The Sweetest of Things

No Longer Maligned, Sugar Now Sells (NY TIMES)

  I must say that this is some very good news. I’ve never been a fan of high fructose corn syrup and it became alarming to find the same food product in nearly 95% of all the stuff I found myself eating. It was not because I was attracted to the substance but much like “made in china” it became almost impossible to avoid.

  Something in the article that I found rather interesting was the possible correlation of HFCS with Obesity in the US:

But the most common argument has to do with the rapid rise of obesity in the United States, which began in the 1980s, not long after industrial-grade high-fructose corn syrup was invented. As the amount of the sweetener in the American diet has expanded, so have Americans.

  I must stress that correlations do not necessarily entail causation (as many politicians would want you to believe) but this does seem to be an unusual coincidence. There does appear to be some sort of consistent correlation with obesity and highly processed foods. Now this may in fact be just a coincidence that ties in with the people who enjoy highly processed foods also being the people who detest exercise, however I’m a nip skeptical.

  What troubles me is the desire to use cheap alternatives in food products. Yes food is just another market however food is one survival critical outlet for humanity. You cannot survive without food-period. When all of your food products have a related ingredient that creates a very precarious position. It doesn’t require a genius to note that devising some means of destroying massive amounts of corn farms would greatly cripple the US (possible economically but certainly agriculturally). You should never have all your eggs in one basket, or count them before they hatch, or any of those other weird egg-chick related monikers (I believe that’s the word I’m looking for).

  I personally like sugar because of its natural occurrence. I don’t believe anyone has ever seen high fructose corn syrup naturally occurring. I’m not a health nut but I do think it is safe to assume if it is a food product that works for hundreds of thousands (millions…billions?) of non-human animals that it probably is also a healthy or safe choice for humans. Mind you this doesn’t always work, a day old deer carcass may work for a vulture but I’m not to keen on it neither is my intestinal tract.

However I would not say to anyone to go out and down 90 lbs of sugar (albeit you’ll apparently consume nearly that much a year between HFCS and Sugar), I will say that of the two options it happens to be the one I personally like. The important thing to remember is that exercise is vital to living a long and healthy life, you may find the occasional person who lives long, happy, and healthy without it but you would have likely seen them live even longer and happier had they been more physically active.

  Give it a few months, we’ll start seeing advertisements on television for how Sugar makes you go blind (care of the corn producers). It’s getting ridiculous these days in advertising, first the terrible smoking commercials, now the painfully obvious commercials that coal is never clean (I always figured that was like saying blue is blue but some people apparently don’t realize it), and I foresee this battle being next.

In one television advertisement, a mother pours fruit punch into a cup while another scolds her because the punch contains high-fructose corn syrup. When pressed to explain why it is so bad, the complaining mother is portrayed as a speechless fool.

Audrae Erickson, president of the Corn Refiners Association, said consumers were being duped.

  Ah…it would appear I’m already late ;). They already have obnoxious commercials. Nothing quite says “We have nothing good to say” like fabricating some loudmouth fool in your commercials to label anyone who disagrees with you as completely ignorant. I know that gets me supportive.

  I hope this was able to satiate anyone who was hoping for something a little deeper, my vacation began today and I had to travel for most of the day to get back home. On the bright side there is an entire week before it is back to the grind!

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