in SO MANY things you wouldn’t dream would contain any kind of syrup (until of course you figure out that they manage to sneak that stuff into anything and everything, then it becomes more of a surprise when something DOESN’T contain it). We have a jar of pickles in our fridge. There’s HCFS in there. Why, why, why does a jar of pickled cucumbers in vinegar require bloody HCFS? Why does bread require it? Salad dressing?! Pasta sauce? It’s crazy.

    Now there’s plenty of us that are well aware of HCFS’s presence in just about everything and know to avoid it… but there must be far more people out there who are totally oblivious to it, and who believe they’re eating a reasonably good diet, all things considered, and who are just stuffing themselves full of this crap on a daily basis and wondering where they’re going wrong.

    HCFS. I LOATHE it.

  87. vastrightwing says:

    HFCS gives me a headache, so I avoid it. I prefer sugar. It’s time for the HFCS industry to make a case for using it. Simple. The commercials aren’t very good. Hire a new PR firm.

  88. vladthepaler says:

    I was happy when I saw the ad: means they’re getting nervous. As well they should be. Made from corn… yeah, corn bioengineered to have no nutrition value.

  89. Leksi says:

    Interesting. FYI, High Fructose Corn Syryp (HFCS) has 10% more fructose than sucrose, and the fructose molecules are not bound as well onto the glucose molecules, making it extra unhealthy compared to table sugar. Don’t feed your kids HFCS b/c of the higher fructose as multiple studies show that fructose interferes with development. There’s a reason they don’t put it in baby formula! That’s also why “juice” consumption needs to be limited or watered down in children.
    [www.westonaprice.org]
    – Check out Wikipedia’s entry for HFCS – a more “scientific” take.

  90. Leksi says:

    Excerpt from WestonPrice.Org on how HFCS is made:

    “High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is produced by processing corn starch to yield glucose, and then processing the glucose to produce a high percentage of fructose. It all sounds rather simple–white cornstarch is turned into crystal clear syrup. However, the process is actually very complicated. Three different enzymes are needed to break down cornstarch, which is composed of chains of glucose molecules of almost infinite length, into the simple sugars glucose and fructose.

    First, cornstarch is treated with alpha-amylase to produce shorter chains of sugars called polysaccharides. Alpha-amylase is industrially produced by a bacterium, usually Bacillus sp. It is purified and then shipped to HFCS manufacturers.

    Next, an enzyme called glucoamylase breaks the sugar chains down even further to yield the simple sugar glucose. Unlike alpha-amylase, glucoamylase is produced by Aspergillus, a fungus, in a fermentation vat where one would likely see little balls of Aspergillus floating on the top.

    The third enzyme, glucose-isomerase, is very expensive. It converts glucose to a mixture of about 42 percent fructose and 50-52 percent glucose with some other sugars mixed in. While alpha-amylase and glucoamylase are added directly to the slurry, pricey glucose-isomerase is packed into columns and the sugar mixture is then passed over it. Inexpensive alpha-amylase and glucoamylase are used only once, glucose-isomerase is reused until it loses most of its activity.

    There are two more steps involved. First is a liquid chromatography step that takes the mixture to 90 percent fructose. Finally, this is back-blended with the original mixture to yield a final concentration of about 55 percent fructose–what the industry calls high fructose corn syrup.

    HFCS has the exact same sweetness and taste as an equal amount of sucrose from cane or beet sugar but it is obviously much more complicated to make, involving vats of murky fermenting liquid, fungus and chemical tweaking, all of which take place in one of 16 chemical plants located in the Corn Belt. Yet in spite of all the special enzymes required, HFCS is actually cheaper than sugar. It is also very easy to transport–it’s just piped into tanker trucks. This translates into lower costs and higher profits for food producers.”

  91. Jack_Ruby says:

    Actually the problem isn’t just HFCS, it’s corn in general.
    Corn is in EVERYTHING you eat.
    Chicken? Fed Corn.
    Beef? Fed Corn.
    Anything sugary? Corn.

    The reason? Our government subsidizes the ever-loving-crap out of corn. So we have LOTS of it.

    Corn has an extra carbon atom, that makes it metabolized differently in our bodies. And all the corn in our diets has been linked (not proven) to increased diabetes, etc.

    Again the problem is that everything has corn in it. So, there is no such thing as moderation.

    For some alternatives, buy locally produced, natural, or organic stuff. Local breads have honey, naturally raised meats eat grass, and most organic products eschew corn as an ingredient.

    • dextrone says:

      @Jack_Ruby: Thank you for that advertisement. We clearly have reason to believe every single word that comes out of an organization dedicated to promoting their product. And clearly, no big corporate entity or like organization have ever lied to the consumer in order to increase profits. Definitely not the tobacco industry, not the medicine industry, none of them. Yep, and if you actually wanted to prove that, it would be impossible.

      And if you compare HFCS to BLEACHED, CHEMICALLY MODIFIED WHITE SUGAR, then I can see where you get results, and with a small group of people for the tests…..

      I wonder what qualifies as “sugar”, the also modified, chemical version of it or pure 100% really pure, not just labeled as pure, cane sugar?

      And is or is not the corn syrup modified using techniques that would only be possible with chemicals that are man made and do not OCCUR NATURALLY IN NATURE. (even if there are “natural” components to it, are there man-made chemical ones?)

      Additionally, the people in the advertisement just are saying what they are told to say! Clearly, this is not a fair or balanced statement. It is one-sided, as clearly, many people have a second opinion on HFCS, and clearly you cannot dismiss them by organizations who may have financial conflicts of interest with HFCS. Maybe, some people promoting regular sugar have biases as well, but still it would be justifiable that the pro-HFCS side is more biased and is not considering all of the available information. FDA studies show some drugs are unsafe or even DEADLY after what 5 or 10 years, so then, should we believe everything we’re being told?

      • crashfrog says:

        @dextrone: And is or is not the corn syrup modified using techniques that would only be possible with chemicals that are man made and do not OCCUR NATURALLY IN NATURE.

        All of the enzymes used to produce HFCS from corn starches are found within your own body – naturally produced there. There’s a part of your digestion – the enzymes are used when you consume starches.

        Nothing is done to HFCS that isn’t done to corn in your own body.

    • crashfrog says:

      @Jack_Ruby: An “extra carbon atom”? You have no idea what you’re talking about.

  92. jchrisrock says:

    These ads (and the accompanying print) are so obviously damage control, overbearing bits of propaganda whose entire message is simply, cynically: don’t question our product. The setups are so forced, the straw-man stereotypes so offensively dipshitty. Everything in these ads reeks of a boardroom. The pro-syrup patsies sound like they’re reading bullet points off a strategy document, and they probably are.

    The CRA has every right to advertise its products, just as consumers have every right to call bullshit on their tortuously arrived-at benefits-claims that are more legalese facts than real-world truths-and the CRA’s insultingly strong-arm approach to protecting its piece of the sugar pie.

  93. cornrefiner says:

    High fructose corn syrup may have a complicated-sounding name, but it’s actually a simple sweetener, made from corn, that is nutritionally the same as sugar.

    High fructose corn syrup is not sweeter than sugar, it’s not higher in calories and it’s not metabolized differently than sugar.

    The American Medical Association in June 2008 helped put to rest misunderstandings about this sweetener and obesity, stating that “high fructose corn syrup does not appear to contribute to obesity more than other caloric sweeteners.”

    Consumers can see the latest research and learn more about high fructose corn syrup at http://www.HFCSfacts.com and http://www.SweetSurprise.com.

    Audrae Erickson
    Corn Refiners Association

  94. nerdychaz says:

    Nothing is wrong with anything processed, pasteurized, irradiated, or containing mercury, lead, radioactive isotopes, grain alcohol, ephedra, and high fructose corns syrup. I grew up on this stuff and have high blood pressure, weigh 330 pounds, suffer from migraines, suffer from hypothyroidism, have abnormally narrow sinuses, an abnormally small *insert male organ here*, at high risk for heart attack and diabetes, plus a mild case of bipolar disorder.

    I turned out fine. Go ahead, tie a rubberband around your common sense and shoot the stuff in your veins. It’s all natural. Remember?

    BTW: I have lost 30 lbs in 6 months by eating normal foods my ancestors ate and I prepare myself.

  95. jchrisrock says:

    I finally figured out what was bugging me about these spots. All stats and contentious health claims aside, I take issue with the campaign’s attack ad approach.

    The campaign isn’t just combating negative perceptions about HFCS. It is combating the people who have those perceptions, and that’s a big difference.

    The takeaway is this: these people doubt the wonderfulness of our product, and they’re complete jackasses. And you don’t want to be a complete jackass, do you?

  96. Skiffer says:

    Wow – could we please stop comparing HFCS with marijuana in the comments?

    I mean, one’s a substance that represents the biggest threat to the children of today, with more and more people using it every day, and the other is weed…

  97. alysbrangwin says:

    7 Up got in trouble when they tried to say that their product was 100% natural even though it contained HFCS. They even got sued I think, or maybe it was just that they voluntarily dropped the 100% natural tagline, but that was a small victory.

    The other problem with HFCS is not that it’s just used as a sweetener; it’s also a preservative. That’s why it’s in everything from ketchup to bread to every item on the snack aisle.

  98. resonanteye says:

    I’ll eat something once in a while that has it in it. I’m not scared of corn syrup-I’m scared of corn syrup in every single thing I eat all the damn time.

  99. bradvert says:

    Natural foods are minimally processed. Enzymatic conversion using an insoluble glucose isomerase enzyme preparation followed by liquid chromatography does not constitute minimal processing. If its production requires technologies that didn’t exist until the 1970s, I don’t consider it natural.

    [www.foodcrusader.com]

  100. MonaJibronie says:

    All I know is that if my 3 kids got it in ice cream or other foods (Crackers, peanut butter, etc. It gives them bloody diaper rash within 2 hours. I think that is a pretty good argument to avoid it in my family. It does make other kids’ birthday parties difficult for them though when they can’t eat any of the store bought cake or ice cream and sodas..

  101. tamoko says:

    I smell desperation…

  102. hfcsbusted says:

    This stuff is definetly bad for you or things would not be what they are. Things like

    Try to locate hfcs manufactures, it is not easy. Try to find a phone number to a company
    that manf. not easy.

    This came out in the beginning of the year hfcs manufactures are putting mercury into hfcs on purpose.

    http://blogs.creativeloafing.com/dailyloaf/2009/01/26/many-products-with-high-fructose-corn-syrup-hfcs-found-to-contain-mercury/

    “Some manufacturers of HFCS use mercury-grade caustic soda in the production process, which comes from outdated chlorine plants. Many have upgraded their technology, some have not. Mercury in this caustic soda finds its way into the final HFCS product, which then makes its way into your food.”

    After reading this over a wkend in Feb I called pepsico the following mon to find out if mercury is in my favorite beverage. They refused to answer over the phone and said that they would get back in touch with me. I ask if they would send me a signed affidaivd certifying that there is no mercury in pepsi. They tried to read me their quality policy. Nor would they tell me whom their hfcs suppliers are. That was the 1st mon of Feb 09. I still have not received 1 word from pepsico. What do you think they are afraid of?

    Autism in early 2000 was up 100’s% from the 70’s, and now look at what is going on.

    Autism is up 57% in 4 years – mercury causes autism in babies and younger children.

    http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/news/20091218/autism-jumps-57percent-in-just-4-years

    There are many children whom will not be all they could have because of hfcs. The makers and sellers should be arrested all of them.