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Yeah, I know. My photos are usually of natural things. Like real food. No, I haven’t lost my mind (not totally, anyway).

Let me explain. I just received an email from one of my blog readers asking me what the deal was with the High Fructose Corn Syrup commercials. I hadn’t seen them, so I did a little research and while I’m not going to jump all over the Corn Refiners Association (well, maybe a little) — sure enough, they’re pulling out what they’re calling the “Sweet Surprise” campaign. And on the surface, they’re not fibbing about the facts. No, they aren’t lying, BUT (the famous “but”) they’re also not telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God.

They suggest that HFCS is fine in “moderation.” Moderation is a bandwagon I continually jump on, BUT my definition of moderation and theirs is probably very different. There are also many things I wouldn’t consider eating — even in moderation. Plus, foods that contain HFCS are usually highly refined junk foods that often contain other forms of sugar and non-food additives. HFCS pals around with hydrogenated fats, artificial flavors, strange dyes, and other questionable friends. As I mentioned in my prior sugar post, highly refined sugars (white table sugar, HFCS) have had all the nutrient value stripped through the processing, leaving a nutritionally void source of calories.

So, as I sit here reading the ingredient list that accompanies these little treats pictured above, I stick with my original story. Use natural forms of sugar such as honey, pure maple syrup, or molasses and use those in moderation. Skip the processed stuff and eat real food, which is usually lower in calories and comes with the nutrients and fiber your body needs and wants.

Thanks, but no thanks to the Corn Refiners Association and HFCS — even with this new and “enlightening” information.

Check out these commercials and tell me what you think.

These little snacks pictured here have been hidden away on my closet shelf for over a year. I’ve been saving them for something special. Today’s the day! Don’t worry, even though I’d do just about anything for a few organic jelly beans right now (I’m doing a sugar cleanse), I’m not tempted to eat these things. Even if they were gluten-free. I bought them because I wanted to see how long they’d last. They’re back in the closet again. Look for another post using these same models next year.

The label list on the pink treats (I won’t name any names) is about 45 ingredients long, with 3 forms of sugar, 2 being at the top of the list. There’s not much nutritional value there. The best thing on the list might actually be the pork gelatin (yes, that’s an ingredient). Or maybe the beef fat. Ugh!

You get the idea. Now, go eat a peach. Yum, that’s a real sweet surprise!

8 Responses to “Sugar part 2 – HFCS commercials”

  1. Cindy says:

    Melissa, thanks for the post! We laughed our butts off at those commercials, Jon found them on YouTube awhile ago. I guess it shows how much momentum to anti-HFCS movement has at the moment. I think that’s a good thing- what a day when the chemical additive and flavourings/meat/corn/milk/sugar councils have to defend their products! Horrah! We’re all convinced from the dairy council that we need to “drink your milk” for Calcium- I actually got into a fight with a UNC nutritionist about that one. Guess she hadn’t heard about broccoli ;) Anyways, that’s another rant (though Ben Kim has a nice blog article on Calcium from non-dairy sources, have you seen it?). You’re right, we all need balance. I figure if I can’t pronounce the ingredient and it doesn’t look like a real word, I shouldn’t eat it. Lol, I love your pink perversions-of-a-dessert there. I bet they’ll last another few years at least. Heck, my parents have stuff in their pantry from the 1980′s- no I’m not kidding- and they want to keep it, ewww! I want to link to your sugar series on Cindalou’s- do you have a single address for both posts I could use as a “Melissa angers the Sugar Gods” Link? Thanks again!
    Cindy

  2. Melissa says:

    Cindy — I just love having you for a side-kick in this quest for better health! I’ll email you the links. In the meantime, if you’re interested, here’s a post I did on non-dairy calcium sources.
    http://www.glutenfreeforgood.com/blog/?p=314

    I’ll connect with you over at cindalou’s.
    :-)

  3. Tiffany says:

    Those commercials make me so mad!!! SO MAD!

    Yes, HFCS is OK in moderation, but try teaching your young child to eat it in moderation. Before he gets diabetes. Good luck with that.

    OK, enough of my angry rant, but seriously, 1 in 3 kids born in the year 2000 will have diabetes in their lifetime. I say to just avoid the stuff as best you can.

  4. Melissa says:

    Tiffany — I haven’t seen those diabetes numbers, but I’m not surprised with all the junk food targeted to kids. Thanks for commenting on that. When people see those statistics, hopefully it will make an impression. It’s really sad. And like I said, sugar’s not evil, it’s just SO unhealthy to be pumping into your body at that rate.

  5. Kay says:

    You know a food ingredient is bad for you if it needs a spin doctor and an ad campaign. I was angry when I saw these commercials because their message is “It’s okay to feed HFCS to the people you love.”

    Ad campaigns don’t come free. So folks will now be spending more money for foods with that ingredient.

    I have a long list of food allergies, including wheat, corn and soy. So I eat basic foods, in their basic form. While reading food labels early on, it became apparent that any product with a long list of ingredients won’t work for me. And if I can’t pronounce any of the ingredient names, I just put it back on the shelf.

  6. Melissa says:

    Kay — all good points! Yes, if you can’t pronounce it, it’s probably not worth eating!

  7. Sheila says:

    Hi Melissa, I just stumbled upon your website via Gluten-free Girl Shauna. I am glad that you write about the dangers of HFCS. Luckily I haven’t seen these terrible sugar commercials that you have in the US. Thankfully they aren’t in Canada, yet. Anyways, I read that you have a daughter who eats gluten-free and presumably HFCS-free. I have 2 daughters that eat gluten-free and are planning on going Halloweening this year. Do you have any ideas on how to keep them away from all of the really bad candy that they will be getting? I love all of the facts and information that you provide regarding eating healthy and staying away from the really bad food out there. I applaud your purpose for doing this. Thank you so very much.

  8. Melissa says:

    Hey Sheila — Nice to “meet” you. And thanks for the comments, I appreciate it. There’s a great resource for mom’s with GF kids called R.O.C.K. Danna Korn started it years ago. Here’s a couple of links. One for the main website and one for a Canadian version. They should have some good Halloween alternatives and information. I always give out colorful pencils or markers for trick or treaters. I don’t even mess with food. Hope this helps!

    http://www.glutenfreedom.net/

    http://www.vanceliackids.com/Home.html

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Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for informational and educational use only and should not be used for diagnostic purposes. Consult with your physician regarding any health or medical concerns you may have.
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