The "Misunderstood" Sweetener Formerly Known As High-Fructose Corn Syrup

Illustration for article titled The "Misunderstood" Sweetener Formerly Known As High-Fructose Corn Syrup

Before we start talking about the evils of high-fructose corn syrup, let's consider that it might just seem like it's bad for us because of its name. So let's just call it "corn sugar" instead and all will be well.


Sounds good? Yeah, I didn't think so either, but apparently that's the idea the Corn Refiners Association is pushing right now with its campaign to rename and rebrand the sweetener. It seems that they're hoping that by dropping the name which has earned such a negative connotation among consumers, they'll gain the opportunity to explain that the substance isn't really worse than plain ol' sugar.

I hope that consumers focus on research instead of silly names, but I'm not entirely sure that this rebranding attempt won't work for at least a little while. [Huffington Post]

Photo by poolie



Here's my personal situation:

I'm 6'6", 200lbs, and in good physical shape. This didn't happen by accident. I work out three times a week and eat decently well. I'm no harcore athlete, but I run a bit and lift weights and do other cardio activities regularly. I'm no health nut, but I'm not living at my local McDonalds.

At the rate I'm going I'm going to live a long, healthy life, barring accident of any kind. The chances of me living longer than any average life-span in history is pretty good. Like almost all Americans, I ingest HFCS on a regular basis. Will this make a difference in my life-span or overall health? Maybe a little bit, but not nearly as much as my personal choices will, and I am confident that negative effects from HFCS can be eliminated by my lifestyle choices.

The cruisade against HFCS may be a worthy cause. But there are hundreds of "worthy" causes out there that if I devoted my time to all of them, I would never get to live my life. I have a hell of a lot worse things to worry about than HFCS, and there are more effective things I can do to make my life longer and better.

Is HFCS morally wrong? I don't know. I know I don't feel bad about it, nobody has given me convincing evidence (not anecdotes) otherwise, and this remains on my "don't care enough" list.