Corn, It’s Only Natural

by Leighann on February 19, 2010

My jaw was agape for about two minutes after seeing a commercial at nearly 1:00 am. I know I was sleepy (or should have been), but did those two women just have that conversation on that commercial?

Talk about brainwashing.

Talk about marketing ploys.

Talk about spin.

Scene, and…Action!

Two women are in the backyard. One is about to pour a bright red drink into a cup.

“Wow, you don’t care what the kids eat?”
“Excuse me?”
“That has high fructose corn syrup in it.”
“And?”
“You know what they say about it.”
“Like what?”
(Shakes her head dumbfounded.)
“That it’s made from corn, doesn’t have artificial ingredients, and like sugar it’s fine in moderation?”
(Smiles.)
“Love that top…”

I kid you not. And they even have a website!

From the Sweet Surprise website:

“High fructose corn syrup offers numerous benefits. It keeps food fresh, enhances fruit and spice flavors, retains moisture in bran cereals, helps keep breakfast and energy bars moist, maintains consistent flavors in beverages and keeps ingredients evenly dispersed in condiments.”

Yeah, that’s called being highly processed. Isn’t that something we should be getting away from?

(The transcript of the commercial was taken from the ad “Party” on the Sweet Surprise website which is paid for by the Corn Refiners Association.)

It’s Only Natural

The FDA has decided that products containing HFCS can be labeled “natural.”

I won’t be fooled.

Did you know that the government subsidizes farmers who plant corn through the Farm Bill which is renewed time and again? And because of this supermarket shelves (and dare I say your child’s school lunchroom) are filled with HFCS and corn-fed beef?

I think it’s time I check out the documentary King Corn from the library.

But really, do you think the movie will tell me anything I don’t already know?

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tracy Shannon February 19, 2010 at 7:15 am

oh my word! my jaw dropped when I was reading this…how crazy! thanks again for a great post! very informative!

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2 Jennifer February 19, 2010 at 8:58 am

I am so with you about this. Almost all of the food we consume isn’t actual food. I’m trying so hard to get back to basics and avoid packaged foods. Unfortunately, I have a long way to go. It is easier said than done when you have 10 minutes to get out the door. Add in having to weigh the food for carbs and it becomes difficult. I also try to balance the natural with low carb items. In other words, I try to avoid most of the chemically engineered stuff but it is hard to pass up sugar free hot chocolate for only 4 carbs:)

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3 Leighann February 19, 2010 at 9:05 am

I know exactly what you mean. (a) We also do the 4 carb hot cocoa. A lot. (b) When you need to know portion sizes and carb counts, boxed is easier (I didn’t say “better,” just “easier.”)

I’m also finding that some foods with less sugar (or artificial sweeteners) don’t have lower carbs, or not by much.

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4 Jennifer February 19, 2010 at 9:22 am

Besides having more carbs the sugar free stuff can be hard on his tummy. That’s why we try to avoid it but there are still a few items we haven’t gotten rid of. I have the same problem for myself. I’m trying to stick to the Weight Watchers program. Too tempting and easy to eat those boxed cakes that are only 1 point. But when I read the side of the box I know that they are like pouring toxins into my body. So is it healthier to be a bit heavier or skinny with toxins???

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5 Heidi February 19, 2010 at 9:10 am

Oh, to think people will be swayed by that commercial! That’s like the text I read on a 12-pack of Coca Cola, stating the drink was hydrating, like water. I work so hard to feed my family as healthfully as possible with as much clean, raw, organic as possible, but there are times when boxed really is easier and easier wins. My downfall is the 2-carb Minute Maid “juice” pouches with artificial sweeteners.

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6 Leighann February 19, 2010 at 9:27 am

We buy the Minute Maid Fruit Falls, but I have a rule that we don’t drink those at home. Those are only for the convenience when we are out-and-about or traveling. But what we try to do more is always pack a water bottle for her.

My personal downfall is that I like caffeine-free Coke. Real coke with HFCS. If they offered it in the states made with real sugar, I would buy it.

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7 Heidi February 19, 2010 at 9:40 am

Yep, Minute Maid Fruit Falls–that’s it! We have the same rule. I find myself packing them inside Jack’s lunch box along with a bottle of water, because he wants a juice box like the other kids.

I’m a Diet Coke drinker. I like with and witout caffeine. That’s my chemical addiction. So bad! Your comment reminded me that I recently saw, if I remember correctly, Pepsi product packaging, stating something about going back to the “old” Pepsi made with real sugar. Maybe there’s a caffeine-free version? I know Coke and Pepsi taste differently (I don’t like Diet Pepsi at all!), but I thought I’d mention the “new old” Pepsi for whatever it’s worth.

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8 Jen February 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm

This is why I am glad my tv gets no reception!! I can’t believe that HFCS can be marketed as healthy…and that there are people out there who will believe it!!

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9 Joanne February 19, 2010 at 9:05 pm

That’s just… gross. I have no other words.

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10 Franca Gilbert February 21, 2010 at 7:57 am

We hate HFCS!!! We don’t even use white sugar anymore…we use rapadura (whole organic unbleached sugar–tastes like sugar, but looks like dirt).
At home we do not purchase things that have HFCS. Though sometimes we miss it (like Girl Scout Cookies :( )
If you haven’t seen King Corn yet, please watch it! Also watch Food, Inc.
This is big business trying to get us to buy into their fake products!

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11 Kelly February 21, 2010 at 10:11 am

Are any of you Michael Pollan fans? In Defense Of Food is a great book–we were luckily already trying to be really aware of eating non-processed foods when our daughter was diagnosed almost a year ago. But it is hard. Certain sugar-free options are just easy and allow her to have small treats, and I think moderation is the key. I’ve also been baking with agave nectar for almost everything we bake at home and have some great recipes that are very low glycemic and taste wonderful! I just can’t bake with sugar substitutes because I hate the taste. Those commercials are misleading, inaccurate, and leading to our country’s obesity and health problems!! Great discussion!

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12 kc April 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm

I don’t remember if King Corn will tell you this, but did you know that there is GMO corn in vitamin D milk, all enriched cereal grains (in fact anything labeled “enriched” and almost every supplement on the market), iodized salt, most eggs, some produce and almost all conventional meats, even the organic brands? My two teenagers and I are allergic to corn so we are learning all the hidden sources of corn by doing research. When I started realizing how prevalent corn was I thought I could just cook everything from scratch to avoid it, but that is harder than it seems. Not the cooking from scratch, but finding corn-free staples. We are now buying our produce from the farmers market (the stuff in grocery stores is usually corntaminated), our beef from a local grassfed farmer (processed in a facility that doesn’t use lactic acid or citric acid – both GMO corn derivatives). The only cheese that does not contain GMO corn is Kerrygold imported from Ireland.

Why do I think that Moms with diabetic children would be interested? Because corn is an endocryne disruptor. When I realized our allergy and started cooking from scratch my glucose levels normalized and stay in check effortlessly (and I didn’t ingest HFCS before). I realize that avoiding additives wouldn’t cure diabetes but I do believe they have an adverse effect that is better avoided. Also, I don’t know what sugar substitutes you use, but the only one I have found without a bulking agent (GMO corn) would be 100% stevia powder (from a health food store, not the Truvia in the grocery stores). If anyone is thinking that aspartame (nutrisweet) is a safe alternative to corn syrup or sugar, take a look at this site for a real eye opener: http://writerswithoutborders.net/vib/aspartame/

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