High Fructose Corn Syrup Is Poison

High Fructose Corn Syrup: "It's toasted"

I have a completely unproven theory based on anecdotal evidence. It seems to me that people of my generation are all hooked on antacids, man. Hooked, I tell yah. And why? Because we were brought up on processed food.

My typical diet growing up was like this:

Breakfast: Frosted Flakes* and 2% milk/ Peaches and Cream Instant Oatmeal*/ Cracklin Oatbran* & 2% milk, apple juice
Recess: Quaker granola bar with chocolate chips*/Doritoes*/Fruit Roll Up*/Gummi Fruit*
Lunch: Skippy peanut butter* on white bread* or Portuguese muffin, partially eaten apple, Oreo cookies*
Snack: cookies*/ chips/ cheddar cheese & Ritz crackers*, milk
Dinner: rice pilaf, chicken, peas, milk
Dessert: ice cream*

*denotes a food containing corn syrup or High Fructose Corn Syrup - about 14 listed here...

While parts of it were good (dinner particularly) a lot of things had corn syrup or High Fructose Corn Syrup (granola bar, peanut butter, cereal, instant oatmeal, fruit roll up, white bread).

But what's the big deal, right? You've see those commercials---

Oh ho ho ho ho! And there it is RIGHT NOW! That disgustingly deceiving commercial that gets my goat: the promotional ad for corn syrup being okay. (Serendipitous!)

The woman who doesn't like corn syrup can't think of a thing to say about why she doesn't like it to the woman who blithely feeds it to her kids and says, "It's made from corn, has the same nutritional value as sugar and is fine in moderation."


#1 As Michael Pollan noted the other day on The Daily Show, the cocoa leaf is just fine to chew on but boiled down to it's barest part as CRACK, you're body's like "Uh, WTF?" The SAME EXACT concept applies with corn syrup. It's all one thing with no complexity to it. Such a highly processed thing is something your body doesn't know what to do with. (Hence our crappy guts).

#2 Why is it a good thing that something has the same nutritional value as sugar? Sugar is a bunch of empty calories. Why would it mean that corn syrup wasn't bad because it's just as bad as sugar? (Except it's worse than sugar because sugar's a teeny bit more complex and therefore your body has a teeny bit easier time breaking it down, but not by much.)

#3 Corn syrup in moderation is a very difficult thing, especially if you're going to be pouring cups of corn syrup sweetened bright blue liquid for your children from a gallon jug. That one Solo cup's worth is about all anyone should ever have in a month's time. But then you start looking and find that this crap called corn syrup is unbelievably ubiquitous. Pick up your inexpensive loaf of store bought bread. Read the package label. Corn syrup, three or four ingredients in. Look at your yogurt, your fat free dressing, your diet drink. Corn syrup corn syrup corn syrup. If your kid had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, he's probably already had his fair share of "moderate corn syrup" intake. He certainly has way too much if you add candy, ice cream, snack chips, and bright blue liquid drink.

Then you have to ask yourself, "Why does the High Fructose Corn Syrup industry feel the need to even air these misleading commercials?" And all I can think of is that episode of "Mad Men" when Lucky Strike comes in because they're worried about the recent (from the 60s) health warnings about smoking. Don Draper comes up with an (evil) genius creative campaign to successfully distract the potential customer from the fact that cigarettes are bad for you. "It's toasted." They say about the Luck Strike tobacco, as if that makes it special.

I'm going out a limb, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense to me: given time, after seeing the effects of what this product is doing to our bodies, I wouldn't be surprised is High Fructose Corn Syrup went the way of tobacco: a banned or highly frowned upon substance that has remarkably terrible effects on our bodies that we get sort of hooked on and take a long time to stop consuming; almost as much time as it takes to work off those empty calories.