Friday, July 4, 2008

HFCS Fights Back...?

Here is a recent article I read concerning efforts to bolster the reputation of High Fructose Corn Syrup. Quote:

"In recent years, there have been a series of research papers and studies linking HFCS to the rise in obesity in the U.S. While sugar has to some degree also been blamed for America's growing weight problems, HFCS, because it is manufactured, has come under greater criticism by consumers and some health professionals.

Now a Washington trade group is trying to rehabilitate the reputation of the longtime sweetener. Beginning today, the Corn Refiners Association is launching a big ad and public-relations campaign to convince consumers that HFCS isn't the evil it has been made out to be."

Read the entire article here.

I checked out the Corn Refiners Association website, and some other related sites that are 'speaking out' on this topic. For example, has a whole list of statements about HFCS that are touted as 'fact.' One of these statements claims "HFCS...enhances fruit and spice flavors," completely neglecting to mention that these 'flavor enhancements' are based on the fact that the sweeter something is, the better it tastes to us, meaning that anything containing HFCS has a much sweeter, and therefore 'better' flavor.

It's amazing how easy it is to create this kind of propaganda surrounding any topic -- even if many people don't read these exact articles, the message behind them creeps into the public zeitgeist and gives people a vague reason to doubt claims that HFCS could have an adverse health effect. Combined with the fact that it's easier to continue eating the way we do (inertia, inertia, inertia), this kind of misinformation could be quite dangerous. When people start thinking "Maybe HFCS isn't so bad," it gives them an excuse to continue eating it, in spite of all the press and studies telling us HFCS is bad for you. This reminds me of the enormous effort that continues to be expended in convincing the public that climate change 'might not be that big of a problem.'

I would like to encourage everyone in reading any media source that speaks on lifestyle choices to remember that the simplest and most moderate choices are usually, in my opinion, the best ones. Use natural sweeteners and eat whole foods. Don't drive SUVs. No matter what scientists say, I think there is something in us that tells us what's right here...

1 comment:

  1. Hey, thanks so much for the info.I have notice recently that multiple products that have always contained HFCS suddenly do not. One, salad dressing had a lable that read "new and Improved recipe" So I read the ingredients list and the first thing I noticed was that the HFCS was missing. I've also noticed this on big brand Mayo's etc.... So maybe those who profit from HFCS are finally fealing a little pinch from the changing tide and this is there attempt to hold their ground.
    I haven't seen any studies on this, but companies wouldn't be changeing thier recipes unless 1. Corn Syrup has gone up too much in price, or they have noticed enough people not buying their HFCS containing products.