Monday, March 15, 2010

HFCS, I hate you

You've seen those commercials about high fructose corn syrup, right? Where one person makes another feel stupid because she refuses to feed it to her self, family, kids...etc? Well, the person who felt stupid was right in the first place.
According to Wikipedia:

"...A system of sugar tariffs and sugar quotas imposed in 1977 in the United States significantly increased the cost of imported sugar and U.S. producers sought cheaper sources. High-fructose corn syrup, derived from corn, is more economical because the domestic U.S. and Canadian prices of sugar are twice the global price and the price of corn is kept low through government subsidies paid to growers. HFCS became an attractive substitute, and is preferred over cane sugar among the vast majority of American food and beverage manufacturers. Soft drink makers such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi use sugar in other nations, but switched to HFCS in the U.S. in 1984. Large corporations, such as Archer Daniels Midlandlobby for the continuation of government corn subsidies."

Continuation of government corn subsidies. Do most people even know that HFCS is a government subsidy? It is in your favorite Yoplait yogurt, your maple syrup, your bread, your cereal, your soda...I could go on forever. All so it can be unnaturally sweet. All those extra calories. All so it's not imported and corn farmers can continue to grow their corn.

Now, this is all just my take on it, but it seems to me like the government is going a long way just to keep something domestic. However, instead of infecting our foods, they should probably find an alternative fuel source instead of using foreign oil. But that's another debate. 

I found this great blog called Fooducate. I was reading one on what people want the government to do for them regarding food labels:

"93% of shoppers ranked the Nutrition Facts panel as a very or somewhat useful tool, followed by front-of-pack information (low fat, high in fiber, etc.) at 88%.

86% of consumers are interested in the government implementing objective  front-of-pack labeling. This includes information about calories and beneficial nutrients.
58% support  government bans of junk food advertising to kids.65% of shoppers reject proposed taxes on junk food and beverages.
64% said if their favorite food had a warning label on it, they would either eat less or stop buying the product entirely.
Wow. That last stat is amazing – almost two thirds of Americans would cut down on their FAVORITE food? And all it needs is a warning label? Seems like wishful thinking, although some will say that severe warnings on Cigarette packs have reduced smoking."
I totally agree with that last statement. It IS wishful thinking. 
But at least we can be educated, right? 

So next time you're out, read the label. If it says high fructose corn syrup, or even if the list is TOO LONG that means it's TOO PROCESSED. I try to only buy things that I can read off the ingredient label. However, we're still in the process of doing's a learning process, I suppose. I'm just glad I've started it!

1 comment:

Bachelor Girl said...

I'm all about trying to keep products domestic and keep our country's farmers in business (country girl, holla), but HFCS is just bad news, period.

I like the principle behind short ingredient lists. Sometimes foods (like Kashi products) are cram-jammed full of good stuff, but that's pretty rare. "Shorter is better" is generally a good policy.