Obesity

Finding Patient Zero in the High Fructose Corn Syrup Hate Epidemic

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mmm…energy

In the Atlantic today, food writer and contrarian James McWilliams traces the roots of the Blame High Fructose Corn Syrup First movement:

Begin with the December 13, 2009 issue of the London Times. In it, Lois Rogers summarized a University of California study that evaluated the impact of fructose on obesity. She quoted the lead scientist as saying, "This is first evidence we have that fructose increases diabetes and heart disease independently of causing simple weight gain." Put simply, fructose—which is simple fruit sugar—can be bad for us.

But Rogers, as Dan Mitchell reported in Slate, somehow got it in her head that fructose and high-fructose corn syrup were the same thing. Here's her lead: "Scientists have proved for the first time that a cheap form of sugar used in thousands of food products and soft drinks [that is, HFCS] can damage human metabolism and is fuelling the obesity crisis."

This viral sentence—one that should have referred to fructose—infected the entire article. Unsuspecting readers were led to believe that fructose was a sweetener solely derived from corn and, more alarmingly, that it was interchangeable with HFCS. The scientist quoted in the piece later remarked that "almost every sentence in the article contained at least one inaccurate statement."

The article, of course, proliferated. Two days after the Times piece ran, Tom Laskawy, writing for the popular environmental website Grist.com, rehashed it. High-fructose corn syrup, he began, was "fueling the obesity crisis." He then replicated the same errors that marred Rogers' debacle. 

Of course, there are good reasons to hate corn sugar—as it shall henceforth be known—including the subsidy-sucking industry behind it. But the nutritional reasons were always dubious, and even some of the most sugar-hostile experts are coming out against the idea that corn syrup is uniquely culpable for American obesity.

Reason has been on this beat for a while now.

NEXT: Is This Really the Best Prohibitionists Can Do?

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  1. Just taste regular Mountain Dew and Mountain Dew Throwback and you’ll realize what HFCS has done for drinks.

    1. Some folks over at lewrockwell.com certainly agree with you. But color me skeptical. Has anyone done a double-blind taste test?

      1. Personally, I wouldn’t need to. I even like the taste of *diet* soda better than the taste of HFCS soda. Cane sugar soda tastes best of all.

        1. Also, HFCS sodas have an absolutely DISGUSTING after taste.

          1. And diet sodas have an absolutely disgusting foretaste. Nasty stuff.

        2. It is for people like you that the double blind test was invented. ALWAYS consider the possibility that you may be wrong, that your most cherished beliefs may be incorrect. In other words, why not try the test. If the results are what you expect, the you have confirmed your belief. On the tiny chance that you were wrong, you will know something now that you didn’t before.
          Of course, the whole basis of my argument stems from from an empirical world view, which may itself be incorrect.

          1. the whole basis of my argument stems from from an empirical world view, which may itself be incorrect

            No it doesn’t, and no it cannot.

            1. Care to explain?

        3. I even like the taste of *diet* soda better than the taste of HFCS soda.

          You disgust me.

          Plus, aspartame has its own health problems.

          1. Plus, aspartame has its own health problems.

            Credible citation needed. And please, by all means, link to that study where they pump the rats with levels well above any normal level of consumption to “prove” that aspartame “causes” cancer. That’s always good for a laugh.

            Just taste regular Mountain Dew and Mountain Dew Throwback and you’ll realize what HFCS has done for drinks.

            I hear this all the time, but it seems to be motivated by snobbery – man up and take the double-blind test.

            1. While it was only single blind, I remember taking the “Pepsi challenge” at the KY state fair as a young lad. I tried the two and immediately said “this ones Coke”. Then she asked which I liked better and I said “this one, its Coke”. I was right, of course, like any soda connoisseur couldnt tell which is which.

          2. Actually, aspartame is a dipeptide (more specifically the methyl ester of a dipeptide) containing Phenylalanine and Aspartic acid which are found in all proteins, and is extremely safe unless you have a disease called PKU which is diagnosed in infants. If you have PKU, you have to keep all phenylalanine from all proteins out of your diet which is hard since most proteins have it.

            It is extremely safe. Two silly arguments you hear are that it racemizes but so do all amino acids found in proteins and that it can breakdown to make methanol but methanol is found in small amounts in fruit so again, not a problem.

            1. It is extremely safe. Two silly arguments you hear are that it racemizes but so do all amino acids found in proteins and that it can breakdown to make methanol but methanol is found in small amounts in fruit so again, not a problem.

              Studies show that fruit juices and pulps can increase blood methanol levels far greater than aspartame consumption. People hear “methanol is toxic” and assume this is true for all concentrations, which is not true. The human body has evolved to metabolize, without harm, chronic low levels of methanol (primarily from microbial fermentation).

            2. Safe, but… tastes like burning…

    2. I’m afraid I can’t. I don’t have a mullet or watch Nascar. It’s to bad as I would like to try this “Mountain Dew” that you speak of.

      1. IT’S EXTREME!!!

        1. So’s wearing a wifebeater while beating your, wait for it, wife with a pipe. No mountain dew for me, plz.

          1. Remember, no thicker than your index finger for metal pipes, no thicker than your thumb for wood.

            1. Can’t do much damage with that then, can we? Perhaps it should have been a rule of wrist?

              1. *Punches Coeus

      2. Have also seen Throwback Pepsi.

        Or try Mexican/Passover Coca-Cola and HFCS Coca-Cola.

        1. Actually, I’m drinking a throwback Pepsi right now. It reminds me of those days gone by . . . when women couldn’t vote and minorities were in their place. Good times . . . good times.

        2. They also have olde school Dr. Pepper. It’s very nice.

        3. For all the justifiable talk about the corn subsidy, I noticed the Pepsi Throwback has a lower unit price at Costco than the normal stuff. Weird.

        4. Mexican coke tastes better but *it’s too sweet*.

      3. Sucrose = Glucose + Fructose

        Fructose “tastes” sweeter than glucose, so converting corn sugar (mostly glucose) to HFCS-55 (55% Fructose) brings the perceived sweetness up to about the same level as table sugar (Sucrose). It seems like I have recently read that HFCS-55 is actually perceived as sweeter than Sucrose, but I don’t have a reference at hand.

        So plain-old corn syrup must be converted to HFCS to make it palatable in soft drinks as a replacement for Sucrose.

        As other people have stated, there is a difference in mouthfeel as well. I personally prefer the “throwback” products because they don’t taste as sweet and they have a brighter, crisper mouthfeel.

        It should also be noted that HFCS-55 has roughly the same Fructose/Glucose ration as honey. No one complains that honey is bad for you, so the complaints about HFCS ring hollow to me.

        The real problem is portion sizes. When I was a lad, McD’s sold two sizes of drinks — small and large. Around 1976 or so, McD’s introduced the monster 20 oz extra large. Small is now a child’s size; large is now considered small; extra large is now considered medium and the default size for most people; and then there is the quart size for people that aren’t satisfied with 400 calories or so of refined sugar in the “medium”.

        We are fat because we consume several times more sugar per day than 35 years ago when I left high school. The conversion from Sucrose to HFCS occurred at roughly the same size as portion inflation. The demonetization of HFCS allows people to shift the blame from themselves to evil corporations.

        1. Well, keep in mind also that glucose requires active transport to cross cell membranes where fructose is permeable.

          1. Well, keep in mind also that glucose requires active transport to cross cell membranes where fructose is permeable.

            Facilitated diffusion of fructose is slower than active transport of glucose. Although I don’t know how intestinal transport of monosaccharides is demonstrative of some detriment to health.

            1. It means the net caloric balance of a single molecule of fructose is higher, since you need to, on average, consume less energy to burn it.

              1. It means the net caloric balance of a single molecule of fructose is higher, since you need to, on average, consume less energy to burn it.

                But in the real world, fructose consumption is linked with glucose consumption (HFCS, sucrose, etc.), so there are really few scenarios of pure fructose consumption vs. pure glucose consumption.

        2. This. And the demonization of fats in almost all their forms and the constant urging to cut our consumption of proteins and fats in favor of more bread, pasta, Snackwell cookies and fat-free salad dressings with HFCS and starch thickeners used to recreate the mouthfeel of fat…

      4. I was disappointed to see that when Mountain Dew did the “throwback” thing, they didn’t include the original slogan : “It’ll tickle yer innards”

    3. Taste is subjective.

  2. Whatever happened to Dave W?

    1. He was posting here long before 2009, so the dating of the beginning of anti-HFCS boosterism at that time is way off. I remember him debating about whether we should invade Iraq, which puts him at 2003.

      1. I thought of him immediately. Definitely years before 2009.

        1. He’s commented at Urkobold in the last year or so.

          1. … and got some posts immediately deleted there! (insert evil face)

            jeez. we’re all thinking of this twaddlenock. just make sure you don’t bump your glocks.

            1. Can’t you let him off the hook, for old times’ sake?

  3. Soon, My children, Mommy will protect you from this syrup of the devil…

    1. More Slurm please.

  4. The reason people go in for the OMG HFCS IS TEH EVUL is because it seems to make intuitive sense. Look, right when we changed to corn syrup, we started getting fatter! Sugar tastes better! It’s “high” fructose! And so on.

    I don’t like to see people I otherwise respect go in full hog on what is essentially a conspiracy theory. I know it just feels true, but to a rational person that shouldn’t mean jack shit.

    And fuck ADM and the other corn subsidy whores; I don’t care for sugar over HFCS one way or the other, but I do care about subsidies.

    1. Hey, they just paid me to listen.

      1. That’s a winner, right there.

    2. I saw a commercial defending HFCS.

      A chick asks a dude if he wants a popsicle and he turns it down because, hey, HFCS, right? She gives him a lecture and he decides to have the popsicle anyway.

      At that moment I stopped laughing at the HFCS/sugar debate.

      They’ve started making official denials.

      1. Uh, no. This retarded belief is shifting the market to where enough people are demanding sugar, and the corn producers are freaked out that suppliers like WalMart will pressure Coke to switch back to sugar (like they pressured them to switch from aspartame to sucralose), because WalMart has the clout to do it.

        Now, I have zero pity for the corn suppliers, but they’re creating these commercials to stop a market sea change, not to make “official denials”.

        Jesus, people go fucking crazy over this subject.

        1. Epi you fool! You’ve doomed us all to HFCS rants! You’ve played right into Dave W’s hands!

          Who will no doubt be around shortly.

          1. FARCES WANNA MO

            1. Over my head. Link?

              No! I won’t google it and sift through to find your meaning. My hands hurt from beating up that wal mart associate who tried to prevent me from pouring out all the HFCS evil on the syrup aisle. Yes. They have a syrup aisle.

              1. It’s the name of Dave’s band (and I think his website). I dare you to google it.

                1. My other incarnation would have had the courage. Sith lords fear only x-wing fighters going after exhaust ports.

                  1. Only wussy Sith lords fear such things.

                    1. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN THEY BLEW IT UP!!

                      *pause*

                      WHAT THE HELL IS AN ALUMINUM FALCON!!

                    2. BTW Pro Lib, why has Urkobold once again forsaken my witty and insightful banter? I’ve been locked out of the sight again for the last few weeks. Now the handle “Naga Sadow” sets of the reason server squirrel with the outrageous comment that my handle is a known third party spammer. Bad day I guess.

                    3. Sight=site

                    4. “naga… naga… naganna post hier anymore, anyways”

                    5. Locked out? Is it a work filter? Did we lose our NC-17 rating?

                    6. Help me obi wan Liberate! You’re our only hope!

                    7. Is it Naga or Leia Sadow?

                    8. Depends on what mood I’m in.

          1. Can’t WTFV at work, but why would I be creeped out by a commercial?

        2. Sucralose has some chlorines substituted for oxygens so their claim that it is natural because it is made from sugar is pretty funny. I doubt that sucralose is bad for you in normal amounts, but aspartame is my choice IF you are worried about how natural something truly is.

          1. Sucralose has some chlorines substituted for oxygens so their claim that it is natural because it is made from sugar is pretty funny. I doubt that sucralose is bad for you in normal amounts, but aspartame is my choice IF you are worried about how natural something truly is.

            Amusingly, the anti-synthetic sweetener crowd often touts Stevia as a “healthy” calorie free sweetener. Yet early research on Stevia compounds showed mutagenicity. Later studies contradicted these claims, but the anti-Nutrasweet crowd bases their whole argument on cherry picked data that is contradicted by considerable evidence.

            And when the cherry picked data doesn’t work, then they state that Donald Rumsfeld pressured the FDA into allowing Nutrasweet onto the market. I mean to the Left that’s like case closed.

        3. Although I agree with your rationality, I will scamper away like a little girl when the HFCS mob comes to burn you at the stake.
          people just have beliefs that there are things in their food…put there by nefarious forces…

    3. It’s not just corn subsidies. Aren’t there still tariffs on imported cane sugar?

      1. You say tariff I say mmm.

    4. I was gonna say just drink beer instead but never mind

  5. If thinking HFCS is evil will make people want to stop subsidizing it, then that’s not all bad. Either way, it tastes like crap.

    1. But they don’t. That’s the really fucked up part of this. They scream about how cheap fake sugar is killing us, without ever considering what makes it cheap. They’d rather spend millions of dollars regulating its use and “informing” consumers.

      When the correct response is also the cheapest and easiest.

      I don’t want to be a cynic, but sometimes I really think that humanity is fucked.

      1. And then they turn around and try and levy taxes on soda. They subsidize it so we drink it, and then they tax us when we drink it. And most people never even question it or even think about it.

        1. cf. also tobacco

      2. People?

        As Ah-nold said, back in the day

        “It’s in your nature to destroy yourselves”

  6. Mexican Coca-Cola is made with sugar, and tastes like it did 50 years ago when I was a kid.

    1. Mexican Coca-Cola also has a different formula from US Coca-Cola.

      1. Probably true. I drink Coca-Cola only, and when I travel to foreign countries, I notice the taste is slightly different in each one.

      2. The extra roach adds a subtle nutty boquet.

    2. Mexican Coke is also illegal.

      1. Mexican Coke is also illegal.

        I can get it all over here in Tucson.

        Now mexican meth… thats another story…

      2. No it isn’t. It’s sold by the pallet in my Costco in Houston.

    3. Sherman, set the wayback machine to 1902 and we can snort a line of cocola.

    4. Its also made with kidnapped 9 year olds. Fuck that takes me back.

  7. HFCS hate may have become a news clich? that way, but lefto-puritan assholes of my acquaintance have been all HFCS=SATAN?because the name sounds science-y and it’s in products that give poor people a filthy-animal pleasure they shouldn’t be allowed to experience?for about ten years.

    1. Yes. They are scientishic, not scientific. About everything.

    2. Oh my god! You nailed it right there.

  8. 1) I am fat.
    2) As a kid I ate corn syrup; in candy, recipes, and when we ran out of maple syrup.
    3) Therefore, the reason I am fat is this evil substance, not my patterns of food choice and overall caloric intake.
    4) Therefore, NOT MY FAULT!
    Everybody is looking to shift blame onto something else; in psychology they call this externalization. When something outside of you is responsible, you don’t have to accept responsibility for yourself. The external locus of control is on full display with this.

    1. Patterns of food choice affect overall caloric intake though. My steak and asparagus cooked in butter have far less calories and sugar than your pasta dish.

      1. Nuh-uh! You’re supposed to load up on bread, pasta, and carbs! The USDA showed me a pyramid with a full plate of pasta on the bottom, so it must be true.

        1. In the vein of Xeones:

          Yo, fuck the USDA.

      2. …far fewer calories…

      3. Eat less and you wont get fat. It worked for Africa, i bet it can work in America too!

    2. I used to be fat.
      About 6 months ago I started exercising and dieting and voila, a mere 4 months later and I had gone down 20 kgs.
      Of course for a while I had to give up on fast food, white bread, sweets, pastry and switch to diet sodas.
      Now I enjoy all of the things above again, but in moderation.
      That’s why I’m pissed at anybody asking for more regulation and taxation of “bad” foods. It just takes a little restraint and responsability, no need for the nanny state to slap my hand when I want to buy a burger.

      1. I think it was cutting out the 20 kegs that dropped the pounds. That’s quite excessive.

  9. DAVEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!

  10. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    He draws near . . .

    1. Dave W.
      Dave W.
      Dave W.

      1. DAMMIT! I’M A PERSON, NOT A PIRATE!

        1. LIES!!

          I would taunt you for your oversight but . . . something . . . syrupy this way comes . . .

          1. careful Pham and grylliade, you’ll get into a sticky situation!

    2. The dark drink drops again, but now I know
      That twenty thousand posts of crazy were vexed to blather by the syrup sweet
      And what moonybat, His hour come around at last
      Slouched toward hitandrun spewing insanity?

  11. One of the problems here is with this idea that fat = disease = death, i.e. the obesity myth. Even if HFCS did cause obesity, the idea that obesity is a problem is based on some really crappy data.

    Secondly, who benefits from the anti-hfcs movement? The Sugar Lobby!

    Last but not least – no matter what you make it with, soda contains zero nutritional value.

    1. this is a myth? OMG — gotta run, there’s an apple pie in the kitchen calling my name……….

    2. Obesity is a problem: fatties are ugly, have higher amounts of gross diseases like diabetes, and are generally not as jolly as I’d like them to be.

      1. I’m jolly as fuck, you lackwit.

        1. You’re more jocund than jolly, but significantly more venal. So it all works out.

          1. Of course you defend zoltan. You girls need to stick together.

            1. You chauvinist pig! I just dress like a girl.

        2. You just don’t chortle enough. Chortling, now that’s jolly.

        3. Noooo, SugarFree, I didn’t mean to offend you. I just meant other fatties with diabetes.

    3. Secondly, who benefits from the anti-hfcs movement? The Sugar Lobby!

      Big Sugar is full of corrupt and unethical businessmen who are in collusion with politicans and government officials. I watched every episode of Cane until it was canceled, so I consider myself to be a bit of an expert on the subject.

  12. Thank you reason. Here is your paycheck. Oh shit, this is your comments board.

    uh… Go freedom!

    1. Max Chony fails >9000

    2. Only an idiot would believe the truth never favored people trying to make money. Especially in cases where people on both sides are trying to make money.

  13. 1. America has ALWAYS run on urban legends and old wives tales.

    2. Coke with real sugar definitely tastes different.

    1. I thought American ran on Dunkin.

      1. have a coke and a smile

    2. Coco-cola is a good prophylatic. Just douche with it after sex.

  14. From what I got from Wiki, “corn syrup” is almost 100% glucose. HFCS is corn syrup that has part of the glucose converted to fructose. Sucrose, which is cane sugar, is broken down in the digestive tract into glucose and fructose. Hmmm? But, if one were to mention this to an HFCS hater, they will be quick to point out that all processed sugar is evil, and obesity has absolutely nothing to do with behavior.

    And don’t forget, saccharin causes cancer in rats. Therefore, it must cause cancer in humans, as well, right? And BTW, it’s made from coal tar.

    1. Refined sugar pretty much sucks. Considering humans have really only been eating it for 10,000 years hasn’t really allowed for the body to evolve to process it. Excessive sugar also causes excess blood glucose which causes an insulin spike. Not good for the body.

      marksdailyapple.com and the links to other health sites there can help you out with this.

      1. Sure. Refined sugar is also what an orgasm would taste like if you could eat it. Therein lies the problem.

        1. Why, it oughta be illegal!

        2. So orgasms dont taste like cherry pie???

          DAMN YOU WARRANT!

      2. eating it for 10,000 years hasn’t really allowed for the body to evolve to process it.

        10,000 years is plenty of time for human evolution to occur.
        Example:
        http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_…..tions.html

        1. We have and continue to evolve. Perhaps everyone turning into a fat-ass is the next stage in evolution.

          1. The museum of natural history is collecting bus seats now to show the slow increase in ass cheak imprint sizes over the ages.

      3. Refined sugar pretty much sucks. Considering humans have really only been eating it for 10,000 years hasn’t really allowed for the body to evolve to process it.

        This claim has been stated endlessly, yet I’ve never seen anyone argue what IS the required time necessary for humans to “process” sugar. This is ignoring the reality that the human body is VERY efficient, like virtually all organisms, at processing carbohydrates (Embden-Meyerhoff, anyone?).

        Excessive sugar also causes excess blood glucose which causes an insulin spike. Not good for the body.

        Excessive consumption of all macronutrients causes problems. It is not restricted to sugar.

      4. The human body does process sugar. It breaks it down into fructose and glucose. Just so you know the ONLY substance in the universe the human body uses for energy is glucose.

        1. We need glucose but we can burn fats and proteins in the TCA cycle for energy.

        2. Just so you know the ONLY substance in the universe the human body uses for energy is glucose.

          I must be an anomaly in this here universe, because my body can derive energy from fatty acids through beta-oxidation and ketones.

    2. HFCS is corn syrup that has part of the glucose converted to fructose. Sucrose, which is cane sugar, is broken down in the digestive tract into glucose and fructose. Hmmm?

      I think the argument is that the body breaks down sucrose in a more slow, regulated way into glucose and fructose. Eating HFCS just gives you the glucose and fructose immediately without the body being given a chance to regulate the rate it is broken down and you get a higher sugar spike.

  15. The best thing Corn could be processed into is old-fashioned corn whiskey.

  16. It feels so appropriate for me to comment in this thread.

    1. For everyone who insists you can taste the difference between HFCS and table sugar in soda, try a blind taste test (a real one) sometime, I bet you you can’t consistently tell the difference. Most people can’t even tell the difference between coke and pepsi without being told.

    2. The only difference between hfcs is that it has slightly more fructose than regular table sugar (sucrose) after it is metabolised.

    3. Everybody is acting like a melodramatic pussy.

    1. 1. I haven’t drank regular soda for years, but I know I can tell the difference between coke and pepsi.

      2 & 3. Agreed.

    2. 1. For everyone who insists you can taste the difference between HFCS and table sugar in soda, try a blind taste test (a real one) sometime, I bet you you can’t consistently tell the difference.

      I probably could. To my everlasting shame, I prefer corn syrup cola, as far as I can tell. I wish it were different, but every time I can remember having cane sugar cola, I was unimpressed. But I’d still rather have it than crappy subsidized cola.

      Most people can’t even tell the difference between coke and pepsi without being told.

      Now that, I can do. I never believed there was much difference between Pepsi and Coke, until I drank a Coke, wanted more, and all I had left was a Pepsi (it was a roommate’s!). I drank the Pepsi, and almost immediately poured it out, it was so disgusting. There definitely is a difference, and it’s a tangible (tastable?) difference.

      1. Jesus man! You poured out pepsi!!??! And you have the temerity to utter blasphemy as well!?!!? I may have to cancel my subscription.

  17. For me, drinks made with HFCS fail on several levels, mouth feel, satisfaction, and taste. Cane sugar makes a drink that is much crisper without that slimy mouth feel, the drink tends to quench ones thirst rather that making one thirstier, and has a clean bright taste.

    The conspiracy theorist in me would wonder if studies didn’t find that people simply drink more of HFCS drinks because they aren’t being satisfied and that’s a major reason for drink manufacturers to keep using it.

  18. Two words, friends: sugar quota. I’ll never be able to enjoy HFCS properly knowing that I could be having genuine sugar for cheaper if it weren’t for the nineteenth century agricultural protectionism we’re saddled with in this nation.

    1. Too fuckin’ bad. Suck it.

    2. Umm, wat? You’re blaming ADM for US Sugar being on Uncle Sam’s teat? I’m missing something.

  19. This viral sentence?one that should have referred to fructose?infected the entire article.

    Coming out in time for the holiday shoppers: The Corn Syrup Delusion by Richard Dwarkins.

    1. You mean the nutrition and health industry conduct bad science? Well color me Ancel Keys.

  20. The gas additive made from corn makes cars sluggish and lowers mileage. Drinking HFCS Coke makes me sluggish too. That proves that HFCS is bad for man and machine.

  21. Huh – Sugarfree not commenting?

    Probably waiting for the big SugarTwin versus Nutrasweet smackdown later…

    1. No, no, no…NutraSweet understands that stevia is the natural choice.

  22. Are you suggesting some sort of SugarFree and Bizarro SugarFree smackdown?

  23. If it tastes good just eat it and stop worrying. If you were really worried about your health you would be eating vegetables.

    1. Goverment confusion:

      Ban tobacco smoke, its bad.

      Legalize pot, its good medicine.

      Ban hfcs, it makes kids into fatasses.

      Okay so i am all for legalizing pot, i just dont understand how pot is okay, but the other two are not. Oh wait, dumbass liberal pot activists conned the government into thinking they can make tax revenue off of pot. Im sure those tax rates will be just as fair as the ones for soda and tobacco.

  24. Abandon thread!!

  25. Brett said,

    Umm, wat? You’re blaming ADM for US Sugar being on Uncle Sam’s teat? I’m missing something.

    The sugar tariffs that keep out foreign sugar are what make HFCS (made by ADM) cost competitive with sugar.

    It is a two rent seeking entities being stronger than one situation.

    Oops forgot the corn farmers it is three rent seeking entities.

  26. Just as an aside, one of the benefits I found living in Mexico?

    The local Coca Cola bottlers don’t use corn syrup. They use cane sugar, and it tastes so much better with cane sugar.

    It’s almost like the difference between drinking Diet Coke and regular–cane sugar Coke is the bomb.

    1. I’ve tasted both Cokes side by side and didn’t notice a difference. Even if there was a slight difference, comparing it to diet is just outrageous.

    2. Like i said at the top of the thread. Taste is subjective.

      Furthermore, fructose is fructose. If you are worried about fructose intake, then dont take it in, but just know that the body doesn’t really know the difference between the fructose in Mexicoke and Americoke. High fructose corn syrup is not called high fructose because it has more fructose than other sources, but rather because corn syrup on its own doesnt contain any fructose, therefore, if you have corn syrup with any fructose, it is high in fructose.

  27. Why is no one talking about the journalists who started all this, because they don’t understand what the people they are interviewing, are saying? Because they don’t know about anything but stringing words together.

    The only thing you can believe is actually true in a published article is the sport scores and (maybe) the stock market prices. Everything else should be considered suspect, because it is reported by people who don’t understand what they are reporting. And this includes even reporters at a journal called Reason.

  28. Ok everybody, get ready, I’m going to say something very, very, very unpopular.
    What is making Americans obese is too much sitting on their butts while watching television or sitting in front of the computer! The idea that a single food is what is making Americans obese is ludicrous (even if corn subsidies are a bad idea). You want to lose weight? Want your kids to lose weight? THEN GET OFF YOUR BUTTS!
    There is a formula for losing weight that has *thousands* of years of proven effectiveness behind it: EAT LESS AND EXERCISE MORE! Duh. Geeze!!! Stop blaming food(s) for your laziness and gluttony.

  29. ARTIE HAS FINALLY GOTTEN HIS YELLOW BELT IN “MASTERING THE OBVIOUS”!

    FOR THIS, THE WEIBSKOBOLD SHALL DELIVER THEE A COOKIE. MADE WITH KALE.

    1. Oooooooh I never had a kale cookie before! Does it have genetically engineered salmon icing?!? Thank yous very much Minion 🙂

      PS- just so you know, I’m a she, not a he. Artie= short for Artemis 🙂

  30. Episiarch’s right – even normally rational libertarians act like crazy people when it comes to this subject.

  31. Blogging leads to obesity.

  32. There is a medical condition called Fructose Malabsorption, which is similar to Lactose Intolerance. In Fructose Malabsorption, the fructose molecules do not get absorbed in the proper part of the gut (top part, right after the stomach). It then arrives at a part of the intestine that it is not intended to be, and the good bacteria that exist there turn into Incredible Hulk Bacteria, and cause much havoc, in turn causing malabsorption of needed nutrients. In some cases, people diagnosed with IBS are actually suffering from Fructose Malabsorption. It is said that Fructose Malabsorption affects 1 in 3 people, with half of those having symptoms that they notice. It was first discovered in children, and started being written up in medical journals about five years ago.

  33. Yesterday I argued that approving GE salmon would greatly benefit people with a family history of heart problems. The reduction in cost would make it available to a larger segment of people. So we essentially block the advent of a food that could increase the quality of our health because of unknowns. Isn’t HFCS the unhealthy flipside? Don’t get me wrong, all this talk of regulation isn’t going to help, but making an unhealthy product cheaper would seem to have logical consequences.

  34. Sugar is terrible for you. It’s pretty much poison. Any kind of sugar. And it does cause you to get fat. Here’s a video by Dr. Robert Lustig in which he speaks based on on actual evidence:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

    Per investigative science journalist Gary Taubes’ exhaustively researched book Good Calories, Bad Calories, it’s carbohydrates — sugar, flour, and easily digested starches like potatoes — that drive the excess insulin secretion that puts on fat.

    Another great source of actually evidence-based writing on what to eat is Dr. Michael Eades: http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/

    Also, cardiologist Dr. William H. Davis.

    Katherine, love ya usually, every time I read you, but you shouldn’t be writing about science.

  35. Here’s an incredible post on why saturated fat is good for you and high-carb diets are bad, and make you fat (and ill).

    http://girlgoneprimal.blogspot.com/p/show-me-science.html

  36. Sugar is poison? You’re an idiot. A funny idiot but lets not detract from the fact that you’re an idiot.

  37. I’m surprised nobody here has mentioned the mercury in HFCS that was reported by the Washington Post:

    HFCS Mercury

    Even the corn lobby spokesman admitted they used to put mercury in HFCS!

    “This study appears to be based on outdated information of dubious significance,” said Audrae Erickson, president of the Corn Refiners Association, in a statement. “Our industry has used mercury-free versions of the two re-agents mentioned in the study, hydrochloric acid and caustic soda, for several years. These mercury-free re-agents perform important functions, including adjusting pH balances.” so they use to secretly poison us but now the industry that likes to fuck us with tariffs on sugar and steal our tax money…is telling the truth to us…So you’d have to be a conspircay nut not to trust them now?

    1. I’m surprised nobody here has mentioned the mercury in HFCS that was reported by the Washington Post:

      HFCS Mercury

      Even the corn lobby spokesman admitted they used to put mercury in HFCS!

      This study was not peer reviewed and complete bullshit. I read it when it came out and it detected parts per TRILLION of mercury in foods that contained HFCS. There was no correlation between amount of HFCS with mercury content, although there was a correlation (not discussed by the authors) with mercury and grain contents, which is expected since plants absorb elements from the soil and mercury is naturally occuring.

      It was a propaganda piece, not science.

  38. so maybe the anti-HFCS people are wrong…but if the massive swell of hate for HFCS puts a company or two out of business then I think that is swell. fuck big corn.

  39. It seems like the HFCS lobby would have really gotten after the Washington Post or “Environmental Health” for publishing lies if the mercurcy in HFCS story was not true…but instead all they do is attack strawmen.

  40. Fructose does not cause an insulin increase, but it’s more lipogenic.

    Sucrose is not as lipogenic as sucrose, but does cause an insulin spike.

    Put them together, like you do in HFCS (~50/50 sucrose/fructose) and you get a perfect storm to fatten you.

    And about artificial sweeteners being fattening, this is old news, but it’s not widely known enough. Anybody wants citations just visit your local friendly pubmed site.

    1. HFCS is 50/50 glucose/fructose, just like sugar (sucrose), and it’s debatable whether it’s any more of a “perfect storm” than sugar.

      Of course I prefer the taste of sugar, and Fuck Big Corn!

  41. http://www.sciencedaily.com/se…..corn+syrup

    Good CYA with “uniquely culpable for American obesity.” Anyone claiming there is something uniquely culpable is an idiot.

    Note that some of these studies deal with fructose in general, rather than HFCS. Table sugar (sucrose) and HFCS are the two major dietary sources of fructose.

    Some key quotations:

    “excessive fructose consumption seemed to increase new onset of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors associated with the development of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.”

    “We found that increased consumption of high fructose corn syrup was associated with scarring in the liver, or fibrosis, among patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD most common cause of liver disease worldwide ),”

    “Fructose, the research team found, had different effects to that of glucose and caused the fat cells to differentiate more — that is, to form more mature fat cells — but only in visceral fat.”

    “These results indicate that high fructose intake in the form of added sugars is significantly and independently associated with higher blood pressure levels in the US adult population with no previous history of hypertension,”

    “Heaney found that the pancreatic cancer cells could easily distinguish between glucose and fructose even though they are very similar structurally, and contrary to conventional wisdom, the cancer cells metabolized the sugars in very different ways.”

    “However, fructose intake has increased dramatically in recent decades and cellular uptake of glucose and fructose uses distinct transporters … these findings show that cancer cells can readily metabolize fructose to increase proliferation. They have major significance for cancer patients, given dietary refined fructose consumption.”

  42. Hmm, yeah, this is a pretty sweet article I just wrote. No difference between High Fructose Corn Syrup vs. Sugar in terms of health. I’m certainly not going to bother doing a quick search on pubmed for a scientific study because I write for reason and we are smug as fuuuuuuuuuck.

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