9 Foods You're Not Allowed To Buy

Fortune magazine has compiled a list of 9 “forbidden’ foods that have been banned (for some reason or another) in the US. Trans fats in NYC, foie gras in Chicago… Here’s the list:

  1. Trans fats
    Banned in: New York City

  2. Raw milk
    Banned in: 21 states

  3. Absinthe
    Banned in: The U.S. (sort of: Absinthe is legal in the United States, contrary to popular belief, as long as the spirit’s levels of thujone – a toxic chemical present in wormwood, one of the herbs used to make absinthe – do not surpass the Food and Drug Administration’s limit of 10 parts per million.)

  4. Foie Gras
    Banned in: Chicago

  5. Uncertified Chilean sea bass
    Banned in: The U.S.

  6. Horse meat
    Banned in: California, Illinois and other states

  7. Wild Beluga caviar
    Banned in: The U.S.

  8. Shark fins
    Banned in: The U.S.

  9. High-fructose corn syrup
    On the endangered list in: San Francisco

What do you think of food bans? Some people are willing to risk breaking laws to smuggle raw milk across state lines… only to get diphtheria. Are you among them?

9 forbidden foods [Fortune Small Business] (Thanks, Stacy!)
(Photo: Unhindered By Talent )


Edit Your Comment

  1. mike says:

    I mega-loathe high-fructose corn syrup. Not sure why they are on the “endangered” list. I wish it was banned!

  2. kylenalepa says:

    Food bans seem kind of stupid to me. On the other hand, Americans seem to be unable to regulate their own nutritional intake, resulting in us getting fatter and fatter, so maybe the government needs to do it for us?

    As an aside, if high-fructose corn syrup is banned in San Francisco, what will happen to all of the sodas? Will they go back to using cane sugar for San Franciscan sodas? Because that would be awesome.

  3. Megatenist says:

    But..but…horse meat is SOOO delicious! Goes great with dolphin steak and some bald eagle pate…

  4. Pennsylvanian123 says:

    San Francisco wants to ban high fructose corn syrup? Well, that should make shopping there easy since all they would have left in the store is the meat, produce and cleaning supply sections. Until they figure out how to put HFCS in fresh produce, at least. Pretty much every other product in the store would be banned.

  5. Parting says:

    Why ban horsemeat? Anyone?

  6. Parting says:

    @Megatenist: Horses aren’t endangered species.

  7. zentec says:

    If people want to drink raw milk, I say let them drink raw milk. But having driven a milk truck around to various farms to collect milk, I can assure you that you don’t want to ever drink raw milk. Ever watch Dirty Jobs?

    I’ve already banned HFC from my life. Unfortunately, it is coming down to a few juices that can be purchased at Costco and sodas made for sale during Passover. Otherwise, slim pickings because you can’t even order things like sweetened tea any longer — they all have that damned HFC.

  8. mcs328 says:

    Shark Fins? What have I been eating in shark fin soup at Chinese restaurants then?

  9. Mayor McRib says:

    You can still get the pure sugar cane version of Dr. Pepper in Texas. It’s pretty good stuff.

  10. FreeMarketGravy says:

    @Pennsylvanian123: There’s a fair amount of HFCS products (like soda) that have cane-sugar varieties that aren’t too hard to find. They’d just have to import them. The cost would go up, but if one of the bigger cities in the nation banned HFCS, maybe others would follow.

    Major kudos to San Francisco for trying to eradicate what is one of the most disgusting substances still considered legal in the U.S.

  11. Nelsormensch says:

    @Victo: Anglophiles are generally quite skittish about eating horse, despite it being popular in a lot of other places (e.g. France, Scandinavia and Japan). I had basashi in Kyushu and I’ve got to say, it was quite good.

  12. Parting says:

    @mcs328: There several sharks species. Some are commercially ”farmed” for food. As fas as I know, those shark fins come from small ”everyday” sharks, which are not really dangerous to humans anyway.

    Only endangered ones are prohibited.

  13. datapants says:

    Although not exactly banned, Miracle Fruit is another item that the government has consistently kept out of our hands. Eat just one berry, and it makes even the sourest foods taste amazingly sweet for up to an hour afterward. Sour cream tastes like cheesecake, and lemons are practically candy-like. Unless you’re growing your own plants, the berries spoil too quickly to ship by any means other than FedEx. Decades ago, companies teased out the active ingredient (miraculin) and turned it into a food additive, but the FDA could never be moved to approve its use.

  14. HeartBurnKid says:

    You want HFCS to go away real fast?

    End corn subsidies. That’ll do it.

  15. P_Smith says:

    Monsanto’s frankenfoods have been shown to kill bee populations and these nine are banned?

    Clearly, people’s health is not behind the decisions of what to ban except for shark fins, and that may only be due to concerns for their numbers; if the rich ever acquire a taste for it, watch it come off the list.

  16. Critcol says:

    I’ve banned HFC too! Power to the people.

    It’s easy to avoid HFC if you shop at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s (assuming the funds necessary).

  17. Techguy1138 says:

    @Pennsylvanian123: It hard to avoid but not impossible. My GF has a hard time digesting HFCS and still manages to find many products without.

  18. Mistrez_Mish says:

    I second what mcs328 said about shark fins. Walk into any good Chinese restaurant you’ll see shark fin soup on the menu (or heck – try an Asian supermarket – there are huge dried shark
    fins on display in the one in my old neighborhood).

    And – Absinthe – there’s also a loophole if you’re into the really toxic variety. Buy it from an overseas distributer and you can get any brand you want (that’s what I did).

  19. RE: Absinthe

    Newsweek just did a thing about how ‘classic’ absinthe (what Toulouse-Lautrec would have drunk) doesn’t actually have a level of thujone that would be considered illigal today. But it was 140 proof, which would cause hallucinations in just about anyone, regardless of the inclusion of thujone.


  20. HeartBurnKid says:

    Oh, and if San Francisco actually does ban HFCS, I’d expect Jones Soda and Hansen’s Soda to suddenly become very, very popular there. Those are the only two brands I know of that still use actual sugar in their sodas.

  21. tempest says:

    Another food banned in the US: Kinder Surprise Eggs.


  22. kylenalepa says:

    @Mayor McRib: Yeah, I live in Texas and buy the imported Mexican Coca-Cola whenever I can. Half a liter, a glass bottle, and cane sugar? Delicious!

  23. Ftp1423 says:

    @zentec: But I think that’s precisely why they should ban HFC from all things in the US. Since it will be outlawed it will force the food industry to reinventing another less harmful (hopefully) substance to do the same things that HFC is used for now adays. Hopefully by then we can get everything we have today but not have to flip over the labels to see if it has HFC and it will eventually make us go blind like that fat guy did on discovery channel. He drank 2 litres of soda a day.

  24. Sherryness says:

    Yet another reason to be in love with San Francisco…..

  25. zentex says:

    @mcs328: RTFA ;-)

  26. VA_White says:

    We are HFCS-free here, too. It’s not simple to do but it is possible. You do have to read each and every label for all the products you buy. My kids are still pissed that Capri-Sun and GoGurt is banned at our house but I told them tough shit.

  27. nomatteus says:

    Ban High-fructose corn syrup! And anything high in saturated fats! And the entire chip and soda/pop aisle. Ok well that’s not going to happen–people just need to learn and *want* to shop and eat smarter!

    Do they have to mark it as “high fructose corn syrup” or can it also be listed as just “corn syrup” or “fructose/glucose” or even just “sugar” (in Canada here…)? I’m never sure when looking at labels–either I don’t look at many things with HFCS or else they’re not labeled properly in the ingredients list! Or is anything sweet likely to have HFCS?

    When shopping I always try to remember…
    “Eat Food
    Not Too Much
    Mostly Plants”

  28. tempest says:

    Another food item banned in the US: Kinder Surprise Eggs!


  29. kylenalepa says:

    @Nelsormensch: I ate raw horse in Japan. It was, uh, interesting. I don’t really remember the taste very much, just that it was cold.

  30. Sherryness says:

    Here’s a list of foods with no High-Fructose Corn Syrup: [highfructosehigh.com]

    I hope they don’t mind my putting a link to my own site here, since it’s on-topic!

  31. FreeMarketGravy says:

    @Ftp1423: Well, drinking a 2 liter of pure cane sugar soda a day isn’t going to make you blind, but it won’t do you any favors either.

    HFCS is dangerous, but so is anything in excess.

  32. Sherryness says:

    @VA_White: Capri Sun has an All Natural line with no HFCS

  33. betatron says:

    @Victo: Last (?) year there was a brouhaha in IL about a slaughterhouse/rendering works near DeKalb IL, one of the few in the state/country that handles old horses. (sorry, details are fuzzy). Someone got ALL bent out of shape about it and the next thing you know, the illinois legislature, having solved all other problems, banned the sale of horsemeat in Il.

    voila, democracy in action

  34. jamar0303 says:

    @datapants: If it’s really that good, why haven’t we seen this elsewhere (y’know, where the FDA *doesn’t* have authority)?

  35. snoop-blog says:

    cali make me laugh. they ban unhealthy foods, but legalize weed. so what will people eat when they get the munchies? – tofu bars?

  36. MeOhMy says:

    @tempest: That was gonna be my nomination!

  37. Sherryness says:

    @nomatteus: High-Fructose Corn Syrup can also be labelled as “modified corn starch” and “modified food starch.” But not “corn syrup” or fructose or glucose. The “high-fructose” part of the descriptor is because they have severely upped the fructose portion of the corn syrup with an enzyme. Also, “modified corn starch” and “modified food starch” can also be other things besides high-fructose corn syrup. That’s the problem with labelling these days – It’s still really hard to know what is in a product just by reading the label. Vagueness is allowed.

  38. JustThatGuy3 says:


    Actually, the better way would be to end sugar import tariffs, but ending corn subsidies wouldn’t hurt.

  39. ChuckECheese says:

    @Victo: Because horses are our friends. And you can ride them places, like cars. You wouldn’t eat a Buick, would you? Actually, the idea of horse eating doesn’t bother me.

    @Pennsylvanian123: “Until they figure out how to put HFCS in fresh produce, at least…” How about a chilled wedge of iceberg lettuce drizzled with pancake syrup and topped with some diced supreme of grapefruit (this actually sounds edible)? Or, stir-fry broccoli and garlic with soy, HFCS, ginger, a few dashes of hot sauce, and some sliced meat (horse, buffalo or elk).

  40. betatron says:

    @Victo: Horsemeat was banned in Illinois after a brouhaha erupted over one of the very few places that will dispose of old horses, near DeKalb. They took glue horses and butchered them. Someone made a big hairy dealio out of it, akin to “think of the CHILdren!!” The Illinois State Legislature, having solved all other problems, assured that would not be allowed to happen any more. Now there’s no place to get rid of old horses, at least not in this state. Or something like that.

  41. Wally East says:

    @nomatteus: Eat Food.

    The other option being eating not-food? Not eating at all? What?

  42. Balisong says:

    I did not know that little legal bit about absinthe. Good to know next time I meet some idiot goth clucking on about how they found the stuff. (Disclaimer: I used to be a “goth.” Never gave a $%^& about absinthe. Most goths have more fads than “normal” people.)

  43. HeartBurnKid says:

    @JustThatGuy3: That’s not a bad idea. In fact, do both; end sugar import tariffs, and end corn subsidies to compensate for the loss of revenue.

    Maybe then, not only can we get rid of HFCS, but we can also stop the ridiculous, wasteful practice of trying to make ethanol from corn, when there are so many options that are so much better suited (switchgrass, sugar beets, etc).

  44. @HeartBurnKid: Whole Foods makes “store brand” sodas that are made with actual sugar – no diet versions of the sodas, since they try to keep it as natural as possible.

  45. chuloallen says:

    they missed the important one – Cuban Cigars

  46. khiltd says:

    Virgil’s Root Beer uses real sugar, as do many of the “microbrew” sodas available at your average BevMo.

  47. bohemian says:

    If coke would just start making the pure sugar version and selling it in easier to find places I would pay double the price. It tastes better and HFCS makes me rather ill.

  48. bgoldberg says:

    I thought it was sweet when Chicago banned foie gras, but I don’t understand the horse meat thing. Foie gras is ducked up because producing it is so cruel, but horse slaughter? Like, pigs are as smart as horses… What’s the dif?

  49. termitehead says:

    Kangaroo meat is banned as well (some states if not the whole US).

  50. Imafish says:

    “Will they go back to using cane sugar for San Franciscan sodas? Because that would be awesome.”

    Totally agreed!

  51. Imafish says:

    What’s the dif?

    Horses are pretty.

  52. Sherryness says:

    @chuloallen: Cigars are not food.

  53. snoop-blog says:

    What really got me is they banned people meat. I mean, it’s not like were endangered or anything.

  54. backbroken says:

    Can I still get my tiger penis soup? It cures what ails ya!!

  55. datapants says:

    @jamar0303: It’s rarely seen because it spoils so quickly as a fresh fruit. You’re probably going find it only at foodie parties where someone has ordered a batch of the berries via overnight shipping. The FDA doesn’t get into fresh fruit plants much, but it’s apparently not practical for everyone who wants Miracle Fruit to tend to a finicky plant that thrives in a West African climate.
    Joanna Slater wrote about the fruit for the Wall Street Journal on 2007-03-30, and also described the uphill battle for FDA regulation of miraculin-based additives.

  56. SpdRacer says:

    @tempest: Those things are frickin cool as hell, my sister gives us the larger ones for christmas presents

  57. Kevino says:

    I thought absinthe was legal again in the full strength at the start of 2008. I know my local BevMo carries the real stuff with wormwood in it.

  58. Kevino says:

    @Kevino: And I am wrong, just looked it up :|

  59. Dervish says:

    I know I’m just asking for flames here, but will someone explain why exactly HFCS is so dangerous? It hasn’t been shown to have any adverse effect on health compared to sucrose. I don’t like it because it’s all tied up in corn subsidies and heavily processed, but I understand why manufacturers use it.

    When you’re drinking soda made with sucrose, the acidity of it breaks down the sugar into 50/50 glucose and fructose anyhow. This isn’t much different from drinking soda with 45/55 glucose/fructose.

  60. Balisong says:

    Wow, what a coincidence – I just found that one of my fav sites linked to this yesterday XD Sorry, Absinthe Trippers: Scientists Say You’re Just Really…

  61. RagingBoehner says:

    @Imafish: Ugh last year Congress spent all this time deliberating a horse slaughter bill — which basically banned domestic ranchers (?) from exporting horse meat for human consumption. Because the glue factory is totally mellow, but God forbid someone eat delicious Barbaro!

  62. Hope that high fructose corn syrup band doesn’t leak into NY lines… My husband LIVES for Karo syrup on his french toast. (Ewww, I know)

    All you cheap store brand syrup buyers, BEWARE! (pure maple for me, thanks…)

  63. dry-roasted-peanuts says:

    @Victo: Historically, it’s because a horse was worth more as a tool (riding for travel, farming, mounted troops in war, etc.) than as a food. Mind you, I don’t have any documentation to back that up, but that’s always seemed like the logical answer to me.

  64. akalish says:

    @kylenalepa: Darwin, man. It’s not the government’s place to be a substitute parent. Let the fatties/unthinking alkies die out and the fitter will remain. As for the gastronomes, well, it’s the strongest who pull the strings…

  65. tempest says:

    @Troy F.: Oh, sorry! Here’s another one for you: apples with embedded razor blades.

    Oops… did I do it again? Naughty me!

  66. dry-roasted-peanuts says:

    @Balisong: See, I’ve always thought the while “absinthe trip” was way overstated. I’ve imported quite a bit over the years from various countries and all I’ve ever gotten was about the same level of drunk as a night spent drinking Red Bull and vodka (drunk but still pretty lucid). Tasty stuff though (assuming you like anise flavour).

  67. azgirl says:

    I heart Chilean sea bass.. OMG you can not cook it wrong, and it still tastes good. Problem there is the poor fishing practices.. it will be gone before we know it…I dont think even “certified” fish helps this species. ( ps- I ate it before I researched its bad to buy-ness. I live with the guilt, and the one filet left in my freezer from my huge Costco purchase.)

  68. nomatteus says:

    @rnkoneil: The other option being “Eat food, lots of it, mostly crap”? I dunno, check out this NYTimes article (should have referenced it in my post!)

  69. sixninezero says:

    @bgoldberg: Be careful about condemning foie gras until you have committed to stop supporting companies that raise battery chickens and factory farm pork and beef.

  70. opfreak says:

    wow. Lets just ban everything.

    I’m all for banning some peoples speech here, because I dont like it ethier.

  71. History Channel had a nice story about Absinthe and how it was likely banned because of the competition from the French wine companies and it had stories of ugly trips passed onto the states where it was banned out of worry for its high proof rating like moonshine.

    You’d have to literally binge on the stuff to screw you, the same as any alcoholic beverage.

  72. If we stopped subsidizing corn, a lot of our health problems in this country would go away. Corn would be more expensive than sugar, and would be in less products.

  73. Luguel says:

    You missed one…Kobe Beef is banned

  74. jeff303 says:

    Believe me, as long as companies like Archer Daniels Midland are in business there will be no HFCS ban. They’re so in bed with the government it’s not even funny.

  75. The point of Michael Pollan saying “eat food” is that most of the items in the supermarket are not food, they are processed edible foodlike substances.

  76. Dervish says:

    @jeff303: You’ve got that right. The lobbying powers of these companies are just depressing.

  77. johnva says:

    It seems that these “banned” foods fall into a couple of different categories:

    1) Endangered or otherwise ecologically unsustainable species. I fully support any bans or limitations for this reason. (Chilean sea bass, wild beluga caviar, shark fins)

    2) Bans for health reasons. I think in some cases these bans go too far, but in others are totally justified. Trans fat really should be banned, since it’s essentially a poison. The others are more of a grey area. (Trans fats, raw milk, HFCS, absinthe).

    3)Silly bans/animal “cruelty”. Horse meat and foie gras probably fall under here. I don’t believe foie gras is particularly more cruel than any other form of meat production, and the horse meat thing is just stupid, wasteful, cultural garbage.

  78. Munsoned says:

    I DNRTFA, but I think trans fats are banned here in Montgomery Co, MD too…

  79. AstroPig7 says:

    @HeartBurnKid: Blue Sky also uses cane sugar in their soft drinks.

  80. Wally East says:

    @suburbancowboy: Okay, that makes sense.

  81. pigeonpenelope says:

    i wish high fructose corn syrup was banned in wa too. i hate that stuff. its hard to find food that doesn’t have it.

  82. ian937262 says:


  83. MyPetFly says:

    French fries… replaced with Freedom fries, right? : )

  84. Jozef says:

    I grew up in a small farming village and was really upset when I moved to the US and couldn’t find real milk in the stores, only this flat, white water that barely tastes like milk. Raw milk was obviously banned for health reasons, as were many other untreated products:

    * Unpasteurized cheese (illegal to sell in many states; I get mine “smuggled” in from Canada by visiting friends)
    * Raw almonds (even those that are sold as “raw” or “organic” are treated by a chemical some consider carcinogenic)

    And don’t forget the “this thing is so delicious it kills the competition” category – Ugly Tomatoes are illegal to export from Florida.

  85. BlogFather says:

    @Jozef: “* Raw almonds (even those that are sold as “raw” or “organic” are treated by a chemical some consider carcinogenic)”

    so what you saying is you prefer fresh nuts in your mouth?

  86. I see human flesh isn’t listed. Interesting…

    Anyone wanna come over as-I mean for dinner tonight?

  87. modenastradale says:

    I think for hazardous foods, the bans make sense. Most people these days rely on restaurants for a large chunk of their nutriton. It’s impossible to tell what a restaurant has put into the food (unless it’s all truthfully disclosed). If the restaurant can’t buy dangerous stuff, though, consumers have some protection.

  88. Gann says:

    I heard that a reason ‘food’ manufacturers love HFC is cause your body can accept much more of it before telling you it’s had enough, unlike cane sugar. This means people consume more of their product and they get richer while people get fatter.

    Also, is dog/cat meat actually illegal in the US, or is it just frowned on?

  89. johnva says:

    @pigeonpenelope: As someone pointed out, it’s really easy to find stuff that doesn’t have it if you shop at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. I don’t believe that WF allows anything containing it to be sold (it’s on their “banned additives” list).

  90. Anonymous says:

    Comment on 9 Foods You’re Not Allowed To Buy Absinthe has always been legal to consume, just not to purchase or sell.
    This is why you have companies in the UK, Germany and France (especially
    Germany) which will sell you a guaranteed shipment of the goods that you
    purchase through them (they are not in the US so basically make the purchase
    for you from the local vendor, and then ship the package to you, thereby
    circumventing the purchase/sale being in the US). In regards to the
    packages possibly being seized: 1) I don’t know of anyone who has ever had
    packages seized, myself included. 2) Most online vendors will guarantee the
    shipment, meaning if it is seized in customs they will re-send until you get
    the package.

    I will whole-heartedly agree with you that when drinking Absinthe you will
    not be tripping and find the “green fairy.” If, back hundreds of years ago,
    someone was truly hallucinating, they were more than likely doing so based
    on lead poisoning rather than any actual cause of the liquor being consumed.
    There have been many papers about the subject in 2006-2007 on the subject.
    This has to do with the binding of the barrels that the liquid was stored
    in, and the levels of alcohol causing the lead to leech into the barrel.

    In particular most recently you have the American Chemical Society published
    an article stating in effect that the actual levels of thujone in the
    pre-ban era prior to 1915 all the way up to modern day, that the levels were
    all quite similar and that there was nothing abnormal besides possibly
    levels of ethanol to explain the “symptoms.”

    NOTE: No regulations have changed. Prior to May 2007 it was not widely
    known that the official threshold for thujone analysis—10ppm—is such that it
    permits, or effectively “legalizes”, many European absinthes. Currently
    several authentic absinthes are now available for purchase at liquor stores
    and bars in the US. This is a major breakthrough, as many brands will
    follow. Accordingly, the absinthe referred to in the below statutes would
    be absinthe which is non-compliant with the current limits or is illegally
    introduced to the country. Most of the laws which impact absinthe in the US
    are out-dated, unfair, convoluted, illogical, self-contradictory, un-evenly
    enforced and misunderstood even by those responsible enforcing them. In
    short, it’s a collection of bad law.

    Reference: Chemical Composition of Vintage Preban Absinthe with Special
    Reference to Thujone, Fenchone, Pinocamphone, Methanol, Copper, and Antimony
    Concentrations. Written by: Dirk W. Lachenmeier,†

    David Nathan-Maister,‡

    Theodore A. Breaux,§

    Eva-Maria Sohnius,†

    Kerstin Schoeberl,†

    and Thomas Kuballa†

    Chemisches und Veterinäruntersuchungsamt (CVUA) Karlsruhe, Weissenburger
    Strasse 3, D-76187 Karlsruhe, Germany, Oxygenee Ltd., 22 Baylis Crescent,
    Burgess Hill RH15 8UP, United Kingdom, and Jade Liqueurs, LLC, 3588
    Brookfield Road, Birmingham, Alabama 35226


  91. FreeMarketGravy says:

    @Gann: I don’t know how true that is. What I do know is true and is a huge reason manufacturers love HFCS is that it’s easier to produce & cheaper since we don’t need in import much of it unlike cane sugar.

    My science is a little shaky on this part, but I don’t think there’s enough land available in the US that can support to growth of sugarcane to make growing our own viable which is a BIG reason HFCS is unlikely to disappear, sadly.

  92. privateer says:

    I am semi-convinced the advent of high-fructose corn syrup in so many products has led to the rise in many conditions, like Type II diabetes and ADHD. It sure ain’t helping. I like pure cane sugar better, but it’s not like it’s part of a healthy diet. Then again, a lot of people are down on artificial sweeteners, too, like aspartame.

    So where does that leave us?

  93. johnva says:

    @FreeMarketGravy: It’s also cheaper largely because corn is subsidized in this country. Importing cane sugar from Brazil or someplace might be cheaper if it weren’t for U.S. farm subsidies and trade policy. The cost difference isn’t just caused by the difference in where it’s grown.

  94. CPC24 says:

    Here’s another one: Mississippi and Louisiana have banned Chinese catfish. Before tainted toys, dog food, and Heparin, Chinese catfish was found to have huge levels of antibiotics. They banned it for that reason, but also to protect their local catfish industry.

  95. bufftbone says:

    “Horse meat
    Banned in: California, Illinois and other states”

    And what other state may that be?

    mcs328, that sharkfin soup you’ve been eating is probably that lost stray that everyone forgot about.

  96. Dervish says:

    @Gann: No – research has shown that sucrose and HFCS have identical effects on satiety and appetite-regulatng hormones. Pure fructose, on the other hand, has been shown to lower levels of these hormones, which makes people feel less full.

    Food processors prefer HFCS to sugar not only because it’s cheaper (or used to be), but also because it’s easier to incorporate into foods and because it extends shelf life. HFCS also doesn’t change its composition over time. Sucrose, however, will break down over time into its component sugars. This means that a 6 month old sugar-containing product will taste/feel/look different than its freshly produced counterpart.

  97. teapartys_over says:

    Am I the only one here who doesn’t find it that hard to avoid HFCS? And I don’t go to any crazy measures, I just make all my meals from scratch (because I think it tastes best and is cheapest, not because of HFCS specifically). I buy cereal organic, maple syrup, and I do make my own bread but I know from experience you can find bread in the supermarket without it if you look at the ingredients. Anyone want to enlighten me on the major problems in avoiding HFCS? What you have trouble finding a substitute for?

    Oh, and by the way I’m not against having candy or soda once in a while at the movies or something – I just wouldn’t want to be involuntarily eating the stuff all the time in everyday foods.

  98. ConsumptionJunkie says:

    I’m in favor of a sin tax on things like HFCS, trans fats, and hydrogenated oils.

  99. Andronicus1717 says:

    I grew up on a dairy farm and raw milk is infinitely superior to the processed store bought varieties. Having said that, I would not consume any of it without personally having the cows in my back yard; as another commenter posted, some farms are less than idyllic. The milk truck collected milk every two days so at the oldest, a portion of the milk was 2 days old and had been stored at a constant ~33 deg F the whole time.

  100. xmarc says:

    Banning high fructose corn syrup is a step in the right direction. There is a direct statistical correlation to increasing use of HFCS to maladies such as diabetes and obesity over 30 years.

  101. Dervish says:

    This will probably doublepost, but here’s a good article on HFCS vs. sucrose:
    The thing I like is, she points out that a lot of these HFCS-demonizing studies compared HFCS to fructose and not sucrose. The thing I don’t like is that she’s adamant that HFCS and sucrose are the same when they’re not. They’re really similar but not identical.

  102. Dervish says:

    @xmarc: Correlation is not causality.

  103. The Bambino says:


    Basically because our body processes the fructose in HFCS differently than it does old-fashioned cane or beet sugar, which messes with the way metabolic-regulating hormones function. It also forces the liver to kick more fat out into the bloodstream at a higher rate, which, well…makes you fatter quicker.

  104. wring says:

    lol gotta love sf. maybe they will bring back the Coke with sugar instead of hfcs.

    also, i’m craving sharksfin siomai.

  105. FreeMarketGravy says:

    @ConsumptionJunkie: I will be when it’s a possibility to buy things that DON’T have HFCS in them. I more or less do that as is, but I have to go out of my way to do so. I support the idea of a sin tax, but only when it’s a viable option to buy things that do not fall under that tax.

  106. iMike says:

    I don’t miss any of this crap.

  107. johnva says:

    @FreeMarketGravy: As a number of people have pointed out, it’s very much a viable option to not buy things with HFCS in them. You just can’t shop at places like Wal-Mart.

  108. whydidnt says:

    Unless the food it poisonous, I don’t agree with banning any of it. I’m all for clear labeling, but so what if America is getting fatter? That’s a benefit of living in a free country, you get to make choices, and not all of them are good for you. Last I checked our life expectancy is still much higher today than it was 50-100 years ago.

    I for one am tired of do-gooders telling me what I can and can’t do to my body. If I want to smoke while driving down the highway, without a seatbelt drinking corn syrup enriched coca-cola, eating my transfat dripping Twinkies no government entity should tell me not to. Where do you draw the line on personal freedom/responsibility?? Why do so many insist the government must “protect” everyone from themselves?

  109. smoothtom says:

    Hmm … it’s a tough one. On the one hand, I don’t like the idea of “banning” things in general. Legalize drugs, you know? On the other hand, when you have companies passing off dangerous, highly processed chemicals as “food,” then, yeah, I’m in favor of banning the sale of those substances as food. I’m talking about things like trans fats and high-fructose corn syrup. These are synthetic products–derived from natural products, yeah, but still dangerous chemicals–that really should not be thought of as food.

  110. bohemian says:

    @Dervish: There does seem to be research pointing to health issues due to HFCS


  111. cloudedice says:

    There’s a farm nearby that sells raw milk. I don’t know what the big fuss is. It tastes a lot like grass.

  112. johnva says:

    @whydidnt: Transfat IS a poison, essentially. It’s just a poison that takes a long time to kill you. Scientists believe that no amount is totally safe.

    Also, you don’t even agree with banning foods that come from endangered species? That accounts for several of the entries on this list.

  113. datrik says:

    I’ve been drinking raw milk for over 3 years and have fully appreciated its far superiority over processed milk. Taste and nutrition in raw milk are much better than in cooked milk

    Pasteurization is an outdated practice that was necessary before society progressed towards better sanitation procedures. In fact raw milk, when left out side by side with cooked milk will last much longer without refrigeration and inhibit harmful pathogens. It’s natural antibodies which get killed in pasteurized milk help ward off the nasties.

    If you are concerned over the farms cleanliness, visit your local farmers market and ask to take a tour of the farm. It’s all about knowing where your food comes from.

    please quit the fear mongering with the “diptheria” bit. the FDA has you psyched.

  114. jeff303 says:

    @ConsumptionJunkie: That would defeat the very purpose of having HFCS in the first place (i.e. its cost). Without corn subsidies and sugar tariffs it would already be more expensive than cane or beet sugar.

  115. Buran says:

    @scarletvirtue (ΣΣΣ): Really. More info! There’s a Whole Foods in my area.

  116. Buran says:

    Fitz’s here in St. Louis is a soda microbrewery that makes good cane-sugar root beer, orange soda, orange creme, strawberry, creme soda, grape, and probably a flavor or two I forget.

  117. Dervish says:

    @The Bambino: But sucrose is 50% glucose, 50% fructose. When it gets hydrolyzed in the stomach we end up with nearly the same amount of each sugar as if we had eaten HFCS.

    Fructose from HFCS and fructose from hydrolyzed sucrose is metabolized in ecaxtly the same manner. Our bodies don’t know the difference.

    Some studies that have supported this are Melanson et al.’s “Effects of high-fructose corn syrup and sucrose consumption on circulating glucose, insulin, leptin, and ghrelin and on appetite in normal-weight women” and Monsivais et al.’s “Sugars and satiety: does the type of sweetener make a difference?”.

  118. TWSS says:

    The problem with banning foods because they’re “bad” for us is that the conventional wisdom of what is “bad” is highly politicized and changes from year to year.

    Endangered species, makes sense to ban production and sales. Health claims and cruelty claims? Stick it. Frankly, if they’re going to ban foie for being the product of animal cruelty, you need to ban ALL meat, because what’s crueler than murder?*

    *This hyperbolic piece of asswittery brought to you by Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA.

  119. Dervish says:

    @bohemian: Yes, but Ho’s study compared HFCS-sweetened drinks to a DIET control, not to a sucrose-sweetened control. How do we know that the same levels of carbonyls aren’t found in drinks sweetened with sugar?

  120. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @akalish: But the government allows companies to feed us this shit in the first place. So shouldn’t they take a little initiative and stop it once in a while?

  121. HeartBurnKid says:

    @verucalise: Karo syrup is just plain old corn syrup, not high-fructose corn syrup. Mostly.

  122. whydidnt says:

    @johnva: Transfat is not a poison except as described by those who want it banned. It has been described as “poisonous” to one’s metabolism because it does not get burned the same as normal fat, but it is NOT a poison in the classic sense of arsenic, etc.

    We’ve all been eating too much transfat for too long, while living longer, for me to agree that a ban is necessary. I can agree it’s bad for you, like a lot of stuff we put into our bodies, and that you certainly have a right NOT to consume any, but I don’t agree with a government ban. I don’t want to live in a society where the government is so concerned about my well-being that I can’t enjoy things I really enjoy, simply because some bureaucrat some where has decided it’s bad for me. Today it’s smoking and transfat, tomorrow, is HFCS and Liquor, after that it’s playing a violent video game… as long as you continue to allow the government to make these decisions for you, it won’t be long until you aren’t allowed to make any decisions for yourself.

    Regarding endangered species, there is no need to ban them in food, since the killing, harvesting, possessing etc. is already illegal. Why do we need two laws that essentially do the same thing?

  123. johnva says:

    @TWSS: The bans should not be driven by “conventional wisdom”. They should be driven by science. That is not so subject to political whims and misinterpretation.

    And with things like transfat or HFCS, they’re banning a food additive, not a food. I think that makes it a bit different since there are substitutes that food producers can easily use (sometimes at increased cost).

  124. metaled says:

    A Philapeno friend of mine used to tease me about the weird things they eat in the provinces. I’ll have to let him know that he can no longer eat dog when he goes back to visit family (since last year):


    Funny I could not find anything about it being banned in the U.S. Wikipedia only says that State and local laws are used to enforce it. That’s one that should be on the list, but ban the cat? What’s that all about.. Extra Crispy… MMMMM…MMM!

  125. chuloallen says:

    @Sherryness: and Absinthe is?

  126. The people of San Francisco will surely perish if they ban corn syrup. Some corn syrup products:

    Salad dressing
    Pie filling
    granola bars
    spaghetti sauce

    I say eat what you want. But don’t sue because you didn’t know it would get you fat.

  127. johnva says:

    But you don’t lose anything by banning transfat, for the most part. There are perfectly good substitutes. You can use more saturated fat, for example, and still get most of the same cooking properties. The use of trans fat is in part driven by cost, since it increases shelf-stability of processed foods. I just don’t think it’s okay for food companies to use a proven dangerous additive just to save a few pennies in their supply chain.

    As for endangered species, it’s been shown again and again that you need a multi-layered approach to really cut down on the market for them. We have to destroy the consumer market for the species or people will still harvest and trade in them illegally. Maybe these particular regulations aren’t the best approach, but they’re just trying to attack the problem on both ends.

  128. bgoldberg says:

    @johnva: RE your foie gras comment: Wrong-o. Google it, sucka. Keep in mind that it’s totally legal to treat poultry however you want in the process of food production. Force feed a horse with a steel rod jammed down her throat until her liver swells up to some ungodly size and see where that lands ya.

  129. alice_bunnie says:


    I had heard about that quite a while back, I think it was an article about a bar in Japan that served the fruit. I didn’t understand the rational behind the ban. Of course, we can’t always find rational reasons behind the way our government works.

  130. opfreak says:

    wow. Its amazing how many consumerist people are against freedom.

    The goverment “Allows” companies to sell food. LOL. I would hope the goverment would allow companies to do what the want to.

    Or would you rather live under a king, that tells you what is good and what is bad.

    No you cannot drive a car that can kill you.

    Candy? no one ‘needs’ candy, lets ban that too.

    hmm meat? well we really dont ‘need’ meat lets ban meat as well.

    hmm what else is bad. Drinking is bad, lets ban drinking.

    Soda, also crap, lets ban soda.

    jucie, well jusic is high in sugar, lets ban that too.

    Once you start, where do you stop?

  131. johnva says:

    @bgoldberg: I’m informed on the issue, thanks. I just don’t agree with you. I don’t believe the force feeding is particularly “cruel”. Don’t present your opinions as if they were “fact”.

  132. Pennsylvanian123 says:

    @teapartys_over: I agree it can be avoided but it gets sneaked into the most ridiculous things. I found it in a can of stewed tomatoes (can’t remember which brand) – why do canned tomatoes need high fructose corn syrup?

  133. Sherryness says:

    @teapartys_over: My problem with it is that it is in a lot of things that most people wouldn’t think of as including a sweetener in the ingredients. Therefore they are not even on the lookout for it. That’s because manufacturers are using it as a preservative. So HFCS is popping up in Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire Sauce, mustard, Italian salad dressing, rotisserie chicken (because it’s in the rub or marinade they use), etc. So people are consuming sweetener, and sweet empty calories, because hfcs is an effective and cheap preservative. It adds empty calories to what should normally be a healthy, or at least semi-neutral, food choice.

  134. Osi says:

    Lol, I rather drink raw milk then the poison that is the milk in the stores …

    And yes, I grew up on the farm, drinking “raw” goat milk and cow milk.

  135. I’m surprised they haven’t banned more endangered species. So I guess I can eat a tiger testicle soup and not worry about the cops.

    HFCS doesn’t need to be banned. They only have to cut the corn subsidies. It’s so annoying how that stuff shows up in everything. Even stuff that’s supposed to be healthy, like yogurt.

  136. burgundyyears says:

    @Gann: No, HFCS and sucrose have similar satiety profiles. HFCS is just the food boogeyman du jour, as if refined sucrose present in the same quantities would somehow be more healthy.

  137. johnva says:

    @Sherryness: Exactly. The problem with HFCS isn’t so much that’s it’s worse for you than sugar. The problem is that it has prompted the food industry to add sugar to a vast array of foods that didn’t have it before. I bet that alone has increased the average daily caloric intake of Americans.

    @postnocomments: Yep, if they just stop subsidizing it, I bet it would go away.

  138. CyGuy says:

    I’d add stevia, the naturally super-sweet plant that can be used either as a leaf, or as an crystalline extract as a sugar substitute and that is widely used as such in many other countries.

    However, in the US, thanks to lobbying by Monsanto (then headed by Donald Rumsfeld) who didn’t want competition to Aspartame, it can’t be sold as a food in the US. Fortunately, it is available as an herbal supplement, but this really limits it’s distribution channels and keeps it out of things like soft drinks.

  139. @whydidnt: Actually, in case you didn’t know, because of the obesity epidemic, this generation will be the first generation in U.S. history that life expectation will go down.


  140. snoop-blog says:

    @postnocomments: who cares? i don’t want to live to be 200. or even 90. hell i could keep going lower, but you get the idea. i personally feel like living it up while i’m still young. what’s the point in preserving yourself for the sake of old age? makes me think of old people in convertables or sports cars that never drive over 30mph.

  141. Sherryness says:

    @chuloallen: It’s closer to food than a cigar is. People put it through their digestive systems. I can’t remember the last time I saw someone swallow a cigar. By your logic, by the way, I’d not count high-fructose corn syrup as a food either!

  142. TCameron says:

    Banning HFCS across this nation will take some time, but would do the nation a lot of good. I don’t see it happening due to heavy lobbying by American Corn growers and the embargo on Cuba, one of the larger sugar producers in the world. Our sugar is thusly 3 times as expensive anywhere else.

  143. rmz says:

    Holy nanny state, Batman. Clearly the solution to our problems is to have the efficient, intelligent, and infallible body that is our government tell us what we can and can’t put in our own bodies!

    I’m far from a Libertarian, but the Consumerist makes me feel like it sometimes with comments like these. :/

  144. windycity says:

    “But you don’t lose anything by banning transfat, for the most part.”

    Sure you do. You lose the right to eat transfat. I’m not a child. I’m capable of being an informed consumer and figuring out what is and is not good for me without government intervention. And should I get a sudden hankering for french fries dipped in margarine, I should be able to indulge that craving without fear of the food police.

  145. ClankBoomSteam says:

    High fructose corn syrup is “on the endangered list” in San Francisco?

    Last I checked, every grocery store, convenience store and mini-mart in the city still carries copious amounts of every major soda brand on the market — each of which is practically *made* of HFCS.

    So… whatchootalkinbout, Consumerist?

  146. marsneedsrabbits says:


    Because horses are pretty.

    Seriously. It boils down to that, more or less.

  147. slowreader says:

    @Critcol: IMO Trader Joe’s prices are pretty reasonable. I think its cheaper then Safeway and waayy cheaper than Whole Foods. I’d go to the Joe’s in Rockridge over the Whole Foods in Berkeley any day….

  148. snoop-blog says:

    I’m waiting for the guberment to ban every position except for missionary.

  149. spyker_4 says:

    I thought Foie Gras was banned in California as well? I remember some law passed here years ago banning the production and sale of it.

    @termitehead: I don’t know about the meat, but it used to be illegal to buy kangaroo leather here until Adidas sued the state.

  150. Not Alvis says:

    Comeon Consumerist: “Chilean sea bass” is a trade name. Use its real name, “Patagonian tooth fish”

  151. johnva says:

    @windycity: Have fun exercising your freedom to kill yourself.

  152. The Bambino says:


    Interesting. I will read those studies, I was not aware of them. Thanks for the information.

  153. Jorel says:

    “it was 140 proof, which would cause hallucinations in just about anyone” — just like thujone, alcohol is not a hallucinogen

  154. @Buran: The sodas are under the 365 brand – Cola, Black Cherry, Raspberry, Ginger Ale, Orange Cream and some other flavors, and they’re made with 100% cane sugar and also have no sodium or caffeine.

    And I lived in St. Louis my entire life (moved to SF four years ago) – and I loved Fitz’s! One of the many things I miss about the city.

  155. ConsumptionJunkie says:

    Foods that should be banned:

    1. HFCS
    2. Partially hydrogenated oils
    3. Trans fats
    4. Artificial dyes
    5. BHA/BHT
    6. Alum
    7. Artificial sweeteners

  156. Buran says:

    @scarletvirtue (ΣΣΣ): Try harder. Have it shipped!

    Get it here — hmm, a few flavors on that list that I haven’t seen at Schnucks OR at their restaurant. I bet they have them, just not on the regular menu.

    And now I want a Java Float. Grrr…

  157. legerdemain says:


    Google it, and you’ll see several opinions on whether this is or isn’t banned, but my experience is that retailers can’t get the stuff. Apparently, the folate is keeping mass commercial imports out, but travelers bringing it in, as well as individuals importing it for their own use seems to be okay.

  158. LucyInTheSky says:

    Whoooo san francisco! SF gets a gold star and my seal of approval.

  159. bryanjj says:

    Everyone who is posting about how much they hate HFCS, I’m sure you realize that is equivalent to saying you hate sugar. Maybe we should ban sugar too!

  160. @Buran: I’ll do that – now, if only Imo’s Pizza (or Cecil Whittaker’s in my neck of the woods) could ship cross-country!

  161. Osi says:

    Stevia (sp?) is the only way to go for a sweetner, especially when every single alternative (except sugar) is poison.

  162. elephantattack says:

    @Sherryness: lol…

  163. Dervish says:

    @The Bambino: Thank you for lending an ear. I’m not saying it’s fine and dandy to be putting in all our food – like I said earlier, I try to avoid it for other reasons. But there’s virtually no evidence to show that it’s any unhealthier than plain sugar.

  164. Buran says:

    @legerdemain: Try an international food store. A guy in FineScale Modeler magazine came up with a novel use for it (masking sprayed/airbrushed paint) and in his article he said he got it at the local equivalent to the Whole Foods Market in my area.

  165. Buran says:
  166. humphrmi says:

    @RhodaAnchialus: Wow you take the subject of the pro’s and con’s of a beverage fairly seriously.

  167. SRSco says:


    Neither are dolphins.

  168. allstarecho says:

    @CPC24: Actually, at least here in Mississippi, Chinese catfish wasn’t banned. The law just made it to where ANY catfish from another country, must be labeled as such. The issue was caused by the Vietnamese Basa fish.

    Problems for Mississippi catfish farmers arose after unlabeled Vietnamese catfish began flooding the U.S. market.

  169. joellevand says:

    @akalish: Thank you!

  170. joellevand says:

    @opfreak: Thanks for defending our right to choose stupidity! Too many people actually love (heart?) nanny states. It scares me.

  171. goodywitch says:

    @johnva: shark fin soup falls under animal cruelty, they just take the fins and let the shark sink.

    blech, too many comments to see if someone pointed this out already

  172. whorfin says:

    Hiya folks, regarding HFCS, I live in San Francisco, and there are plenty of (non-mass) sodas and snacks available without HFCS, so I won’t be affected. Banning HFCS will have an odd effect unless/until the US Govt. decides to end the odd tarrifs on sugar combined with subsidy of corn to benefit the corn lobby (aka ADM). The true tragedy of both HFCS and Methanol/Ethanol is that we’re converting food crop land into fuel crop land, which is driving up global food prices.

    At least we’re raising the bar for competition into higher lifestyle, so that fewer people will have money to buy the now endangered chinook salmon?

    Anyway, there you go. Have a nice weekend, and don’t worry about the 1/3 of the world who are starving while we fret over where our sugars come from!

  173. slowinthefastlane says:

    You can still get Coke and Pepsi that are made with sugar instead of HFCS – just not in most places in the US. I live near SF and there’s a few Mexican grocery stores that carry Coke sweetened with sugar.

  174. SoCalGNX says:

    @Victo: Horses are considered “companion animals” like dogs and cats. Would you eat those?

  175. humphrmi says:


    Anyway, there you go. Have a nice weekend, and don’t worry about the 1/3 of the world who are starving while we fret over where our sugars come from!

    Oh my god, you’re right. I should give up a healthy diet, because 1/3 of the world is starving. Thanks.

  176. leftystrat says:

    I appreciate that some people have discovered HFCS is bad. It’s good to know why.

    Here’s a novel idea: don’t *&$#ing eat any, ok?

    The last thing we need (besides HFCS apparently) is Big Brother enacting legislation about it.

    I abhor smoking, therefore I don’t smoke. I don’t insist on laws. My area has banned it in bars. I don’t think it’s fair to smokers.

    Remember: if you make your own decisions, the terrorists win.

  177. FerryPrincess says:

    Chicago should also ban their restaurant-sold pate…or at least from the Russian Tea Room. I could only take one bite. By the time I walked to the Sears Tower, I had to start crawling.

  178. whorfin says:

    er, humphri, you miss the point slightly. The only reason we have HFCS in this country (and no other!) is that people have been fretting over where we get our sugars from.

    They were determined that we get them from a continentally grown crop, so they passed legislation making that happen.

    If only we didn’t do that sort of thing, there’d be more food grown for eating, we’d be buying sugar at a fraction of the price, and some poor countries would have a better lifestyle. (unless, of course, you realize that the sugar plantations are in the hands of non-resident landowners, and the money flows directly away)

  179. FerryPrincess says:

    Corn syrup…blecch.

    johnva, if we end corn subsidies, won’t that spike the cost of beef, milk and pork, as a large portion of corn grown in the US is used to feed cattle and hogs?

    Maybe the timing is wrong, as commodities are all over the place due to the economic perfect storm?

    Does that mean I prefer a ban? That’s funny, I’m against banning things, and I’m against government subsidies…what to do?

  180. Charred says:

    HFCS is bad, blah blah blah… tl;dr. Food bans are stupid.

  181. shikaningen says:

    HFCS is not anything like a poisonous chemical. One develops a portly robust frame, if he overindulges, but that’s no excuse for a ban.

    I don’t even believe that HFCS is principally responsible for the problem of obesity in America. The food items most likely to be responsible, in my opinion, are diet foods. Americans aren’t fat because they aren’t dieting; they’re fat because they are! When you eat very few calories your metabolism falls and in that condition, the majority of the calories you consume are turned into fat rather than be used by the body. So, people eat diet foods, their metabolism falls, they slip up every now and again, eating foods with a large number of calories, those calories are stored as fat, and then, seeing their increase in weight, they resolve to lost weight by eating MORE diet foods, etc… It’s a vicious circle.

    What needs to be unbanned before anything else is all forms of recreational drugs, but that’s not going to happen, because of the DEA, the pharmaceutical industry, the CIA, corrupt venal politicians, prison administrators, etc… Who’s not making money off of that – uh, you know, besides your average powerless yoked citizen?

  182. past says:

    @ConsumptionJunkie: Great, aim that arrow to the poor and kids.

  183. Buran says:

    @Buran: Er, Global Foods Market. Argh.

  184. Angryrider says:

    What about bear meat? Are we allowed to buy it? Something must be done about those GKM.

  185. bones says:

    Hey, let’s ban HFCS so the price of groceries go beyond the reach of a majority of people in the US so the food riots can start here too. Your consumption of any component of a food product is totally up to you, if you eat a lot of HFCS you are the cause of your own maladies – eat less overall and you eat less HFCS. Banning HFCS will only deprive you and your family of affordable food items you currently enjoy because some people can’t just shut their mouths.

  186. MARTHA__JONES says:

    @zentec: Whole Foods 365 brand sodas are really good and are sweetened with natual cane sugar.

  187. Rusted says:

    @kylenalepa: Not all Americans have trouble limiting dietary intake. Some fat people in other parts of the world.

    @ChuckECheese: Ummmm….Buick….tastes like chicken.

    @bones: Ban the stuff anyway. It’s made from genetically modified corn that I’m allergic to.

  188. overbysara says:


  189. Tikabelle says:

    @Victo: Neither are most dolphins, or bald eagles.

  190. Robobot says:

    Eh, part of me feels like people should be allowed to eat what they want. The risks should definitely be made known, but beyond that it’s a personal choice.

    There is a huge underground movement of foodies secretly buying/importing banned foods in the U.S. A lot of the stuff is still available if you know where to look, so people are eating what they want regardless. This is especially true with raw milk in farming communities. If I cared to I could find it easier than I could find pot, and that’s really saying something.

    (I have no issue with HFCS being banned, though. Coke made with real sugar would be awesome.)

  191. richcreamerybutter says:

    @datapants: Yes! My friends had a miracle fruit party last year (they have a “dealer”) and they are truly amazing. Everyone brought sour foods, and we were eating lemons and lime as if they were oranges.

    @tempest: It’s pretty easy to find Kinder Eggs in my Brooklyn neighborhood.

    @Sherryness: I had no idea about “modified starches” masquerading as HFCS…thanks!

    It’s ridiculous that I live in a country that allows HFCS but won’t let me indulge in runny unpasteurized milk cheeses. Sometimes the cheese shops here “accidentally” receive a shipment that includes a few, and they sell it anyway.

  192. Amelie says:

    The trans fat law is stupid, if for no other reason than a croissant needs to be made with butter.

  193. richcreamerybutter says:

    @HeartBurnKid: Karo syrup is just plain old corn syrup, not high-fructose corn syrup. Mostly.

    It’s ridiculous they feel the need to add HFCS to plain corn syrup. I buy pure glucose from the baking store when I need corn syrup in a candy recipe.

  194. @Critcol: To my knowledge, there is no HFCS in beer.

  195. richcreamerybutter says:

    Finally I’ll say that when I made an effort to eat as little HFCS as possible, my digestive/IBS problems disappeared. The last time I was in Europe (eating whatever I wanted) I found this to be the case. When I came back, I was eager to figure out exactly why I felt like shit eating a relatively healthy diet…I figured it was probably all the HFCS and other genetically modified corn products. Maybe there’s a small chance this isn’t the case, but I feel MUCH better these days (plus I’ve lost weight).

  196. chrispiss says:

    Slow day at consumerist?

  197. larry_y says:

    Also, US sugar prices are artificially kept high via tariffs and quotas.

    – sugar more expensive via government policy
    – corn syrup cheaper via government policy

  198. nrwfos says:

    I only wish HFCS were totally banned. Corn agriculture has overtaken most other ag products because of it’s use for biofuels and HFCS. I would much prefer to go back to (admittedly more expensive) cane syrup. It’s much healthier as sweeteners go. It tastes much better – especially in soft drinks (which I no longer drink because of HFCS – so I’m probably better off now). HFCS is implicaated in so many diseases and conditions in the US population that it boggles the mind why it’s allowed at all. The population is developing more and more allergies to corn than in the past because of the saturation of corn sweeteners being in 99% of the food products we use. Cornstarch is in baking powder – just an example. My family’s allergies to corn are severe. It’s very difficult to put any type of food not made from scratch on the table anymore. As you can tell – I’m very anti-corn (except as a vegetable or a tortilla ingredient).

  199. nrwfos says:

    @Quietly: I haven’t read all 200 of the response – so I don’t know if anyone has posted this information, but you can get cane syrup sweetened Cokes easier during Passover and from Mexican food grocery stores.

  200. nrwfos says:

    @CPC24: They should also restrict the import of Chinese shrimp for the same reasons. Support locally harvested foods.

    @teapartys_over:I’ve searched high and low to find a commercially available bread that do4esn’t have a corn product in it for my mother who can no longer eat bread because of her allergy and her age makes it hard for her body to cope. Can’t find one. It’s in there in every brand including the kosher Arnold’s. Usually kosher certified foods helps to weed out the corn products – but not with bread. Hve to makeit from scratch.

  201. nrwfos says:

    @bones: I challenge you to find real FOOD that has been packaged that doesn’t have HFCS. I know this because I’ve searched. It’s even in dog foods. It’s pervasive since it can be listed as a different product – like modified food starch. Only if it’s in its raw state can you be positive that there is no HFCS or other corn based product added. I don’t see having an alternative to that additive a big problem for food suppliers and increased costs. What we spend maybe on increase in food costs because of the substitution for corn would be easily saved in health concerns and doctor/medicine bills.

  202. theora55 says:

    You can’t buy liquor-filled candies in the US. Grand Marnier filled dark chocolate is too tasty for us.

  203. humphrmi says:


  204. Channing says:

    Smoking is a little different, I think. There are negative externalities which bother people who don’t smoke. When I’m eating dinner at an expensive restaurant, I don’t want to also taste the cigar from the guy across the room. I agree that if there are no (or barely noticable) negative externalities, then, for the most part, government should be hands off. However, your statement, when taken to hyperbole (here, we can see that I realize that there is a logical failing with this argument – I understand this, but I believe that it is close enough to make a fair comparison) would be:
    I hate pollution so I don’t pollute. However, if everyone else wants to pollute, they should feel free to do it as much as they desire.

    Then we can buy it from someone else. It’s not a big deal. I mean, the whole point (ok, not the whole point) of NAFTA was so that we could trade corn. Mexico grows corn. We told Mexico that NAFTA would be a great thing. When they finally came around to it BAM! Tons of corn subsidies in the US. We basically stole all the corn farmers’ jobs in Mexico because of it. Do we get corn cheaper?
    In a manner of speaking, yes and no. The farmers sell corn for less than would be the market price if the government wasn’t giving them crazy subsidies, but guess who’s paying that money? Tax payers.

  205. richcreamerybutter says:

    @theora55: Really? I wasn’t aware of this restriction…is it new?

    Again, you just have to live in the right ethnic neighborhood. I can find booze-filled candies in my grocery store!

  206. edosan says:

    For all the people wondering about Coca-cola made with cane sugar, I saw it on sale at my local Costco today. Needless to say, I was surprised.

  207. slowenuff says:

    Man is no one responsible for themselves anymore? Kids kill classmates blame vid games and music. Sex crazed teens blame lack of religion. 400 pounders dropping like flys blame hollandaise sauce. Hey heres an idea make all schools have gym every semester of every grade level.

  208. kristy34c says:

    High-fructose corn syrup

    it will be real interesting when they ban coke (the pop, not the drug which will always be legal in san francisco)

    I guess were about to see an invasion of coke from mexico (the pop, although they also ship us the other kind as well) since they make all thier stuff from sugar instead of HFCS

  209. darundal says:

    @Dervish: That lower cost was only there because of limits based on Sugar imports, specifically to encourage the use of HFCS.

  210. MrEvil says:

    @privateer: I hope you realize that ADHD is grossly over-diagnosed. I’m not saying that ADHD isn’t a real disorder, but that alot of “physicians” are too quick to declare that ADHD is the problem and then prescribe ritalin. Most parents do this without getting the opinions of other doctors.

  211. audemars says:

    as an alternative to soda’s with HFCS, you guys should check out dublin dr. pepper: dublindrpepper.com. It’s made in the original Dr. Pepper plant in Dublin, TX and they use sugar cane instead of HFCS. It’s a little pricey, $10 for a case of 24 and it’s $5 shipping for 2 cases, but it’s definitely delicious, and better than HFCS.

  212. farmrs_wife says:

    So where silly do you all think milk comes from, a sterilized jug beamed from the sky? It all comes from the same place, from a cow that poops all day, every day. That is why the teats are cleaned and the bucket is cleaned, not the milk. We own Jerseys….we do not sale but we give away what we can not use.

  213. HeartBurnKid says:

    @theora55: Not true. Costco sells a gift pack of liquor-filled chocolates every year.

  214. LVP says:

    Hey, hey! Ho, ho! High-fructose corn syrup has got to go!

  215. cornrefiner says:

    Regarding the list of “endangered” products, your readers should know that the proposal to tax beverages in San Francisco that contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has not been adopted.

    HFCS, sugar, honey, and several fruit juices all contain the same simple sugars. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted high fructose corn syrup “Generally Recognized as Safe” status for use in food, and reaffirmed that ruling in 1996 after thorough review.

    In a joint letter to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom concerning the proposed tax, the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Corn Refiners Association jointly opposed the proposal and explained that HFCS and table sugar are similar in composition and that several studies have shown that the two types of sugars are metabolized similarly by the body. On its website, CSPI says that the idea that HFCS is more harmful than sugar is an “urban myth” and that there would be no health benefit whatsoever if companies switched from HFCS to sugar.

    Read the CSPI press release and the letter. [www.cspinet.org]

    Consumers can see the latest research and learn more at http://www.HFCSfacts.com.

    Audrae Erickson
    Corn Refiners Association

  216. elislider says:

    its not food, but i know that styrofoam is banned in portland (my town) and i think plastic bags are banned in seattle?

  217. Amy Alkon000 says:

    As somebody pointed out above about the nitwits behind the ban on foie gras, a food that relatively few people eat, if only the chickens sold by the bazillions of pounds in grocery stores across America had a life as good as the foie gras geese do.

    My friend Andrew Gumbel reported on this for the Independent, in the UK. I linked to his piece and more info here:


    Ducks and geese are not human, and because gavage, the process of feeding the ducks would be terrible for a human, doesn’t mean ducks respond the same way.

  218. Dakine says:

    Shark “Finning” is bad bad bad….. the shark populations have decreased by 90%. No sharks to regulate the fish populations that eat phytoplankton, and the phytoplankton start disappearing. And guess where 70% of OUR oxygen comes from…..

    That’s right. By allowing the mass slaughter of sharks worldwide, FOR NOTHING MORE THAN THEIR FINS, we are killing our planet, and ourselves. This MUST stop.

    It is absolutely barbaric. Shark finners drop long lines (among other methods) that can stretch 60 MILES… these lines catch all kinds of things. Turtles, fish, sharks, etc…. and the unwanted sealife are killed by the lines and cut loose. The sharks are pulled up, fins cut off, and dumped back into the ocean, WHILE STILL ALIVE, where they sink to the bottom to die.

    Think about it people. Your greedy fucking IMAGE of wealth by eating shark fin soup is an atrocity against nature and ourselves.

  219. Erikakali says:

    @tempest: Kinder Surprise eggs are banned?! Crap, there goes one of my guilty pleasures…sigh.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about healthy living and treating your body like a temple and whatnot, but every once in a while I enjoy a can of cola.

    Just like everything else; it’s all about moderation. Now about that aspartame…

  220. Norskman says:

    High Fructose Corn Syrup should be obliterated from the planet and never allowed to be produced again.

    It should be ranked on the same list as Trans fats so I don’t understand why San Francisco isn’t being hailed along with New York for banning Trans fats.

    HFCS is bad for you. End of discussion.

  221. irid3sc3nt says:

    Oh, man, I love Hansen’s soda. It’s the only soda allowed in the house.

    Check your ketchup for HFCS! We switched to the organic version of Heinz or some brand like that because all the others have HFCS. It tastes the same, but isn’t poisoning you.

  222. jethropew says:

    oh, you opponents of HFCS are not just misguided, you are severely misinformed. since before 1980, you have consumed HFCS without your knowlege. back then, zillions of tests were performed on the daily foods you ingested by substituting HFCS for cane sugar. when taste test results returned positive, manufacturers of food products containing cane sugar switched to HFCS as fast as the HFCS market would allow. why, you ask? well, for starters, we consumers demand reasonable prices. another little cause and effect, called US govt cane sugar price supports, protects US cane sugar growers from having to compete in the world sugar market. cane sugar prices (continue to) remain artificially high in the US when compared to the world market price, while HFCS competes worldwide, hence much lower prices for HFCS users. while it is true that US govt supports corn growers, it had/has NOTHING to do with HFCS – it was all about putting (corn based) food on your tables for the past 70 years. now, that same US govt support for corn growers also helps develop corn alcohol for your hybrid fuel-using cars. corn growers are very profitable right now thanks to your US govt corn support. corn supply is not meeting demand at this time, so expect price increases at your local grocery store on those items containing sugar which one might enjoy from time to time. so, children, it depends on which spin one wants to put this HFCS issue – i only speak truthfully. oh, by the way, your body digests and converts HFCS to energy in the same manner that it digests cane sugar, so fear not that HFCS is any more detrimental to your health than cane sugar. i know this, for i am in the business, and a healthcare provider on top of that. even if HFCS was not even on the market, then (some of you) would be calling for a ban on cane sugar to reduce obesity and other healthcare risks. i suggest that we all kick our children outside to play, throw away all home computers and video games, buy a bicycle and get active (like we once were as kids).

  223. huntsterUNC says:

    @jethropew: You go boy!

  224. majortom1029 says:

    Boylans here in the North East uses sugar and not hfcs also. I dont know if its sold in other parts of the U.S. but its becoming very popular due to the regular sugar use and not hfcs.

  225. reznicek111 says:

    Watch out, geese – as of last you week, we can once again enjoy foie gras in Chicago: [www.chicagotribune.com]

  226. Candyman says:

    @zentec: The problem with that is, to let them drink it means letting someone else SELL it. Allowing a food producer to market food that is unsafe is, well, unsafe.

  227. ShakeelaAkuma says:

    Green turtle soup is banned in the US. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife
    Services classified Chelonia mydas as a threatened species, rendering
    it a federal offense to capture or otherwise kill an individual
    turtle. In part due to this, the Hawaiian green turtle subpopulation
    has made a remarkable comeback and is now also the subject of
    eco-tourism and has become something of a state mascot.