The fact that an industry group has gotten together to produce such a heavy handed marketing campaign tells me that high fructose corn syrup is probably even worse for you than the most pessimistic studies indicate.
High fructose corn syrup is just sugar really. My friend recently mentioned these comercials to me (I don't have TV) and so when I read this thread I had to go read both sides...
Stupid corn companies are flipping out because some researchers said maybe the stuff had to do with the obesity epidemic... which was really based on some very weak statistical correlation. Uneducated easily panicked people have decided HFCS is the end of the world.. but for very stupid reasons.
Really though. The chemistry is pretty straight forward.. and I'd be more worried except the people making claims about how bad it is are making outright lies in some cases and where they aren't lying they're being purposefully obtuse.
Of course HFCS is bad for you. it's sugar. Worse than other sugar? Not really no.
Oh.. and example of why I have to say these rabid nay-sayers are a little confused:
"HCFS is a food additive and preservative. Most is made from genetically altered corn. It is ground into a fine powder and then it is broken down further with a fungus and a bacterium through a process us la-men cant fathom. It lasts longer than real sugar, and more importantly its cheaper." [Click, Dick]
This is stupid for a couple reasons.
First, by 2004 85% of corn grown in the US is genetically modified. So... sure, it is mostly from genetically modified cord. anything with corn in it is.
Next we have two lies: No. a fungus is not used. No. A bacterium is not used. In each case an enzyme is used. Confusing maybe for folks who haven't learned any molecular biology or chemistry but I assure you, they are worlds differnt. for instance.. enzymes are not dead. they're just single molecules.
Oh... if you like reading scientists calling people stupid (I admit it.. I do) this is a good link. also informative in general about the debate: [Click, Dick]
The corn companies are stupid for putting up bad commercials though. too bad it isn't that corn syrup is good.. it's just not worse than other sugar..
Sorry.. weak science bothers me... so do stupid commercials. sounds like everybody loses >.<
Depends on what you mean really. It's something like a 55% fructose to 45% glucose usually instead of 50%-50% like sucrose (table sugar)...
They're made of the same molecules so there's some question of whether they can really be more concentrated. HFCS is just the individual subunits that make up sucrose (table sugar). Our body naturally hydrolyzes (cuts up) and metabolizes the two subunits seperatly. This is a pretty clear drawing of what I mean and the chemistry behind it: [Click, Dick]
The reason it's cheaper to make HFCS is they just take long chain starches from corn, which are just chains of these sugar sub-units, cut 'em up with an enzyme and they have a bunch of glucose. They use another enzyme to change about half the glucose to fructose, but that just brings them to a mixture that's nearly the same as table sugar (50%-50%).
That's my understanding of it anyway.
Edited Sat Feb 14 2009, 06:17PM
Got a link to an article? I'm wondering now what part of the process is getting that mixed in.
The trouble is in many cases contaminents come from the plants themselves containing various unpleasant heavy metals that they pick up from the soil. It's the reason there's arsenic in cigarettes, the stuff was used so much as a pesticide that even though it hasn't been used in decades the tobacco grown on those fields *still* pick it up in detectable quantities.
When you really analyze food... well.. I try not to do too much of it. There's way too many things I don't wanna know I'm putting in my mouth >.<
Don't worry, I already have zero trust for big agri-business!
I also agree with anyone who says that it's best not to eat processed sugars at all, whether it's HFCS or table sugar. I'd pick plain ol' sugar if pressed, though, because I don't like the subsidies on corn which mostly go to Archer Daniels and I think the overreliance on corn as a food staple is a bit alarming.
I also don't trust any of the research, for two reasons: 1. After reviewing papers and having my papers reviewed, I lost quite a bit of faith in the peer review system. It seemed that actual review of the "science" was a relatively insignificant part of the process. And after spending a fairly large chunk of time reading journal articles, I think that a lot of bullshit gets published just to fill an over-abundance of journals. 2. I don't know who is funding which studies. While scientists are supposedly objective, my experience over the years led me to conclude that by and large, they're not. They know who is paying their bills. Especially if they're getting money from some group like Archer Daniels, which is interested in profitable science, not necessarily good science.
I could remedy my initial lack of trust with a lot of research/article reading, but I really don't care that much. I think it's far more reasonable to operate under the following:
Who cares what sweetens soda or packaged snack cakes? They're not good for you anyway.
Sweetners don't belong in everything. For example, if there's HFCS in salad dressing, don't buy that salad dressing.