Are You Fighting The War On High-Fructose Corn Syrup?

Label-conscious consumers are skipping over high-fructose corn syrup in favor of products sweetened with natural alternatives like cane sugar, honey, and fruit juice. Finding HFCS-free items takes work, but the Corn Refiners Association worries that consumers are increasingly up to the challenge. They recently launched a “major marketing campaign” to defend their chemical concoction. Are you paying any attention to the sweet brouhaha?

High fructose corn syrup has become a favorite target of the health-conscious as an alleged cause of America’s obesity boom. A typical 2-liter bottle of soda contains 15 ounces of corn syrup, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Whether it’s really at fault is open to debate.

The Corn Refiners Assn. contends that high fructose corn syrup is just as natural as table sugar and honey. Others say it’s not natural at all, because it is manufactured through a chemical process and does not occur in nature by itself. The Center for Science in the Public Interest called the corn refiners’ campaign “deceptive.”

We prefer real sugar, and eagerly greet Passover as the holiday with the Kosher Coke. How about you?

Gawker Media polls require Javascript; if you’re viewing this in an RSS reader, click through to view in your Javascript-enabled web browser.

Consumers are raising cane over corn sweetener [The Los Angeles Times]
(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. mgy says:

    The solution:


  2. Frank_Trapasso says:

    I’ve been avoiding HFCS for years. If I need a sweet drink, it’s either Jones Soda or 100% fruit juice. If I’m sweetening a recipe I use Sugar in the Raw.

  3. Pylon83 says:

    Beat me to it. Dublin Dr. Pepper is the drink of Kings. Second in the hierarchy is Mexican Coca Cola. Both are wonderfully delicious and infinitely superior to the HFCS versions.

  4. Dobernala says:

    Whole Foods has quite a large selection of non-HFCS products, if you’re wondering.

    I don’t touch the stuff unless I can’t avoid it (fast food sauces, for example – including the dressing you get for your salads!).

  5. Cliff_Donner says:

    Agave nectar is the bomb!! It is comparatively low on the glycemic index and as sweet or sweeter than honey.

  6. IvanD says:

    @Dobernala: You shop at Whole Foods? I hope you never try to run for president, because you are clearly elitist. (sarcasm)

  7. VA_White says:

    @Frank_Trapasso: If I’m sweetening a recipe I use Sugar in the Raw

    Raw sugar or turbinado sugar is natural sugar but it is still refined white sugar. It’s just refined white sugar with a little of the molasses left on. It’s not any healthier for you than white sugar but it is better for you than HFCS. Just wanted to point that out.

    We eliminated HFCS at our house about a year ago and it’s not as hard to do as people think but it does take a little work and it takes accepting the fact that there are foods you simply cannot eat anymore. Some staples of the processed kitchen do not have alternatives in nature.

    We coupled getting rid of HFCS with reducing processed foods as much as possible, organic or not, and my kids struggled with the fact that toaster pastries were a thing of the past. They are better about it now and much more savvy about nutrition than when we started but it was a really hard sell.

  8. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @Cliff_Donner: Erythritol FTW. it’s not quite as sweet as sugar, but the difference is really imperceptible in practice. Its glycemic index approaches zero, and it tastes naturally sweet. It’s a natural product made by a sort of fermentation and has no harmful waste products in manufacturing. You can cook with it one-for-one in sugar recipes and you don’t have to allow for wetness as you do with honey or agave or brown rice syrup. It does not degrade to toxicity when heated as does aspartame. It does not cause gastric upset like mannitol and sorbitol. Best of all, you can actually make hard candy with it… if I didn’t use it as a sugar substitute, I would use it for the superior taste it gives my homemade peppermints.

  9. JoannaC says:

    Yes! I have a corn allergy and it really bothers me how HFCS is added to unnecessary products (baby carrots! did you know those were packed in corn-sweetened water? Why do vegetables need additives?) Anyway, I am welcoming the anti-corn-syrup backlash with open arms. It will make it so much easier for me to eat out! And I really think that all of these fake chemicals in modern life are contributing not just to obesity but to allergies. I never had food allergies as a child and developed them all in recent years.

  10. sarahq says:

    Sure, I’m trying to eat local/organic/less-processed food, and that includes avoiding HFCS when possible, but not out of some fear that “chemicals are going to kill me”. HFCS or cane sugar sweetened, soda is still junk food.

    I think we’d be better off getting a 12 oz. drink instead of a 48 oz., rather than getting worked up over which sweetener is used. Moderation is more sensible than this series of “fat free!” –> “sugar free!” –> “no trans fat!” –> “no HFCS!” advertising declarations we’ve been subjected to for the past twenty years. We still, as a country, keep packing on the pounds….

  11. Yes! But I one-up it and avoid carbonated beverages as well. Makes me a real fun date when I can only drink like one beer when going out.

  12. I would imagine that Erythritol taste great in peppermints especially since it has a naturally cooling effect.

  13. femmeknitzi says:

    I’m not a lover of sweet things, drinks or otherwise so going HFCS-free wasn’t too hard for me. However, one of the hardest things to find without HFCS is bread and bagels. I would love to see what Alton Brown has to say about the science of baking with HFCS. Ew.

  14. sir_eccles says:


    Yes bread. It took me ages to find bread without sugar being the main ingredient (or the second ingredient after flour) let alone HFCS. I dabbled briefly with baking my own but I usually just buy “Bread Alone” products now.

  15. seismic007 says:

    I am fortunate to live near enough to Mexico that if i want a REAL Coke, I can purchase a bottle of Mexican Coca-Cola–still made with real cane sugar. The taste difference is evident. The rest of the time, it’s Diet Coke (otherwise I’d begin to look like a large pile of 2 liter bottles).

  16. trinidon2k says:

    I try to cut down on HFCS. My only weakness is Ketchup :(

  17. PsychicPsycho3 says:

    It’s only anecdotal, but a friend of mine moved here from Europe and says she didn’t change her diet at all, but since we put HFCS and preservatives in everything, she gained a lot of weight.

  18. Robobot says:

    My parents are HFCS free because it causes my mom terrible headaches. They buy a lot of all-naturally sweetened, super-expensive, and often very strange looking healthfood sweets. I’m cheap, but I have to admit that a lot of them are worth $7 a packet. They are really good. Other sweeteners seem to bring a lot more flavor and complexity to foods.

    Honey is pretty incredible stuff. My family has been baking a honey cookie recipe similar to the one below for almost 20 years. Sprinkling cinnamon sugar on top makes them even better.


  19. mitten says:

    One of the huge problems with HFCS is that it doesn’t trigger your stomach to feel full. It lets you stay hungry – and then you eat even more. Evil, really.

    From the Seattle Times

    “Bray says the problem with HFCS is not only that it is sweeter than other forms of sugar, but also that it does not affect appetite. Fructose adds to overeating because it does not trigger chemical messengers that tell the brain the stomach is full and no longer hungry, like food and drinks that contain regular refined sugar do.”

  20. katylostherart says:

    @Pylon83: soda is probably the only thing i end up consuming with corn syrup in it. it’s actually really disappointing that they don’t make stuff with real sugar because it tastes a lot better. there’s a little mexican place around here where they sell coke with real sugar in it and to me it’s sweeter and tastier. it’s actually the only place i drink soda when going out, it’s tea for me otherwise. and weirdly enough, in put that pink crap in iced tea because actual sugar doesn’t desolve and splenda tastes funny.

    kinda makes me wonder though if it had actual sugar in it if i’d drink it more often.

  21. formatc says:


    ….my kids struggled with the fact that toaster pastries were a thing of the past

    Nature’s Path Toaster Pastries. The are organic, whole grain, and use real sugar. Better flavors than the HFCS Kellogg’s junk too. They have them at Amazon if you can’t find them locally. I highly recommend trying Wildberry Açaí.

  22. zentec says:

    “HFCS is entirely natural. I live in a very rural part of Michigan and across from my house is a 200 acre plot of dent corn. This is the time of year when the farmers prepare to harvest HFCS. They take little plastic buckets and go out to the field and tap into the stalk, letting the very natural HFCS drip into the plastic buckets.

    The buckets are emptied each morning and the highly sweet, pure and natural sweeter is carefully filtered and transported under precise 52.3 degree refrigeration where it’s turned into the products you know and love.”

    I thought I’d help the Corn Refiner’s association make their story a little more believable. I figure if they’re going to BS their way through this, might as well go for the gold.

    I really do live across from a 200 acre plot of dent corn. It fills me with joy to see corn futures going for $8 a bushel because it’s going to drive the price of HFCS right to the point of cane sugar. The economic reality of HFCS versus sugar and consumer tastes will finally drive a nail into the coffin of this horribly engineered food substitute.

  23. katylostherart says:

    also has anyone mentioned stevia? i mean it’s not as tasty as sugar but it’s natural.

  24. Etoiles says:

    I started Weight Watchers a few years back and naively started buying their WW products.

    Then I started looking at the ingredients in the WW products. High fructose corn syrup in most of the bakery products and nearly all of the products overall were extraordinarily high sodium. I mean, seriously.

    I try to buy mostly ingredients instead of unprocessed food but it’s not always easy. The HFCS really is in practically every boxed, bagged, or frozen thing you buy at the supermarket.

  25. therethinker says:

    I think people are overreacting here. There really is no definative evidence if it is really harmful. If you try to show me studies on how it is so much worse, I’ll show you equally credible ones that found no difference.

    Hell, HFCS is comprised of the two monosaccarides of sucrose, only broken apart and in slightly (or sometimes not so) different ratios.

    And those “healthier” varaities of sugar, (i.e. “Sugar in the Raw”) aren’t worth it. That cheap, plain-ole table sugar is at least 99.9% pure, the rest mostly being water.
    The fact that it came from sugar cane or a sugar beet won’t make a difference either, considering its so pure. It’s the same thing with salt.

  26. katylostherart says:

    @therethinker: it does change the taste of things though.

  27. Fredex says:

    Anyone else here old enough to remember doctors in ads for safe and healthy cigarettes? Not sure what reminded me of that now…

  28. JennQPublic says:

    @therethinker: I avoid HFCS because avoiding it makes me think more about what I’m eating/drinking. I paint it as the root of all evil in my mind, so I always check labels for it. If the second ingredient is HFCS, I don’t get it. If the second ingredient turns out to be old-fashioned sugar, I’ll still think twice before getting (that’s a lot of sugar).

    What bugs me is that almost all beverages these days have HFCS as the second ingredient, not just sodas. I won’t drink any of it, fruit juice is the one for me! Healthy, tastes good, and makes a great mixer. What more could you ask for?

  29. Imaginary_Friend says:

    I just do the bulk of my shopping at Trader Joe’s; they make it easy to avoid HFCS.

    I’ve tried Stevia and the other sugar substitutes, but I just don’t like the taste. When cooking, I use plain ole white or brown sugar, but avoid eating sugar for the most part.

  30. TVarmy says:

    I stopped eating HFCS, and I lost 20 pounds in a few weeks. I don’t know if there’s a correlation or not, but I’m still going to avoid it as much as I can.

  31. timmus says:

    Yeah, I’ll have to get on the anti-HFCS bandwagon, too, but then again I’ve been on it since 2003. HFCS is not equivalent to sugar and I’ve seen enough prima facie evidence that it’s bad in households that eat a lot of it.

    @EtoilePB: Wow, that’s shameful about Weight Watchers putting that crap in their entrees. I have a lot of respect for how effective their diet solution is, but holy cow.

  32. CaptZ says:

    Being a Type I diabetic, I have also noticed the times when I do need something sweet, anything containing HFCS takes longer to react that natural sugar. I can only imagine because it is chemically made. I try to keep Dublin Dr Pepper on hand for those occassions, at least I can have a little of something I love and miss.

  33. jpcarterisme says:

    Haven’t drank soft drinks in 20 years other than as a “treat” like ice cream. Those are empty calories that have to be accounted for. If you want to get sugar cane Coke, go the section of your grocery that has ethnic food. Normally they will carry the Mexican version of Coke in the Mexican/Latin food section. Also, if your store has separate Kosher section, they may have it there. Some day they will treat the people that make soft drinks the same way they treat cigarette makers. We have choice not to drink it, but they know how bad the stuff is for you and tell us to have a “Coke and a Smile” while our bodies fall apart.

  34. Trai_Dep says:

    Like drinking non-hormone infused milk, I look at HFCS as a check against practices I’d rather avoid. Odds are good if they don’t use HFCS (hormones), there are a host of other things that they do that make for better food.

  35. GeoffinAround says:

    If the organic movement of the past several years has taught me anything, it is this:

    Healthier foods are tastier foods.

    Milk, eggs, bread, sweets, juice, fruit, veggies, meat… sometimes I wonder if the executives of food companies that first approved HFCS substitution in their products ever bothered to taste the difference for themselves. I feel that HFCS has a distinguishably bad aftertaste, but maybe this is just a manifestation my disdain for it.

  36. alysbrangwin says:

    I always hated soda and bake for myself and friends the occasional pan of brownies or cookies. I find that homemade is much better, and I control the ingredients, so the desserts come out rich enough that I will only eat them about twice a month. I haven’t ever drunk more than ten sips of soda in my lifetime as I always hated the stuff. I don’t eat a lot of bread either, and I have always avoided HFCS. I even convinced my mom recently. Dad is taking the path of most resistance, as usual, and he’s diabetic.

  37. johnva says:

    @therethinker: My objection to it isn’t so much that I think it’s metabolically hugely different. My objection is that it has become a vehicle by which food manufacturers add unnecessary calories to almost everything. They’re adding it to to things for reasons that have nothing to do with taste, like texture and shelf life. I have enough problems trying to not gain weight without having to contend with extra HFCS calories in everything.

    The good thing about eliminating HFCS is that it means I eat a lot less processed food in general. Which is much better for me nutritionally.

    I’m also one of those elitists who shop at Whole Foods, because Whole Foods bans products containing HFCS and a giant list of other food additives. It makes it much easier to find products that don’t contain nasty stuff since the whole selection does not. And contrary to popular belief, Whole Foods is actually not more expensive than other higher-end grocery stores. It’s usually comparable or cheaper for most products that are identical, although they also stock higher-end products that the other stores don’t.

  38. jeffimix says:


    Amusingly I have a bottle of Jones old enough it was made with HFCS. They only did the sugar thing recently.

    Oh yeah they also used to have an awesome energy drink named Whoop Ass, it was their only product that used to come in cans then. Good punnery…

  39. GeoffinAround says:

    Link to the Corn Refiners Association website, defending HFCS.


  40. Carl3000 says:

    “The Corn Refiners Assn. contends that high fructose corn syrup is just as natural as table sugar and honey.”

    Hah. That reminds me of the 7-up campaign where they are advertising it as “natural,” going as far as to have a woman pulling 7-up cans out of the ground like carrots. Even if it does fit some bizarre definition of “natural,” I think carbonated, canned high fructose corn syrup is not what people have in mind when they describe something as being all-natural.

  41. myfigurefemale says:

    maybe if i could afford organic/natural products, i could avoid HFCS. everything cheap comes with it.

  42. solipsistnation says:

    I dunno about HFCS, but if the natural sugar growers used that photo from the top of this post, I bet people would be demanding natural sugar in droves.

  43. Madjia says:

    @PsychicPsycho3: It’s true for me too. I haven’t moved over to the US completely yet, but the times I’ve spent there I tried to eat as I would at home. I was staying at my boyfriend’s house, so easy enough to cook and not eat out too much.

    I gained about 6 pounds over a 2 month period. About a year ago I found out about HFCS and started paying attention to labels more on my visits. That stuff it in almost everything, it’s crazy!

    But with a little bit of extra trouble we manage to avoid most of the junk now. I just can’t believe they put it in bread and stuff. Here in the Netherlands almost everything is sweetened with regular cane sugar.

  44. Aristeia says:

    I dunno. All this outcry against high fructose corn syrup seems kinda silly.

    I mean, it’s one thing if you’re reducing your sugar intake…. that’s healthy. But if you’re just replacing HFCS w/ sucrose… that’s not really helping anything.

    Sugar is sugar. too much is bad, no matter how you look at it. And while HFCS is in fact more processed, it still uses sugars that are found naturally. So, fine, if you don’t want to eat as much sugar, avoid HFCS. But don’t replace your normal intake with regular sugar and then convince yourself and others that you’re somehow healthier for it.

  45. DoctorMD says:

    It is pretty much the first ingredient in anything liquid you get from the grocery store. Dressings, drink mixes sauces, etc.

    Ill take my occasional true “CocaCola Classic” from Mexico. Although I am waiting for the HFCS lobby and bottlers to get a ban on importing the real deal.

  46. Ajh says:

    @Carl3000: I was like wait the 7ups all natural!? I looked at a can the next time I was in the store and was disappointed. HFCS is not natural. If it can’t occur in it is natural?

    I avoid products with this stuff in it, but it really IS hard to do that on a low budget and not enough time to cook EVERYTHING from scratch.

  47. Gopher bond says:

    I don’t care about health reasons, I just prefer the taste of real Sugar sweetened products, or honey, or agave nectar and I like the taste of the raw sugar products. There is absolutely no situation I can imagine buying a bottle of corn syrup to sweeten my foods over any of the tastier sugar products so why would I want it in my other foods? That’s all I care about, taste. A Coke or Dr. Pepper or any soda made with real sugar seems like more of a treat. The HFCS sodas taste “Blah” and don’t feel like a treat to me. Yeah, they’re sweet but, meh, i dunno feels like something’s missing.

  48. johnva says:

    @Aristeia: But people aren’t replacing it with normal sugar when they try to eliminate it. The whole point is that HFCS is used in all kinds of things that otherwise wouldn’t have sugar at all.

  49. VA_White says:

    @formatc: Organic toaster pastries are still a processed food. They still contain a small amount of allowable chemical additives to aid in preservation. Not as much as Pop-Tarts but enough for me to say no to when there are many more viable and healthier alternatives than a sweetened breakfast one slides from a box.

  50. iMike says:

    Can has more sexy sugar pics?

  51. I hate HFCS.

    My pet peeve is products like Minute Maid “fruit punch” “juice drink”– you know, they come in a red jug in the refrigerated section one or two shelves over from the orange juice and stuff… This crap. and Here’s another one that claims to be “all natural”.

    Ingredients on the label: “WATER, HFCS, pear juice, then: “Contains less than 2% of:” (insert all the juices advertised on the front label).

    What the hell? This is marketed to parents as the kind of wholesome thing you should be serving your kids. The parents who buy this stuff would totally look down at the parents serving their kids Coca-Cola or Kool-Aid. And yet it’s the SAME stuff or worse! Sorry but I don’t buy that carbonation is somehow relevant to nutrition. This crap is allowed in the vending machines at those schools that banned soda.

    This crap makes me want to have some kind of public demonstration like the product sample people in Costco where I’d get a big jug of Karo syrup and mix it in with water in the same proportions as the “Juice drinks,” add in a dash of Kool-Aid powder for “Real Natural Fruit Flavoring,” and offer it to the passing customers. When they say of course they don’t want to try it, I’d then point out all the beverages in their cart that are the same disgusting HFCS + fake fruit flavor + water blend.

  52. battra92 says:

    @Carl3000: Carbonated water is natural and is found in nature.

    I don’t avoid HFCS but I have given up on non-diet sodas (except this weekend since I was on vacation and it was unavoidable.)

    I find it interesting that people are so upset about HFCS and no one ever suggests lifting the tariff on sugar that keeps American sugar prices artificially high. Just saying, ya know.

  53. floraposte says:

    Who knew my generation would live to see “That stuff’s all sugar!” as a positive claim?

  54. johnva says:

    @battra92: I’ve suggested removing that tariff for years.

  55. VA_White says:

    My son’s old school instituted a “wellness policy” where sugary snacks were banned. Ok. I’m down with that. But one chocolate chip cookie made at home with real ingredients is NOT a worse snack than a Quaker Chewy Granola Bar.

    They were telling kids to bring granola bars and goldfish crackers which are just as bad for you as the crap they had banned. Made no sense.

    After a parent meeting where many of us pointed this glaring hypocrisy out, they reined in the policy to cover only snacks served by the school and left the parents to put what they wanted in lunchboxes.

  56. fhic says:

    @West Coast Secessionist: You do realize that Karo syrup (corn syrup) is not at all the same thing as HFCS, right? Karo actually tastes LESS sweet than table sugar. Straight HFCS is intensely sweet to the point of being nasty. As far as I know, you can’t buy it in consumer quantities.

  57. timsgm1418 says:

    @johnva: that kind of reminds me back when my kids were babies (early 80’s) tapioca was in almost all baby food as a filler, and alcohol was in a lot of baby medicines. I never understood adding something that wasn’t necessary.
    As for HFCS, I prefer the taste of sugar, I never related the 2 things before, but I started drinking Tab when Coke switched to HFCS because it no longer tasted good, now I just drink Diet Coke, even though I would prefer Saccharine to nutrasweet.

  58. timsgm1418 says:

    @West Coast Secessionist: the only juice I buy is either 100% orange juice, or Juicy Juice, fruit is sweet enough without adding all that sugar

  59. Kaisum says:

    I’ve been hunting products that didn’t have HFCS in them for a while. Don’t be tricked by “nutrition” products like V8, because while the V8 fruit juice, and the VFusion doesn’t contain fructose, V8 splash does. I was incredibly pissed when I read it on the label.
    As far as I’m aware it is incredibly COSTLY to get around this HFCS crap as it is in most of the products on grocery store shelves.

    I’m taking in a lot less, but it is difficult to avoid consumption at all.

  60. fhic says:

    @sir_eccles: Most bread SHOULD have sugar listed as the second ingredient after flour, if water is excluded. Many (most?) bread recipes call for flour, water, sugar, yeast, and salt, in that order. The French bread recipe I use most often has a half kilo of flour, 475 g of water, 15 g sugar, 12 g yeast, and 10 g salt. And probably half the sugar is consumed by the yeast to make carbon dioxide. “Classic” recipes may omit most or all of the sugar, but at the cost of adding many hours to prep time to allow the dough to rise.

  61. bohemian says:

    We avoid HFCS like the plague. It is in way too many things that don’t really need it or even sugar. Just about every processed food or sauce has it. All this does is drive up your weight and blood sugar, no benefit to you, just a benefit to the food processor.

    We quit buying most processed food and the only soda I buy is Jones Cola once in a while. I did all of this when I developed a bunch of food allergies. Dealing with that taught me to real labels and I saw how much crap is in much of our food. We quit drinking soda and quit buying ice cream. Soda with HFCS tastes like ass now so I tend to avoid it even at restaurants.

    We make most of our own food so I buy bags of cane sugar from Sam’s. When you have to prepare a sweet from scratch you eat less of it than if you had a box of brownies on the counter because you have to go to the effort of making it. BTW, I can tell the difference between beet sugar and cane sugar and won’t buy beet derived sugar. It has the vague aroma of dirty sweatsocks.

  62. Ihaveasmartpuppy says:

    The corn industry, corn in our foods, HFCS…

  63. JulesNoctambule says:

    I’ve been avoiding HFCS for years, just like I avoid almost all sweeteners that aren’t sugar, brown rice syrup or honey. It’s not because I’m ultra-concerned with food additive issues or anything socially aware like that, but because they literally make me sick.

    Chemical sweeteners give me migraines, make my mouth and throat itch and make me nauseated, as do ‘natural’ sugar ‘substitutes’ like stevia. HFCS makes me only slightly less nauseated and it has a lingering taste that I find unappealing. They all taste sickly sweet to me and I think I’d prefer the taste of real sugar even if its pretenders didn’t make me ill.

    That more companies are moving to eradicate HFCS as an ingredient makes me happy; it can be a chore to read every label but it’s better than getting a migraine.

  64. ApathyGirl says:

    By the way, not all Mexican Coke is sugar – you have to check the label. It depends on where in Mexico it’s bottled.

    The Mexican Coke I find living in SoCal usually is sugar but my friend in Texas says hers is about 50/50 sugar/HFCS.

  65. Pasketti says:

    @Cliff_Donner: Agave nectar is the bomb!!

    I hate to tell you this, but the only difference between agave nectar and HFCS is that one comes from the agave plant, and the other comes from corn. In fact, most agave nectars have even more fructose than HFCS.

  66. drkkgt says:

    Not just the liquids, I had a bowl of Special K cinamin and pecan this morning and just checked the box – HFCS is listed as an ingredient. Also, my Aunt Jemima “original” syrup: first ingredient – corn syrup, second ingredient – HFCS. Somebody is in bed with the cord industry. My jar of smuckers orange marmalade has it too along with apple jelly. Why? both are pretty sweet as it is.

  67. LJKelley says:

    Okay my mom was generally crazy (overly religious) but she did do one thing right… health food. She always only used Honey as a sweetner in bread and cakes. Its amazing and it works and is much healthier than some of the over processed sweatners.

  68. Sherryness says:

    @Aristeia: I think a lot of people are against high-fructose corn syrup in their Worcestershire sauce, bread, vegetables, marinades, etc where it’s being used as a preservative, adding sugar calories where they normally wouldn’t/shouldn’t be.

  69. johnva says:

    @fhic: That’s not nearly as much sugar as something listing HFCS as the second ingredient has. And anyway, I think that bread that rises for a long time naturally has better, richer flavor.

  70. popthis says:

    Many companies out there use pure cane sugar to sweeten their soft drinks. Jones and some of the other big companies only recently began using pure can sugar.

    There are two versions of the Mexican Coca-Cola on the market. The “approved” Mexican Coke does not use pure cane sugar or uses a mix of it as discussed above. The other, or true, Mexican Coke does. You can tell the true one because it is in a returnable bottle. They are the heavier ones and usually have scratches on the widest parts due to the rubbing against each other when being cleaned.

    Coca-Cola and the other large bottlers do have a ban on the importation of their products made in other countries. In fact, they have a ban on their products made in other cities if there is a bottler in your area. It is called transhipping and it is in their franchise agreement.

    You can see some of the other bottlers using pure cane sugar by going to

  71. SuffolkHouse says:


    Dude, make jelly and you will learn just how much sweetener they required. They aren’t just sweet as they are. They need lots of help.

  72. Snarkysnake says:

    One thing to remember in all of this is that HFCS is a shortcut dreamed up by the good offices of ADM , Tate & Lyle and Corn Products Corportion back in the early 80’s as a cut rate substitute for real sugar.The big soft drink makers were very leery of it at first (one Coke executive even said ” It throws the taste off”) but,when sugar spiked up for a while,they reformulated their products with this stuff.A relative of mine was one of the engineers that designed the process for making it on a commercial scale.Back then, no one in the corn milling industry ever dreamed that the price would hit $5 a bushel,much less 8. (when the price of corn went up a quarter in those days,it was news).So,its probable that either the big soft drink makers are losing their asses or the HFCS makers are losing theirs. Either way, I would look for some steep price increases on HFCS based products soon…

  73. SuffolkHouse says:

    Coke in Europe is actually yummy. I can tell from drinking it there why it became a hit. I haven’t had a coke (not talking about diet) in 4 years. Can’t stand the tast on my teeth after I’m done drinking it.

  74. Angryrider says:

    As Colbert says: High Fructose Corn Syrup allows children to play for an hour a day!


  75. sir_eccles says:

    @fhic: There’s a difference between having a little sugar to help activate the yeast and there’s having bread that tastes so sweet it is almost inedible.

    Check out the ingredients listed at “Bread Alone” only a couple of them have a sugar listed and that’s Honey as the fourth ingredient.


  76. Triborough says:

    Wouldn’t the Corn Refiners Association members stand to make more money converting the corn for fuel instead of sugar?

  77. ideagirl says:

    There’s just no comparison taste-wise. We have been avoiding HFCS for years. On the rare occasions I do buy soda, I look for sugar-sweetened products. There is a taste difference. They taste lighter and (IMO) more refreshing. No heavy syrup after taste.

  78. golfinggiraffe says:

    Might want to be careful with the Mexican Cokes. I heard the bottlers are beginning to switch to HFCS there too.

    @Triborough: Best guess? There’s probably less overhead in making HFCS = more profit. Then comes making fuel, then using it for food.

  79. veronykah says:

    I find it interesting that there are still people that will still say that “its fructose, same thing as sugar. You are blowing this out of proportion, it can’t be any worse for you.”
    Wasn’t that the same thing they said about partially hydrogenated oils? They are still OILS we just chemically altered them, no big deal.
    Now, how many years later, we finally figure out that chemically altered is NOT good for you.

  80. nrwfos says:

    My family has allergies to corn products – gives us respiratory distress. So have had to watch out for a long time against corn – which – like HFCS- is in everything. I’ve learned to make our own “mixes” (like rice-a-roni, pancake mix, cookie and cake mixes, other dinner mixes ) here at home because it’s in everything. If it weren’t an ingredient in pizza, you’d still get corn meal because they use it on the bottom of the crusts to keep them dry. HFCS has recently been declared by the FDA as a “natural product”, so now when you go to buy a product like Breyer’s ice cream which lists only “natural ingredients” HFCS can be one of those and not be listed otherwise – you’d never know. I really think that HFCS is one of the biggest reasons Americans are overweight and have such a high incidence of diabetes. I haven’t consumed any soda in years (also dislike carbonation), but have found that it’s easier to just get water at a restaurant than wonder about what all is in what I’m drinking. Foods, I know have HFCS, so we rarely eat out any more. Am down to baking my own bread because can’t find any bread that doesn’t have some sort of corn product. Even baking powder is half corn flour. The corn industry has had a high old time and now that it’s being used for fuel…maybe we might catch a break in our food. Probably not. I know they will fight the eliminating the cane sugar ban.

  81. nrwfos says:

    Now that I think a little more about it…the bio-fuels are made from the leaves and stalks of corn and not the corn itself. There goes that hope.

  82. AlexDitto says:

    @drkkgt: I was shocked; only a few weeks ago did I bother to look at the Aunt Jemima “Syrup” in the fridge. It’s just watered down High-Fructose Corn Syrup! It’s not maple syrup at all. In fact, no where on the box does it claim that it’s maple syrup. I couldn’t believe it! I had been duped! (Actually, my parents had. I never buy the stuff, real or otherwise.) Still, the product is ostensibly being marketed as maple syrup, but it’s not maple syrup at all. Ridiculous.

    I don’t drink soda at all, and I can’t wait to see the day when this crap is removed from foods it was never supposed to be in in the first place. Major food manufacturers need to realize that the growing demand for quality is going to lose them their business if they don’t shape up fast. People are paying out the wazoo for groceries. They’re going to be expecting quality, not fillers.

  83. craftypants says:

    I visited NYC in March 2001 whilst I was still addicted to Sprite which here in the UK is made with good ol’ sugar.

    Whilst there I picked up a 20oz bottle from the hotel vending maching and I was nearly sick. I switched to tropicana for the duration of the trip. I never understood what made my beloved sprite so bad. I thought I was drinking a sweet oil.

    Several years later (I was only 18 in 01) I learned about HCFS and the pieces just fell into place. If they try any of that crap over here I will boycott the products. Though I try to do my own cooking and baking and drink diet sodas only.

  84. PlanetExpressdelivery says:

    @johnva: HFCS has the same amount of calories as normal sugar (same serving size).

  85. joellevand says:

    Evaporated cane juice FTW!

  86. JustThatGuy3 says:

    Thank your Congressman for the HFCS use here – Florida and the corn-producing states are at fault. Manufacturers don’t use it because they hate cane sugar, they use it because import tariffs and restrictions keep the price of cane sugar in the US incredibly high, making HFCS the more attractive alternative. Drop those tariffs, let Coke, or Nestle, or whomever buy cane sugar at the world price, and the HFCS use will drop too. Naturally, the reps from corn-producing states don’t want that, so they collaborate with the Florida reps in keeping sugar prices high.

  87. LostAngeles says:

    Nothing is so good as The Hated Drink of Xenophobes Mexican/Kosher Coke.

    NOTHING. The liquor store up the street has been selling Mexican Coke in 1L bottles and I love them for it.

  88. BytheSea says:

    Oh, the CORN LOBBY says it’s safe? Well then!

  89. johnva says:

    @PlanetExpressdelivery: I never said it has more. What I was saying was that HFCS gets added to all kinds of products that wouldn’t otherwise have normal sugar. They add it as a preservative, not a flavoring agent. This is one of the main reasons it’s in so many things.

  90. TechnoDestructo says:


    Did your overall sugar intake remain the same? Given the ubiquity of HFCS in the US, I doubt it.

    You can probably attribute the weight loss to a decrease in sugar, rather than using cane sugar vs HFCS.

  91. lua21 says:

    God that poll is so partisan, its like asking us if we are for or against the war on AIDS.

  92. baquwards says:

    I had read a study that claimed that HFCS was not easily processed by the liver and caused fat to be stored in the liver. I have had fatty liver disease for about 7 years. I kicked the HFCS habit about a year ago, and recently had my yearly physical, my liver function was normal for the first time in 7 years and I had dropped 20 lbs. My only change was eliminating HFCS, it wasn’t easy at first, but now it is second nature. I have now eliminated hydrogenated oils/trans fats.

    I am thoroughly convinced that these “engineered” food additives are the cause of many health problems. I believe that the closer you get to nature, the healthier you will be.

  93. Puck says:

    How long until Lou Dobbs starts raving like a lunatic that the Mexicans will be stealing our colas now, too?

  94. slowinthefastlane says:

    Cool-Aid from those little packets is the only way to go for a sweet drink. 1 packet + 1 cup cane sugar + 2 quarts tap water = yummy sugar drink! Plus, it’s much more energy-efficient, since trucks don’t have to carry around a whole lot of liquid weight.

  95. BoraBora says:

    It irks me that I would be considered an “elitist” because I care about what I eat and shop at Whole Foods. I consider myself a frugal person and am careful about eating as few processed foods as possible. I’m actually spending no more than when I shopped at major chain stores and ate packaged foods, and the foods tastes a whole lot better. Also, I lost 25 ponds by doing so (as well as limiting my overall sugar intake.) so take that, HFCS!

  96. floraposte says:

    @AlexDitto: I believe Aunt Jemima is just labeled “Syrup,” not maple syrup; another dodge is “maple flavored syrup.” You have to shell out for the real maple syrup, but to me it’s well worth it.

  97. mzhartz says:

    I’m allergic to corn too. I also just recently discovered the allergy, as far as I know, I didn’t have it as a kid.

    It’s a pain to try to find products without corn syrup in it. It’s in saltines even!

    I don’t see how anything can be called natural if you can’t grow it, kill it, or make it in your home kitchen.

  98. scerwup says:

    While real sugar may indeed taste better, there are a lot of things that I like that are not made with it. Dr. Pepper being the most important. Although it is made with real sugar, evidenced by the Dublin Dr. Pepper lovers above. I can’t really order DP online. Unfortunately that just doesn’t work for me, so, I go to the store and buy it. Screw it, you can’t live forever. Might as well enjoy life, rather than worrying about HFCS.

  99. drkkgt says:

    @SuffolkHouse said: Dude, make jelly and you will learn just how much sweetener they required. They aren’t just sweet as they are. They need lots of help.

    OK, I will give you that. Never made it myself but my grandmother did and you are right, it did need a boost to taste as sweet.

  100. ShadowFalls says:

    Not to also forget that since the introduction of HFCS in beverages, the diabetes rate has significantly increased… It is simply not anywhere near a natural form of sugar…

  101. thewriteguy says:

    I quit drinking colas several years ago when I was in college. Nowadays, I refuse to touch the stuff — even when I treat myself to a rare fast-food meal. It simply tastes awful to me now. HFCS really is like a drug… you go through a withdrawal, but after you get over it, you will lose your appetite for it.

    As it has been mentioned on this thread already, there is evidence that HFCS doesn’t tell your stomach/body when it has had enough of it. On the other hand, sugar does. Basically, you will feel more satiated drinking a Coke sweetened with real sugar verses an HFCS-ed Coke: For example, you drink one bottle of real sugar Coke and stop at that — because you feel satisfied and don’t want anymore. But you drink more than one bottle of Coke sweetened with HFCS because it takes a lot more bottles to satisfy your “thirst” (perceived) for it.

    Anyway, f*ck HFCS (and the RIAA and MPAA — notice that most of the evils against consumers these days are four-letter acronyms).

  102. GamblesAC2 says:

    The only pure Sugar Cane soda i know of is Jones


    and yeah IT TASTES AWESOME!!! ( especialy the cream soda)

  103. Dansc29625 says:

    So cant the HFCS be distilled into ethanol? Or even Corn Liquor? There shouldn’t be a problem getting rid of the stuff. (I am probably wrong there, someone I’m sure will correct me). Cheerwine in the glass bottles is made from pure sugar, It is defiantly a treat. And really a treat is all that a soda should be.

  104. synergy says:

    I don’t particularly see it as a question of whether or not it’s natural (that being a whole other debate), but the fact being that some studies have suggested the body metabolizes it differently from sugar. Also, it’s a bit of a way to rein in the spending on edible items that I probably shouldn’t be buying a whole lot of. Items made with something other than HFCS tend to be pricier and smaller. I consume less calories. Although one day I noticed the tea I was drinking which contained no HFCS had less calories per 8oz and also had no sodium versus the tea my co-worker was drinking.

  105. synergy says:

    @PsychicPsycho3: I’ve known a few Costa Ricans who’ve also not changed their diet and gained weight. And these people aren’t couch potatoes either!

  106. johnva says:

    @GamblesAC2: There are a lot of other creme sodas beside Jones that don’t have HFCS, though you won’t find most of the others in Wal-Mart. Personally, I like Virgil’s better.

  107. Mozoltov, motherfucker says:

    @mgy: You can also get Mexican Coke or Pepsi. They don’t use hfcs in Mexico, you can get sodas sweetened with cane sugar from any taco truck in Los Angeles, the bottles are made of class and usually don’t twist off. And they are less sweet than regular soda.

  108. Mozoltov, motherfucker says:


  109. synergy says:

    @cubensis: As someone else already said, watch out. HFCS is now starting to be used in some Mexican bottling companies. It depends on the source of the bottles whether or not they’re made with sugar. I know a neighborhood Mexican restaurant has the 1L bottles, but they’re made with HFCS whereas the convenience store down the street has the smaller bottles (16oz?) and those have sugar.

  110. AgentTuttle says:

    Hansen’s soda – tasty and no HFCS.

  111. NickIQ says:

    Kosher coke is super delicious.

    You know, none of this would be an issue if we could get our hands on some damn cane sugar, but, you know, prideful and ridiculous trade embargos on Cube still exist because a few people in the government still have sticks up their collective asses.

  112. Paintbait says:

    Did it ever occur to “Big Corn” that HFCS tastes like shit?

    There is a lot of pure cane soda, btw, Jones is just one. A bottler of Doctor Pepper in Dublin Texas uses Pure Cane instead of HFCS. It can be special ordered from this link []

  113. JoannaC says:


    Yeah. Like baby carrots.

  114. formatc says:

    @VA_White: I thought we were only talking about HFCS here, not processed vs unprocessed foods? I trust you eat nothing but freshly harvested produce, because if not, you’re eating something processed. Winter must be hard on your diet.

  115. alice_bunnie says:


    HFCS is not natural. If it can’t occur in it is natural?

    Though I have to agree with you, I have to point something out. Do you consider tofu natural? Do you know how to make tofu? You have to add a coagulant. Know what’s often used? Epsom Salts or gypsum… you don’t see that happening often in nature.

  116. johnva says:

    @formatc: I agree that the “processed” vs. “unprocessed” distinction is a bit arbitrary, but fresh vegetables ARE available in the winter thanks to the wonders of modern transportation.

  117. HooFoot says:

    I spent last month in the hospital. Every prepackaged food that I was served contained HFCS, even seemingly innocuous food like cups of applesauce. It was appalling–you’d think of hospital of all places would put special emphasis on nutritious food.

    And once you’ve taken a break from HFCS and eat something containing it, you can taste the syrup. I had avoided HFCS for over year until this visit, and I could easily pick up that syrupy taste in the food. It doesn’t quite “emulsify” with other flavors. Gross.

    In good news, however, I just noticed at the supermarket today that two brands of bread switched from HFCS to cane sugar. They even advertised it on the label–“NOW WITHOUT HFCS!”. Not sure if this is because of high corn prices or consumer sentiment, but I hope it becomes a trend…

  118. veronykah says:

    @alice_bunnie: I think the point is can a person make it or does it occur in a lab?
    Just try to google each respectively.
    I typed “how to make tofu” & “how to make high fructose corn syrup”

    To use your tofu question…

    How to Make Tofu
    Ingredients (Japanese names in parentheses):

    * 500g Soy Beans (Daizu)
    * 20g Bittern (Nigari)

    You will also need:

    * Cheesecloth
    * Molds (milk cartons work fine)
    * Press (rolled up newspaper wrapped in plastic wrap)
    * Weights (plates, etc.)
    * Cooking thermometer

    The rest is here – []

    How to make HFCS


    High-fructose corn syrup is produced by milling corn to produce corn starch, then processing that corn starch to yield corn syrup which is almost entirely glucose, and then adding enzymes which change the glucose into fructose. The resulting syrup (after enzyme conversion) contains approximately 90% fructose and is HFCS 90. To make the other common forms of HFCS (HFCS 55 and HFCS 42) the HFCS 90 is mixed with 100% glucose corn syrup in the appropriate ratios to form the desired HFCS. The enzyme process which changes the 100% glucose corn syrup into HFCS 90 is as follows:

    1. Cornstarch is treated with alpha-amylase to produce shorter chains of sugars called oligosaccharides.
    2. Glucoamylase breaks the sugar chains down even further to yield the simple sugar glucose.
    3. Xylose isomerase (aka glucose isomerase) converts glucose to a mixture of about 42% fructose and 50-52% glucose with some other sugars mixed in.

    While inexpensive alpha-amylase and glucoamylase are added directly to the slurry and used only once, the more costly glucose-isomerase is packed into columns and the sugar mixture is then passed over it, allowing it to be used repeatedly until it loses its activity. This 42-43% fructose glucose mixture is then subjected to a liquid chromatography step where the fructose is enriched to approximately 90%. The 90% fructose is then back-blended with 42% fructose to achieve a 55% fructose final product. Most manufacturers use carbon absorption for impurity removal. Numerous filtration, ion-exchange and evaporation steps are also part of the overall process.


  119. Elvisisdead says:

    @JustThatGuy3: Bingo. HFCS is all sugar’s fault. All the BS tariffs and subsidies are what brought the stuff into use. They just ended the tobacco subsidies – they totally need to end the sugar subsidies.

  120. Breach says:

    Ive been leaning toward Jones now if I want a soda, and reading labels to see what has HFCS in it. Saddens me that almost everything has it. It should be illegal as Trans-fats are becoming. This cheap substitute is raping our country of its health.

    Oddly, if you an find Coke in the classic glass bottles, they are made with real sugar I found out. I’ve seen them at Costco and the corner store by my home.

  121. I love jelly beans etc. Try getting them without HFCS and still keep the price cheap. There is the trade off, cheap HFCS versus more costly real thing.

  122. scooby2 says:

    @Triborough: Yes they would. That is the one and only good thing about flex fuel/e85. It is causing the price of corn to go up so some products are going back to sugar. Lately some of the flavored waters and some of the sports drinks have moved back to sugar as it is cheaper.

  123. I say this in all seriousness. HFCS needs to be banned in the US. Plain and simple. There are actually some scientists trying to convince the FDA of this. It’s introduction into the food chain was done purely for economic reasons (it takes less to make food taste sweet than cane sugar, so manufacturers switched to it). When you eat glucose, it is processed by several different metabolic pathways: when one gets “full”, it spills over into other pathways in a balancing act. Fructose, on the other end, goes down just one pathway: the one that leads to fat production (it bypasses direct glycogen synthesis, the normal pathway for quick storage of excess sugar). Thus, eating HFCS will make you fatter faster than regular sugar.

    The obesity epidemic in the US started with the widespread adoption of HFCS. Fructose is evil. Believe it. And run far, far away from it.

  124. papahoth says:

    @JoannaC: Its good you think that about food allergies. Now is there a legitimate scientist in the world that believes such nonsense?

    @PsychicPsycho3: anecdotal is way off base. a single meaningless data point is more like it.

    @mitten: This 3 year information has been demonstrated to be bunk. There is lot’s of information on Bray’s controversial positions on the Internet. And his statements on HFC have no basis in scientific evidence at this point in time.

    But enough, as I have posted out here before. If anyone has any real scientific evidence that HFC is any worse than cane suguar or the like post it or go away.

  125. FrankReality says:

    Ok, so where’s the “Frankly, I don’t give a damn option” on the poll?

    For you guys really into natural sugars, try molasses.

  126. Cliff_Donner says:

    @Pasketti: It’s all about the glycemic index, baby:

    Agave Nectar = 27
    Fructose = 32
    HFCS = 89

  127. Kevino says:

    @Dansc29625: Cheerwine FTW! It is so great :) We just started getting it here in California.

  128. TVarmy says:

    @floraposte: Pancake syrup. That’s the biggest dodge. Real maple syrup is actually a pretty good kind of sugar. The body is slow to absorb it and it makes you feel full. Grade B real maple syrup tastes the best, as it has more flavor than grade A. The grading system is based on which syrup can be most refined into sugar, so it’s irrelevant to the average pancake muncher.

  129. INsano says:

    If you’re only thinking of bottled beverages when you’re on Corn Syrup watch, you’re missing most of it. It’s in EVERYTHING. “Lil’ Smokies” sausages was the one that blew me away. Corn Syrup in Sausage? The food manufacturers try to put it in everything.

  130. allstarecho says:

    @GamblesAC2: MMmmmm, love me some Jones Soda Berry Pomegranate! Drinking 1 right now!

  131. I don’t drink Coke anymore, but man, the sugar cane Coca-Cola that you can buy at Costco is king. It was a little odd at first, but in short order you can really taste the difference.

  132. Mozoltov, motherfucker says:

    @synergy: Well that just sucks. I rarely drink soda anyways so now it is more of an incentive.

  133. Mozoltov, motherfucker says:

    @TVarmy: I heard hfcs does the exact opposite it stops you from feeling full so you go hog wild at a fast food store. Part of me thinks the fast food companies used hfcs on purpose because of this, not just to save money.

  134. theblackdog says:

    @synergy: I was at an intl. food market this past weekend and noticed that a number of the imported coke and pepsi products were starting to use HFCS as well. I’m still trying to nail down a correlation with the ingredients on the bottlecap, but I have noticed that the ones with HFCS tend to list their second ingredient as “Azucares Y Concentrado de Coca-Cola (or Pepsi, Sprite, 7Up, etc).” To complicate it, some of the import labels will say “High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or sugar” so you don’t really truly know what’s in there.

    If there are any Consumerists living in Mexico, Honduras, or any other country that serves the cane sugar (and/or HFCS) version of sodas, could they help with finding the correlation between which is HFCS and which is Cane sugar.

  135. Seriously, there are this many elitist health-nut hippies on here?

    I’m a tad disappointed.

  136. formatc says:

    @johnva: Most produce is processed (waxed, etc) to make that journey. Besides, that winter shipping is bad for the environment. That “fresh” organic produce imported from New Zealand is a good way to give mother earth the middle finger.

  137. formatc says:

    @Captain_Collide: I highly suspect that the ratio of “elitist health-nut hippies,” of which I’d consider myself one, is much lower than the poll suggests. I doubt this many people totally abstain from HFCS. Many probably don’t think about it at all. When presented with a poll like this, the kneejerk answer is the politicized one.

  138. sixninezero says:

    I am surprised no one has mentioned Splenda yet. The miracle sweetener that is taking the diet market by storm. In five or ten years it will be vilified like saccharin and HCFS and rightly so. Go as natural as possible and you won’t go wrong.

  139. r.hinojosa says:

    Mexican coke is made with real cane sugar, and, in my opinion, is better tasting than coke made in the USA. Luckily, I live in Texas and you can find it in most supermarkets. Try it next time, they come in long glass bottles.

  140. MeOhMy says:

    I’m not going nuts over it, but I try to avoid it when I can. The main thing it REALLY drives me up the wall is when I see it in FRUIT JUICE! Why the heck does naturally sweet fruit juice need add’l sweetener? And why would you sweeten naturally sour juices with HFCS? Boggles the mind. I always have to look at 5 different bottles to find one that has no added sweeteners. And when I want 100% whatever juice I’m looking for (and a bunch of apple and grape juice) that doesn’t have HFCS…I gotta look at 12 bottles.

  141. dry-roasted-peanuts says:

    Sugar cane, schmuger cane. Where is the sugar beet love?

  142. Pasketti says:

    @Cliff_Donner: The glycemic index directly relates to the amount of glucose.

    If you’re comparing 90/10 agave nectar with 55/45 HFCS, the the agave nectar will have a lower glycemic index. But so will 90/10 HFCS.

    Which doesn’t change that it is still essentially the same thing as HFCS – a blend of fructose and glucose. And since it’s the fructose that seems to be causing the problems, using agave nectar will have the same health effects as HFCS.

  143. johnva says:

    @Troy F.: What disgusts me is how there are almost no bottled iced tea (or green tea) products available that aren’t full of HFCS. Do most Americans really like that sickly-sweet flavor in their tea? Luckily there are a few unsweetened types available now.

  144. lalaland13 says:

    I grew up in Texas, but never had a Dublin Dr. Pepper. And I’m not sure I want to order them at those prices, but I might, darn it all.

    I’ve basically eliminated soda from my diet-the last time I tried Diet Coke, it gave me a headache. I may look into Jones or other not HFCS stuff. I feel better drinking 75 or 80 percent water, with the occasional sweet tea or milkshake thrown in.

    I think I lost a little weight once I stopped but now I’ve probably gained some back. Will try to look for HFCS more carefully now.

  145. darkryd says:

    I think this has less to do with anti-corn sugar sentiment and more to do with people just looking for more natural ingredients lately.

  146. gnuman says:

    HFCS is extremely bad for you and I don’t know for what reason that North America isn’t sweetening its products with Stevia which is no calorie and natural. Even better than having sugar itself. Look at the soft drinks with aspartame in it, Splenda is healthier and it’s hard to find.

  147. iMe2 says:

    Main reason I like Vitamin Water.

  148. Nic715 says:

    I work for an alternative health doctor…after 2 years of working for him and doing most of the reasearch for his articles and supplements, it’s been increasingly difficult for me to grocery shop. I literally stay on the outside of the store and totally skip the isles to avoid HFCS…plus it’s crossed over to the meat we eat too…I’ve switched to grass fed whenever possible. I avoid corn at all costs and don’t want to consume meat that was corn-fed either.

  149. Nic715 says:

    Shoot…pressed send too early..

    Was going to add that Jason’s Deli…a restaurant that’s worked hard to remove MSG from all their ingredients is also working to become HFCS free as well. Also, a few grocery chains are working to remove it as well…here’s a link to an article about a grocery chain in Seattle…


    If you’re looknig for a natural sweetener, try Stevia…it can be found in most health food stores and at Vitamin Shoppe, etc. Last I heard the FDA was set to approve it to be used in softdrinks, etc. Up until now, anything with Stevia in it had to be labeled as a dietary supplement and not food or drink, etc.

  150. silentluciditi says:

    Lipton produces bottled tea made with sugar and it’s packaged in glass bottles. The plastic and canned ones are HFCS laden and crappy. Snapple’s teas have also been going to sugar and SoBe’s Green Tea switched to sugar sometime last year, although they just reformulated the herbal content in it, though. Safeway’s (or their regional version) ‘O’ Organics line of teas is sugar sweetened, and Target’s Archer Farms store brand also has sugar sweetened teas (in plastic 16 oz. bottles).

  151. johnva says:

    @silentluciditi: I meant that I want totally unsweetened tea, but thanks. I was questioning why people can’t drink tea that isn’t full of sugar.

  152. czarandy says:

    Cyanide is natural. Woo.

  153. silentluciditi says:

    Ah, I see… and understand. I don’t sweeten tea I make at home, and when buying stuff to bring home to drink I lean towards Tea’s Tea (they have great unsweetened green teas, and come in 20 oz. bottles and huge liter bottles), or if it must be sweetened, ‘O’ organics or Archer Farms, as I have found they are less sweet than any of the major brands I listed. All of those (especially Snapple and SoBe) are insanely sweet, as if they’re trying to compensate for the change from HFCS. In SoBe’s case I think it’s sweeter than soda!

  154. johnva says:

    @silentluciditi: Yeah, Itoen (the makers of Tea’s Tea) is great stuff, and I was happy to see it become available in the U.S. (I had it in Japan quite a while before I first saw it here). I just think it’s weird how super-sweet beverages totally dominate the U.S. market. I can only conclude that either a) they sell better because Americans actually like to drink syrup water, or b) they sell better because sugar has a sort of “addictive” quality to it, in that it makes people get amped up and then crash. Either way, no wonder we’re a nation with epidemic levels of diabetes and obesity.

    While they sell a lot of sweetened beverages in Japan, the unsweetened teas and stuff appear to be just as popular, if not more so, and there are a lot of unsweetened choices besides just water. I’d say the ratio there is about 50/50. Here I’d say the ratio of sweetened to unsweetened drinks in most stores is like 95:5.

  155. HeartBurnKid, creepy morbid freak says:

    @Captain_Collide: Because giving a damn what you put in your body makes you an “elitist health-nut hippie”, obviously.

  156. HeartBurnKid, creepy morbid freak says:

    @johnva: Lipton also bottles unsweetened tea.

  157. harvey_birdman_attorney_at_law says:

    Corn syrup is in damn near everything, from pasta sauce to rice mixes. I even found it in sausage at the supermarket. SAUSAGE!!!! It is evil, and the sooner it’s gone the better.

  158. smonkey says:

    @PsychicPsycho3: I have the flip side. When I got married my wife made me get rid of all the HFCS and in the first month I droped about 15 lbs.

  159. ianmac47 says:

    If nothing else, sugar cane just TASTES better.

  160. privateer says:

    When I lived in Texas, there was this stuff you could buy at little roadside stands in East Texas called “moonshine syrup.” It’s as thick as honey but almost clear colored. Its ingredients are “corn syrup” and “cane syrup,” that’s it. So maybe it’s like the best of both worlds: more naturally produced corn product fused with the old-timey goodness of pure cane sugar.

    Even better, it’s usually sold with other sugar cane products like sorghum (kind of a sweeter, thinner version of molasses) syrup and pure ribbon cane syrup. My mother-in-law used to put a pitcher full of sorghum syrup on the breakfast table every morning, even if we were only having cereal or fruit!

    I can feel my teeth rotting now just thinking about it all.

  161. *waves hands in general agreement with the 89% I just voted in agreement with!*

    HFCS = chemically processed (gods know how, since you can’t get them to actually come clean about it; and are you really willing to trust them?), tastes icky, fattening.

    I avoid it whenever possible. Will NOT drink any “juice” that’s second ingredient is this glarp!

    Then again, I have bad reactions (migraines, dizziness, nausea) to a lot of sugar “substitutes” (honey, cane juice and stevia being the only exceptions), so I’ve stayed away from it on general principles since I knew how. I probably deserve less credit for my choice than people who avoid the stuff JUST because they’re being smart about their health.

    I will take credit for keeping it away from my kid as much as possible, though. *That’s* not easy.

  162. starbreiz says:

    Being allergic to corn, I do my damndest to stay away from HFCS. Also, when I am craving a soda, there’s about 5 shops in this town with Mexican coke (real sugar).

  163. Triterion says:

    Costco has CocaCola made in Mexico with Real Cane Sugar. It’s superior by far! It’s a more delicate sweetness that doesn’t leave your mouth feeling all sticky and slimy like regular Coke. Also has slightly more earthy, natural taste that comes through with the absence of HFCS. If you have a slightly less refined palate, you won’t be able to taste the difference however.

  164. cccdude says:

    Which is why I love Trader Joe’s – most of their TJ branded items don’t include HFCS. This includes cereal bars, BBQ sauces, juices, etc. It makes a big difference.

  165. ferroptic says:


    Huzzah. This is my position exactly. I do not understand why it is in such a minority among people I consider pretty bright.

  166. baquwards says:

    @Triterion: I had a Mexican Coke today with real sugar. I could not believe how much lighter the texture felt in my mouth. It has been years since having Mexican Coke and it was sooo good, I don’t usually drink soda, but an occasional Mexican Coke will be a nice treat.

  167. katoninetales says:

    The things we avoid in my household:
    HFCS and other things made with corn as a base (breads, cereals, tortillas)

    At least one of three of us does badly with at least one of these, due to some form of allergy or intolerance. This doesn’t mean no one in the household consumes these, but they don’t go on the general shopping list because someone has to avoid them (cinnamon is the only thing totally banned from the house because even a whiff makes my whole head puff up).

  168. nemesiscw says:

    Good ol Canadian Coke. I live in Washington and whenever I take a trip up to Canada, I buy a couple of more cases of Coke.

  169. Veeber says:

    While I prefer real sugar, there are plenty of good uses for Corn Syrup. Especially when I’m making candy. The corn syrup keeps the accidental crystalization down.

  170. MrEvil says:

    I’m agreeing with alot of folks, there IS NO difference between how your body handles HFCS and Cane sugar or honey. Your body breaks all sugars down into glucose before being absorbed. The folks that are losing weight by avoiding HFCS are doing so because they’ve more than likely cut out tons of excess calories, as opposed to it being that evil HFCS.

    It disgusts me too that most food has HFCS in it despite the fact that it probably doesn’t need it at all. However, Food Inc has focus groups to please after all.

  171. NightWatch says:

    Earlier this year Independent Lens on PBS aired a documentary about the nations corn and corn products called King Corn. The guys in the documentary even called a lab to get instructions on how to make HFCS in their home. There was even a scene in it where a couple farmers said they wouldn’t eat corn from their own fields because the government pays them to grow crap corn. Some pretty good viewing if you can find it.

  172. JSDub says:

    Whoa, Hoss! If you’re dumping HFCS because you prefer the taste of sugar, go in peace. But if you’re dumping HFCS for sugar because you think you’re improving your health, better reconsider. Sugar, HFCS, honey, fruit juice concentrates and, yes, agave nectar all have the same two basic sugars: fructose and glucose. And except for agave, they are there in the same ratios (agave has considerably more fructose than the others). The unavoidable fact is that once these sweeteners reach the blood, they’re processed identically.

    Are fructose and glucose processed differently? Sure, but that really doesn’t matter as long as we sweeten our foods with one of the sweeteners above. They’re interchangeable and all bring the same amounts of fructose and glucose into the blood for processing. Bottlers such as Jones Cola or LIV or Juicy-Juice who make a big deal out of replacing HFCS with sugar or agave nectar or stripped fruit juice concentrates to provide a more “healthy” product are disingenuous when they do so. These other sweeteners are handled just the same way as HFCS and are no more nutritious or healthful.

    If you want a different metabolic result, you’ll have to use a sweetener from a different category like sugar alcohols or high intensity sweeteners. But just keep in mind that these have their own health baggage and many have severe use limitations.

    Here’s a novel concept: Concerned about how much sweetener you’re eating? Don’t eat so many sweets. Better yet, eat less of everything.

  173. JSDub says:

    One more thing: this is a horsesh*t poll. I cast my vote for “If I’m gonna eat a caloric sweetener, it doesn’t matter to me or my body whether I eat sugar or HFCS.”

  174. nrwfos says:

    @mzhartz: check your ingredients lists for “maltodextrin” – it’s a corn product

  175. pinkyracer says:

    real sugar? not cane sugar, thanks. That’s only half a step worse than HFCS. It pisses me off that Whole Foods puts cane sugar into damn near everything they sell and it really shouldn’t be used for anything other than ethanol.

    Agave has a much lower glycemic index. I wonder if it could ever be as cheap to produce as cane sugar and HFCS, and if it’s just gov’t subsidies that keep HFCS cheap.

  176. MonaJibronie says:

    PopTarts don’t have to be a thing of the past. Make your own with jam and pie crust dough.

  177. MonaJibronie says:

    My kids were born corn sensitive. Any corn product (CS, HFCS, CStarch, Modified C Starch, Sure-Jell, etc.) and they developed bloody diaper rash within 2 hours. Even Ci-Ci’s pizza isn’t safe for them!

  178. LorenaMessene says:

    Quick notes from a biochemist:

    Sucrose — table sugar — is glucose-fructose in structure. The major metabolic path for energy in the body is for glucose, which fructose gets folded into quite easily and quickly. Meanwhile, fat metabolism for energy takes time to start, and the body prefers not to burn amino acids. Carbohydrates require extra energy to convert into sugar to burn, and are basically sugars anyway.

    Now, there is one health reason to avoid HFCS that’s valid: overexposure to corn is strongly suspected to be a major cause of allergies. This is thought to be also why peanut allergies are on the rise.

    As for the rest? Look, the rise in obesity is likely due to a
    combination of overeating & poorly-defined terms. The definition of obese in current use — the BMI — happens to cover not just the fat but also body-builders and some types of professional athlete. According the BMI, Arnold Schwarzenegger is obese.