HFCS. High-fructose corn syrup.
I was just subjected to an ad by these motherfuckers as payment for watching a YouTube video. Gag me with a spoon!
OK, HFCS. You got my attention. You want to play? Let’s play!
First things first. The ads say they are paid for by the “Corn Refiners Association.”
WTF #1 – Corn can be refined? Now that’s something I didn’t now, and didn’t want to know. Ever!
Technically the ad I saw was paid for by The Center for Consumer Freedom. Ah, freedom! Such a noble concept. Who could ever object to something like “freedom,” right?
So who is this Center for Consumer Freedom, anyway? According to their official web site:
The Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit coalition of restaurants, food companies, and consumers working together to promote personal responsibility and protect consumer choices.
Am I reading that correctly? It seems they are saying that those who use their products are irresponsible but that we should have the freedom to be irresponsible like that if we want.
Not quite the most compelling inducement of all time. Heh!
The commercial I saw had an ear of corn in a police line up with a sugar cube and a bottle of honey. It made the following points:
- All three have the same calories.
- All three are processed by the body in the same way.
As my body double Chris Farley was often wont say, “Well, La-Dee Frickin’ Dah!”
Let’s assume the claims in this ad are true. What has been proved? Is HFCS healthy? No. They make no such claim. If anything, the ad can be interpreted as saying, “Hey, don’t pick on us. We’re just as bad as these other guys.”
But that’s not where my beef lies with these folks. (Did I mention they hate PETA, too?)
Try This at Home Science Experiment
It’s time for a science experiment, boys and girls. One you can even do yourselves!
For this experiment you will need:
- The ability to read
- A grocery store
Step 1 – Go to a grocery store.
Step 2 – Find the soup aisle.
Step 3 – Pick up a can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup.
Step 4- Read the label and find the ingredients.
Step 5 – Identify the third ingredient listed, by volume. (Per U.S. labeling laws.)
Well, what did you come up with?
If you found “high-fructose corn syrup” you are a critical thinker and first class scientist! Well done! (For my photograph above I used Brand X and HFCS was the second ingredient. It went: tomato, HFCS, then water. Mmm mmm good food, eh?)
According to the label on the can, that’s 24 grams of sugar carbohydrates per “serving.” And we all know what a “serving” is, right? About 1/4 of what a typical American will eat. 🙂
It’s not just tomato soup, either. HFCS can be found in a dizzying array of surprising products. Why is that, you think? Americans have quite the sweet tooth. Even our non-dessert foods need to be sugary.
Now the people who brought us plan to rename their product. Instead of “high fructose corn syrup” it will be “corn sugar.” Their goal? Obfuscation! It seems HFCS has a negative connotation in the minds of many consumers these days, so the solution is obvious. Rename it! That should be them some time.
The Corn Refiners Association has a high opinion of consumers. “Clearly the name is confusing consumers,” said the president of the group. (Source.)
I don’t think consumers are confused at all.
A high fructose corn syrup by any other name would smell as sweet.