Most of us would be surprised to learn that the majority of sweeteners used in processed food comes from corn, not sugar cane or beets. Developed in the 1970s, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has the same sweetness and taste as an equal amount of sucrose from cane or beet sugar but it’s considerably cheaper to make than sugar. Processed in one of 16 chemical plants located throughout the US Corn Belt, in vats of murky fermenting liquid, fungus and genetically engineered chemicals the end product is piped into tanker trucks ready to be delivered to major food processors across the nation.
So who gets the benefits? Large scale food manufacturers. Cheaper and more convenient to use than natural sweeteners the cost savings turns into massive profits. But doctors and independent scientists are telling anyone who is listening that GE HFCS is linked to serious illness in both adults and children.
HFCS In Surprising Places
Try this. Go to the head of one of the interior aisles at the grocery store and look at the products. Seven out of 10 items will have some form of HFCS. Products include: dry roasted peanuts; bread – almost every brand including “whole grain”; yogurt; peanut butter; most snack foods including crackers; mayonnaise; soft drinks and fruit juices; and tragically infant formula.
So read the label carefully and don’t be fooled by the word ‘natural’ . If the label reads corn syrup, cornstarch, or HFCS consider alternatives. Until we know more, it is simply better to make a conscious choice and stay away from it as much as possible. There is too much growing evidence not to be concerned.
The consumption of HFCS increased 1000% from 1970 to 1990 according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2004. And we continue to swallow it by the mouthful.
A single 12-ounce can of soda or sweetened juice has as much as 13 teaspoons of sugar in the form of GE HFCS. GE HFCS helps prevent freezer burn, so frozen food manufacturers use it. It makes bread brown and keeps loaves soft so commercial bakers use it. The synthetic sweetener is a favorite ingredient in many health foods like energy bars. It is in beer, cough syrup, chocolate, peanut butter, baking ingredients and breakfast foods. Grain-based alcohols use itg. A low-fat, fruit-flavored yogurt can have ten teaspoons of fructose-based sweetener in one serving. GE HFCS can even be found in the majority of commercially available nondairy baby formulas
There is nothing natural about corn syrup. The medical profession is exploring the link of high fructose corn syrup to obesity, diabetes and even some cancers. High fructose corn syrup is made from GMO corn, using genetically altered chemicals in the processing. Until we know more, it is simply better to make a conscious choice and stay away from it.
Read the label. High fructose corn syrup is hidden by food and beverage manufacturers under many names. Look for chicory, inulin, iso glucose, glucose-fructose syrup, and fruit fructose as indicators that high fructose corn syrup resides in that food.