Corn Refiners Whispering Sweet Nothings in Our Ears
First there was Big Tobacco. And we've talked about Big Salt before. Now, it looks like there's....
...Big High Fructose Corn Syrup?
I was watching television about a week ago when I spotted a commercial featuring a couple sitting in the grass. The woman of the pair had in her hand a can of soda, which sparked a little flirtatious banter about, you guessed it, high fructose corn syrup.
HFCS, as I'll call it for now, is a sweetener and preservative used in many processed foods, according to the Mayo Clinic. It is made by changing the sugar in cornstarch to fructose, another form of sugar.
The woman, I believe, tries to debunk sundry nasty notions about HFCS and its nutritional value or lack thereof.
When the commercial ended, I felt as if I'd been pelted in the forehead with a sticky soda can and wasn't sure at first what hit me.
My colleague Mike Rosenwald discovered the ad was part of a PR blitz by the Corn Refiners Association to defend the honor of HFCS.
I guess the corn refiners figured they weren't going to go out like those trans fat guys and have their product run out of stores by lawmakers who get it into their heads that removing HFCS will somehow help make us less fat. (The science as far as humans go is unclear, according to Mayo, and yes, Phil Mendelson, I was thinking of you).
If the corn refiners succeed, they may usher in a new era. No longer will maligned food ingredients be afraid to show their face on nutrition labels, or encourage the companies that use them to game the serving size to make it seem like you're consuming less of them than you actually are (i.e. defining a serving of yummy-salty-fatty-whatnot as one bite).
So which ingredient do you think is next? Salt? Aspartame?
Nominate your favorite below.
By Annys Shin |
September 24, 2008; 7:32 AM ET
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