June 15, 2009

The Deception

I hate high fructose corn syrup because it's in everything! Bread, yogurt, crackers, ketchup, canned tomatoes even! Why on earth do my diced tomatoes need any kind of syrup in them?

www.sweetsurprise.com has this to say about the controversy over HFCS:

-Research confirms that high fructose corn syrup is safe and nutritionally the same as table sugar and honey.
-High fructose corn syrup has the same number of calories as table sugar and is equal in sweetness. It contains no artificial or synthetic ingredients.
-Because they are nearly compositionally equivalent, the human body cannot tell the difference between high fructose corn syrup and sugar.

I can accept all of that. My big problem is that it's deceptive. The corn companies keep saying that HFCS is not the cause of obesity, and should be consumed in moderation along with any other natural sugar derivative. When I sit down to eat a candy bar or a donut, I know that I'm eating a sugary food and know to limit my intake of it. I am okay with eating a sweet snack that has HFCS in it, because I'm aware of what I'm eating. It's a treat. But when I am adding diced tomatoes to my spaghetti sauce, I'm not thinking of that as a sugary treat! The same with bread. I generally think of a turkey sandwich as a healthy lunch, but in reality there is HFCS in the bread (in shockingly high quantities, based on its location in the ingredients list), making it an item with sugar in it I wouldn't expect. How are we supposed to mindfully acknowledge the amount of sugar we're eating if it's in foods that aren't supposed to be sugary? I now read the labels of everything I buy, and almost never purchase items with HFCS in them, (or High Maltose Corn Syrup, or any syrups if I can help it) mostly out of spite. I don't like the company(ies) behind this product because their marketing is deceptive and they're treating Americans like we're stupid. I'm not stupid, and many big brands are losing my loyalty because of their decision to use this cheap and convenient lab created ingredient that is adding calories where they shouldn't be.

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