Our Little Rant by Eightball & Thundercloud
First published on April 21, 2006 - Updated on August 20, 2010
A Killer on the Cob
Since this article was written (April 21, 2006), HFCS
has been removed from some foods. For instance, Kraft has removed
HFCS from its salad dressings and Heinz has introduced "Simply
Heinz" which uses sugar instead of HFCS. Despite the food industry's
continued claims that "sugar is sugar", and the beverage industry's
bought-and-paid-for study that "proved" HFCS is the same as
sugar...we continue to see HFCS slowly disappearing from America's
food supply. Unfortunately the worst offenders, the soft-drink
manufacturers, continue to use HFCS in their products, and continue
to maintain that "sugar is sugar".
Recently there have been
independent studies linking HFCS to pancreatic cancer - and
cancer cells "slurp" up fructose (which high fructose corn syrup
has an abundance of). America continues to get fatter and sicker -
and our soft drinks are still loaded with HFCS. Smucker's continues
to make its jams and jellies, marketed in the United States, with
HFCS; Hershey's Chocolate Syrup (and other syrups) are mainly
HFCS. Cancer will be the world's number one killer by 2013, and
it's the world's costliest disease.
Profit and greed continue to reign over doing what is
right. The few extra pennies it would cost manufacturers to replace
HFCS with sugar - prevents the food industry from removing HFCS from
their products. And the Corn Refiner's Association is doing all it
can to protect the mega agri-businesses who process corn into HFCS.
And it's all about greed; it's all about money.
Here is the original article, written on April 21,
2006. It first appeared in our InfoAve Premium newsletter, Issue
A Killer on the Cob
I lamented not too long ago about Heinz ruining one of my favorite
"foods" which, I'm ashamed to say, is ketchup. Once upon a time Heinz
Ketchup (American) was made from "Red Ripe Tomatoes" and "sugar" amongst
other things. Today, in America, Heinz Ketchup is made from "Tomato
Paste (from Red, Ripe Tomatoes) and High Fructose Corn Syrup amongst
other things, though Heinz claims it's the original Heinz ketchup which
it is not.
There's no doubt the last year or so I've been plumping up rather nicely
and that has led to some health problems which I won't go into here but
suffice it to say it got my attention.
Last week, after a great deal of reading and research, I decided that I
would try to remove all traces of high fructose corn syrup from my diet.
As you will see that is no easy task.
But let me stop a minute and tell you what I've discovered about High
Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and you'll see why I'm trying not to eat
anymore of it if I can possibly avoid it. If you live in the United
States you're going to find avoiding HFCS very difficult.
According to an article in the American Journal for Clinical Nutrition,
high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is the possible culprit for the obesity
epidemic in America. HFCS, which has been linked to diseases such as
obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and breast cancer among
others, is almost ubiquitous in foods and
beverages in the United States.
There has been a 76% increase in Type II diabetes in adults 30-40 yrs old
since 1990. The percentage of overweight children in the United States
has tripled since 1980. The epidemic of type 2 diabetes cases across the
nation will likely lead to a substantially higher incidence of strokes
among middle-aged adults and newly diagnosed diabetics.
Now, why is it so hard to avoid it? Because
it's in almost everything (if you live in the U.S.A.).
High Fructose Corn Syrup is found in fruit drinks like HI-C, Capri Sun, Sunny
Delight, Snapple, Hawaiian Punch, Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice and other
fruit drinks. It is found in chocolate drinks such as Yoohoo and even chocolate milk; it's in
Arizona Tea, sweetened iced tea, SoBe Beverages, cookies, ice cream, Campbell soups, Heinz
Ketchup, spaghetti sauce, pancake syrups, Hershey's Syrup, Breyer's Yogurt,
sauce, pickles and breakfast cereals (mostly Kellogg's'). It's in Kraft
Miracle Whip. It's in some tomato paste (yes it is). It's found in
almost all national brand white and wheat breads. It's Smuckers jams, jellies, and preserves.
Even though Smucker's states right on the label "All Natural
Ingredients" it contains HFCS which is NOT a natural ingredient. Gee, with a name like Smuckers, you'd think they'd use sugar!
It's found in candy bars, canned fruits;
it's in Coca-Cola, Pepsi Cola, RC Cola, most brands of Root Beer, Seven
Up, Sierra Mist, Spite - almost all soft
drinks sold in the United States contain HFCS. Even things that
are not sweet (like Campbell's Bean With
Bacon soup) contain HFCS. Look on the label and see for yourself. It's almost impossible to avoid
HFCS if you live in the U.S.A..
Coca-Cola Classic bottles and cans state
"original formula". But that's not true. There was no HFCS in the
original Coca-Cola. HFCS wasn't even invented when Coca-Cola was first
becoming the "national drink. In fact the original formula had cocaine
in it. They replaced the cocaine with caffeine (to comply with the law)
and replaced sugar with HFCS to increase their profit margin - your
health be damned.
What have they done to my Coke? Coke with
sugar tastes better and is less harmful for you than Coca-Cola made with
HFCS. What does Coca-Cola care about? You or profit? I'd bet that if you
live in Canada, Europe, Australia, or Asia you're getting real Coca-Cola
with sugar in it. We the people of the United States of America can only
buy Coca-Cola made with HFCS. Are we lucky or what?
Do you like "Fast Food"? McDonald's offers 32 items that contain HFCS. HFCS is
everywhere. Don't believe me? Get up right now and look in your
fridge and pantry. You'll be shocked. You should be upset. Are you?
I've found out that people who consume HFCS increase their
triglycerides 32 percent relative to people who use mostly sugar.
Elevated triglycerides is a precursor to elevated cholesterol. This is
not speculation. This
is according to University of Minnesota professor John Bantle.
The body metabolizes high fructose corn syrup differently than sugar. It
blunts the body's ability to recognize when it is full and increases a
person's appetite. The more of it you consume the more you want to
consume. Sort of like an addictive drug, eh? A killer on the cob,
High Fructose Corn Syrup puts people at risk for metabolic syndrome.
According to the Mayo Clinic, "Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of
conditions that occur together, increasing your risk for heart disease,
stroke and diabetes. Having just one of these conditions — increased
blood pressure, elevated insulin levels, excess body fat around the
waist or abnormal cholesterol levels — contributes to your risk of
serious disease. In combination, your risk is even greater." HFCS
can contribute to increased blood pressure, type2-diabetes, abnormal
cholesterol levels, and excess body fat particularly around the waist.
And, unless you're very careful, your foods will be full of HFCS.
People in Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia and other parts of the world
don't have to go out of their way to avoid HFCS. Their processed food
products contain very little, if any, HCFS. I wonder why?
You might ask why are we, the people of the United States of America,
being bombarded with foods that contain HFCS? It's easy. Money. HFCS is
cheaper than sugar, although artificially so. Remember we're the land of
"amber waves of grain". We have lots of corn. The tariffs on sugar being
held artificially high protects HFCS processors like Archer
Daniels Midland. It keeps the price of sugar artificially high while the price
of HFCS is kept artificially low by government subsidies. That's why
we're being overwhelmed with HFCS is almost many of the processed foods
We're pawns in the corporate profit game. Our
livers, hearts, and bodies suffer to ensure the profits of corn
processors like AMD and big food manufacturers. We're the victims of the
killer on the cob. Food manufacturers are filling our bodies with an
artificially engineered sweet substance that is causing an epidemic of health problems
for those of us living in the United States.
What's good for business is good for America. So they say.
The corn producers of course argue that HFCS is just another form of
sugar. That's like saying Bird Flu is just another form of flu. HFCS is
not handled by the human body like sucrose or glucose. HFCS is
metabolized by the liver and does not trigger the insulin reaction that
table sugar does. So, when you consume HFCS your body doesn't get the
"full" feeling it gets when you eat foods containing regular sugar. So
you can eat more and feel full less - which, for one thing, is a good way
to get fat quicker.
The manufacturers of HFCS say their products are safe. A statement from
the Corn Refiners Association says:
"High fructose corn syrup and table sugar are compositionally
equivalent. HFCS is not the cause of obesity. Increased calories and a
lack of exercise are to blame. One should note: Obesity is also on the
rise in Mexico and Europe, both of which do not consume HFCS."
Hmmm. Why don't Mexico and Europe consume
HFCS? And obesity in Europe and Mexico is not on the rise to nearly the same degree as it is on the
rise in the United States.
The Corn Refiners Association's statement of innocence reminds me of the tobacco associations back in the
early 1960's when evidence was piling up against cigarette smoking and
tobacco use. If you go back and look you'll see the tobacco associations
were issuing statement after statement saying that smoking was safe and
that there was no hard evidence that cigarette smoking or tobacco
products caused any of the health problems which medical research had
begun to reveal. The tobacco associations even had "scientific" proof
that tobacco was safe. So much for that, eh?
I'm not saying that sugar is good for you. I'm saying HFCS is very bad
for you. Much worse than sugar. And you can hardly avoid eating HFCS if
you live in the United States. If you don't believe me, get up right now
and look at the label on a loaf of bread. Go into your refrigerator and
look at the salad dressing, pickles, ketchup, juice drinks, soda pop -
look in your pantry at the canned goods. You'll find in HFCS in almost
everything - even in foods you don't consider "sweet".
At the end of this article is a list of a few articles which have been
published on the dangers of HFCS. After researching these and many more
I've come to the conclusion that the ingestion of HFCS in the quantities
that the American public is ingesting HFCS may be almost as bad for you
as smoking cigarettes. There is evidence that HFCS contributes to a
myriad of health problems from obesity, to type-2 diabetes, to high
blood pressure, to elevated triglyceride levels (a precursor to high
cholesterol), circulatory problems, liver problems, breast cancer and
It's probably true that a small amount of HFCS, like many other
substances, won't harm you. But consider this: One 20 ounce Coca-Cola
contains about 17 teaspoons of HFCS. One tablespoon of Heinz Ketchup
contains one teaspoon of HFCS. HFCS is in almost everything you eat.
Just read the nutrition labels of the foods you consume and you'll be
If you live in the U.S.A., go to the grocery store and try to avoid
that contain HFCS. You'll find it is very difficult to do. If you do
find foods without HFCS you'll probably have to pay more. It might be
worth it depending how valuable you consider your health. Organics and "natural" foods that
come in jars and cans may not contain HFCS. But, sometimes even foods
labeled "Organic" or "Natural" do contain HFCS. Figure that one out.
There is nothing "Organic" or "Natural" about HFCS. Does it seem HFCS
is stalking you? No pun intended.
And don't confuse HFCS with the corn syrup your mom used to use for
baking. It's not the same. (Although today's Karo Syrup does contains
some HFCS.). HFCS is a highly processed and engineered food that is
chemically manipulated to extra sweet - and extra cheap. Using HFCS instead of
sugar saves food processors a lot of money. It makes baked goods brown
more evenly. It gives products a longer shelf-life. And it, I think, is
making a lot of people in the United States sick. Or sicker.
There's nothing wrong with corn-on-the-cob or corn in the can or
cornmeal or eating corn. HFCS does not occur naturally. You don't
squeeze a few corn kernels and watch pure HFCS ooze out. HFCS is a
highly-processed and chemically engineered
product. Better living through chemistry. As they say.
There's not much we can do about this except to protest by not buying
products which contain HFCS. That's going to be hard to do. It's in so
many processed foods today. But someday, and not too far off, someone is
going to blow the lid off the killer on the cob, and then you'll see
food manufacturers jumping on the "No High Fructose Corn Syrup"
bandwagon. Just like they're jumping all over the "whole grain" craze
now. All those years Wonder made white bread, suddenly it's "whole
grain". Why wasn't it whole grain to begin with? Because people didn't
know any better and the bread companies sure weren't ready to educate
them. Now people know better and you'd think the bread companies
stumbled upon something amazingly new: whole grains. Hmmm, I think whole
grains have been around a lot longer than Continental Baking Co.- the
makers of "Wonder" bread - who just recently stumbled upon "whole
The end of HFCS may be coming soon. I hope.
If enough of us protest the use of HFCS food manufacturers will have no
choice but to remove this artificial substance from our foods. Then, in
the spin of all spins, the food companies will make it look like they've
discovered sugar. I can see it now: "Coca Cola contains NO High Fructose
Corn Syrup - Now made with pure cane sugar". Can you picture that
advertising campaign? Coca-Cola was made with "pure cane sugar" for
decades until government subsidies and corn lobbies made it far more
profitable for Coca-Cola to use HFCS than sugar. It's all about profit
But how many more of us have to become
chronically ill and how many of us will have to suffer before we, the
people, and our health, becomes more important than business profits?
It's just too bad that millions have to suffer before necessary changes
are made and HFCS is banned from our food.
Maybe the end of HFCS won't come soon. Maybe Americans will just
continue to get sick and life goes on? After all, they still sell
cigarettes everywhere, even though they kill you. People are born every
second. Always new customers coming along to replace the old ones. And
the beat goes on.
You can't replace good health. Once you lose it, it's hard to get it
back. Please look deeper into the effects of
HFCS in your diet by reading some of the referenced articles included at
the end of this "Rant". I'm sure, like me, you'll be amazed
and shocked that HFCS has been allowed to become almost ubiquitous in
our food supply.
I'm convinced that HFCS is responsible for
a lot of the health problems which are have become nearly epidemic in
the United States since the 1970's. I can only hope that the day will
come when food manufacturers will
get the message from angry consumers stop using HFCS in our foods. Once
HFCS is gone we will have a healthier America. There's a killer on the
cob and it's causing health problems all across America.
(A little note: If you're going to try to avoid HFCS by drinking diet
soda you might want to think again. There is growing evidence that
aspartame and Splenda® cause their own share of heath problems too
- as bad as HFCS in some cases. But at least you can avoid aspartame and
Splenda® much easier than you can avoid HFCS. But that's another Rant for another day.)
Tell us what you think
articles and references about High Fructose Corn Syrup
independent study researchers at UCLA have found that table sugar
(sucrose) and HFCS are handled differently by the body - and that
cancer cells "slurp" up HFCS. You can
about that here. The
beverage industry's response was this was just a "test-tube" study
and is meangingless. It's all about the money. HFCS is still much
less expensive than sugar (tariffs on sugar have been kept
artificially high) and U.S. soft drink manufacturers are fighting to
keep that few extra cents they make on each can of soda they sell.
It's all about the money, your health doesn't matter.
the company that makes Pepsi products (among other things) funded a
study to show that HFCS does not promote obesity. You can read about
here, however, you will notice the sample of people studied
was just 30, not thousands like other studies which show a conclusive
link between obesity, type II diabetes, and other chronic illnesses and
HFCS. Obviously Pepsi has been hearing from concerned consumers and in
order to maintain the status quo (i.e. save money by using HFCS instead
of sugar) commissioned a study to prove HFCS is not any different than
sugar. Well, we point out that tobacco companies commissioned dozens of
studies to prove that smoking cigarettes did not cause cancer. And
companies that produced products containing trans fat once claimed that
trans fat was no more harmful than any other kind of fat. So, all of you
who read this, please write to Pepsi, Coke, Kraft Foods, Heinz, Smuckers and
other companies who make food products loaded with HFCS. Eventually
we'll get HFCS out of our American food supply. It just takes time.