December 1, 2007

HFCS and Bah! Humbug!

Well, it's December now and it's snowing out which is nice, but I'm feeling a little peeved. Actually, I'm feeling a lot peeved and more than a little poisoned. I'm getting extremely tired of finding newer and scarier concoctions added to my food. I'm tired of being on guard every second of every day to try and limit my poison intake. I don't even hope to be able to really purify my food. I've accepted that the reality is I can do my best, but I don't have absolute control over the food that I eat. I do have to rely on the integrity of others to place the quality of their product in a higher position than the bottom line. Touch the cashflow? Oh my! No wonder it seems like a futile, and never ending battle!

High fructose corn syrup is high on my hit list for it's varied and numerable offenses, synthetic sweeteners for the same reason, soy lecithin is suspect as the most vast and inexpensive supply of said soy lecithin is from GMO'd soy. Forgive me for being suspicious, but honestly, how many times do we have to be taught the lesson that the more you process and chemicalize our food, the worse it is for us and the scarier the results are? I mean, it's mind boggling how much "stuff" I have to look out for to avoid. The high fructose corn syrup alone knocks off an amazing amount of food from all major brands in the US, not to mention the synthetic sweeteners, modified food starches, hydrogenated oils, and synthetic this and that.

Remember when butter was bad for you and hydrogenated margarine was the saviour of mankind? Now it's come out that trans-fats are bad, very bad. Remember when low-fat was king and it was good for you even if it had a million carb calories and half a dozen chemicals as long as it had no fat? and then no sugar? Then it came out that the carbs and synthetic sweeteners are killing us. Notice a trend? High fructose corn syrup has replaced natural sugar in just about every commercial product that I look at that's not specifically made not to include it. It just amazes me that the connection between the recent trend of American obesity and the Type 2 diabetes running rampant through our population and this product isn't being shouted from every rooftop. Instead, I feel that the lines are being drawn between the increasingly paranoid, health-conscious, label-reading "conspiracy nuts" like me, and the rest of the population who contently or uninformatively consume high fructose corn syrup by the pound every month.

I found three good articles on the topic of health and high fructose corn syrup and added them for you viewing pleasure. I think they do a good job of transferring information.

"High Fructose Corn Syrup: It's everywhere", by By Keecha Harris, Dr. P.H., R.D.

"Sugary Sodas High in Diabetes-Linked Compound", By Theresa Waldron
"Sickeningly Sweet: The Effects of High-Fructose Corn Syrup", By Marin Gazzaniga

More ranting:

According to the website "Don't Mess with Our Chocolate" , which I highly recommend taking a peek at, the U.S. Chocolate Manufacturers Association whose members include Hershey's, Nestle's and ADM, along with 11 other food industry associations, have joined with the Grocery Manufacturers Association in petitioning the FDA for approval to change what the legal definition of chocolate is so that they can remove the cocoa butter (too expensive! it's cutting into the profit margin! wah!) and replace it with hydrogenated and or/ modified cheaper vegetable fats and other wonderful things like milk substitutes and synthetic sweeteners and still call it chocolate. Ooooh joy. Apparently, up for review are the current requirements for a number of food categories, of which chocolate is included. I would love to learn what else they're trying to do to the unsuspecting consumer and what garbage they're trying to shove down the American gullet. The petition is recorded with the FDA as Docket # 2007P-0085.

Oh, but definate kudos to Guittard Chocolate Company and Mars, Inc for saying that they are opposed to removing the cocoa butter in chocolate for other ingredients, though they are members of the Chocolate Manufacturers Association. In fact it is Mr. Guittard who is responsible for the "Don't Mess with Our Chocolate" website. It's nice to see someone in the commercial food business who a diamond ring sparkling at the bottom of a cesspit, a glimmer of hope in the toxic sludge that has become our food supply. Sound dark to you? Bah! Humbug!

I remember being in elementary school when the big joke was "Hey- did you know that a McDonald's milkshake has all the ingredients minus one used to make plastic? Hahaha!" Why did we find that so funny? I mean, even if that's remotely the case, then the joke's on us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hear you! And I agree! I have to send my children to their grandparent's house with a list of all the food poisons I won't allow them to have: aspartame, MSG, sucralose, phenylalanine.... I won't allow them to have gasoline in their tea either, but that's just understood. It's ridiculous!