I'm frequently asked about my thoughts on high fructose corn syrup, or HFCS for short.
There's been debate for a while about whether HFCS uniquely makes us fat.
However, rarely discussed are the reasons beyond body weight why I'm not a fan of HFCS. For example:
1. HFCS is made from genetically modified corn. Because I'm steeped in the precautionary principle, I'm not so keen with the idea of putting ingredients made from GMO crops into my body at this time (which is one of many reasons why I favor the organic label – no GMO).
2. Politics. Biotech agribusiness giants who make the GMO corn seed haven't been so good for small family farmers in my neck of the woods. The film Food Inc. did a good job describing some of the issues. I'm especially concerned about contamination, concentration, and seed patents. So a vote for a product containing HFCS is a vote for the corporations who produce and sell the seed that produces the corn that goes to make HFCS. I like to vote with my food dollars... while I still can.
3. Mercury. Some HFCS contains traces of mercury. You'd think manufacturers would want to do everything they could to get that stuff out with all the kids who drink sweetened beverages. No level of mercury is safe to consume.
If you'd like to read more about HFCS, mercury, moderation and more, check out my Food Sleuth column on the topic.
I like Mary Poppins' approach to sugar: a spoonful helps the medicine go down, not the equivalent of 17 teaspoons, which is what you'll find in a 20 ounce bottle of soda.
When you do want to sweeten your food, and who doesn't, then choose organic, fairly traded sugar, local honey or maple syrup.
Think critically and eat well,