Last September the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) petitioned to change the name of  High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) to Corn Sugar, claiming it’s no different from cane sugar.  CRA hoped to put all the negative facts associated with HFCS ‘s effect on the body out of sight and out of the public’s mind.

The campaign’s not working.  Dr. Andrew Weil invited readers of his Facebook page to submit alternate names for HFCS, among which were “cellulite syrup” and “liquid suffering.”  Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) suggested  “enzymatically altered corn glucose,” which Dr. Weil thought was appropriately  Frankenfoodish.

In truth, HFCS is not sugar.  It’s a highly processed corn syrup resulting in a substance much sweeter than sugar and the corn syrup from which it was derived.

In contrast, cane sugar stalks are juiced and then put aside to let the liquid evaporate, leaving sugar crystals to form.

Dr. Weil opposes changing HFCS to any other name.  He says, “The  name as it stands is accurate, and the industry should not be allowed to circumvent the well-earned distrust HFCS has engendered. . . . My main worry is that the syrup’s cheapness, due to corn subsidies, allows manufacturers to sweeten a huge percentage of the American food supply.  I believe that’s been a significant contributor to the obesity-diabetes epidemic.”

Weil continues.  “I’m concerned that (HFCS) has disruptive effects on metabolism, because the body doesn’t utilize fructose well, and humans have never before consumed it in such quantity. . . . Some evidence suggests that fructose may disturb liver function, and unlike glucose, doesn’t appear to trigger the process by which the body tells us it is full.”

What can we do to avoid the prevalence of HFCS in foods?  Read labels.

So.  What’s your take on Corn Sugar vs HFCS?

5 responses to “CORN SUGAR? BULLSUGAR!

  1. Bill Wickline

    I do agree that there is a difference between corn sugar and corn syrup. Sugar is basically more solid than syrup, which is more of a liquid.

  2. Albert Santone

    Change the name to hide the menace. Terminate not kill. Enhanced interogation not torture. Post Tramatic Stress Disorder not Combat Fatigue. Numb our minds with softer words. Let us drink more kool-aid.
    The danger of HFCS remains. Diabetes, obesity, heart disease.

  3. Albert–
    Right on. That words masquerade reality rather than expose it is a loss to our sensibilities and a danger to our health and well-being. Friendly fire–now, there’s a real killer!


  4. Speaking of corn syrup and wellness news, I am part of a local organic food co-operative that was invited to participate in Mentor’s Kids Carnival last month. All those who set up were asked to bring an activity and reward or treat for the kids. The event was fairly well attended.
    We brought a spinner with numbers 1 to 12 and then labeled our organic fruit and vegetable selection with the numbers. Kids spun the spinner and were asked to identify the fruit with the number that it landed on and then got a small bag of organic raisins if they got it right… well MOST did not get it right but all got raisins regardless.
    You would have been stunned by the number of kids who could not identify a red pepper. Yes, avocado is a bit unusual so I can excuse that, but less than half able to identify a grapefruit ?!!! And granted it was a roma tomato so it was not the shape one might expect, but still, only about 25% were able to identify the tomato !!!
    THIS should be a wake-up call for parents around here… so much processed food (with corn syrup, of course) that not only don’t their kids know where their food comes from these days, they don’t even know what it looks like !


    • Tom–

      No, they don’t know what it looks like. A three-year-old saw me pick up a chicken drumstick at a picnic & said, “Wow! Chicken on a stick!”


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