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Name Change for HFCS: 'Corn Sugar'?

Adam Kuban 37 comments

This, according to the New York Times: "The Corn Refiners Association, which represents firms that make [high fructose corn syrup], has been trying to improve the image of the much maligned sweetener with ad campaigns promoting it as a natural ingredient made from corn. Now, the group has petitioned the United States Food and Drug Administration to start calling the ingredient 'corn sugar,' arguing that a name change is the only way to clear up consumer confusion about the product." More

Serious Chocolate: Corn Syrup vs. HFCS

Sweets Liz Gutman 38 comments

I know, I know. This is a chocolate column. But as a confectioner, I use corn syrup in several recipes, and often get the stink-eye when people see it on the ingredient label along with local cream and organic butter. Without trying to preach or get defensive, I'd like to set the record straight: Corn syrup is not high-fructose corn syrup. They're two different things. And while you certainly don't want to be slugging down cupsful of either of them, there are a few key differences I'd like to point out. More

HFCS and the Three-Pronged Critique

Alaina Browne 11 comments

HFCS isn't healthy, but there's no reason to believe it's any worse for you than cane or beet sugar; HFCS is just as "natural" as any other sweetener, at least according to the U.S. government; and while HFCS seems to have a slightly different taste from pure sucrose, many people prefer it. So why are we abandoning high-fructose corn syrup? It doesn't matter how weak each claim is on its own terms; together, they seem irrefutable. You can win over hypochondriacs with one argument, environmentalists with another, and gourmands with a third. That's the beauty of the three-pronged critique: It's customizable.... More

Pepsi to Use Real Sugar in 'Pepsi Throwback' and 'Mountain Dew Throwback' in April

Erin Zimmer 33 comments

bevreview.com Starting April 20, Pepsi will sell cans of Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback, which will be made with real sugar instead of HFCS. According to an email exchange today with Pepsi-Cola rep Nicole Bradley (inspired by Serious Eaters' questions): "Both products will be offered at the same price as regular Pepsi and regular Mountain Dew." The drinks will only be available until June 13. Around the same time, Coca-Cola usually rolls out limited-edition Kosher for Passover Coke, also made with real sugar since observant Jews cannot have corn products, hence no HFCS. Many non-Jews celebrate the product as well, believing the sugar version is superior (whether for taste or health reasons). Related Kosher-for-Passover Coke and Pepsi Are... More

Q&A with Jason's Deli Owner on Banning HFCS

Robyn Lee 1 comment

The Washington Post interviews Rusty Coco, co-owner of national chain Jason's Deli, on removing high fructose corn syrup from his stores. Except for soft drinks, everything they sell is now HFCS-free. Jason's Deli has already banned trans fat and MSG.... More

Marion Nestle Weighs in on HFCS

Erin Zimmer 2 comments

Food politics expert Marion Nestle gives her take on HFCS and the new Corn Refiners Association ads in today's San Francisco Chronicle. She's not a dietician but believes moderation isn't the answer here. "The most sensible approach to HFCS and to sugars in general is not moderation. It is, eat less." Previously: Pro-HFCS Ads: Do They Bother You?... More

Pro-HFCS Ads: Do They Bother You?

Erin Zimmer 44 comments

Many people know they don't want high-fructose corn syrup (or HFCS) even if they don't know why. The fuzzy grey area—like how HFCS affects your body, what it's made from, and how it differs from cane-based sugar—is exactly what the Corn Refiners Association is tapping into when promoting the ingredient in new commercials and print ads, now visible nationally and on the site SweetSurprise.com. The ads ask what's so wrong with a little HFCS? The complexities are hardly known or explained—people just know to avoid it. In one commercial, a girl picnics with her boy and offers him a popsicle. He declines. It's not you, it's the high fructose corn syrup, babe. Instead of taking offense, she merrily explains that... More

Weight Gain and Fructose

Alaina Browne 2 comments

The Economist explains why consuming fructose, in particular high fructose corn syrup, can lead to weight gain: Fructose apparently tricks the brain into thinking you are hungrier than you actually are. Unlike carbohydrates made up of glucose, fructose does not stimulate the pancreas into producing insulin. Nor does it promote the production of leptin, a hormone made by fat cells. Under normal conditions, the amount of insulin and leptin in the body signal to the brain that you’ve had enough to eat. Meanwhile, fructose doesn’t seem to suppress the production of ghrelin, the hormone that triggers appetite, which normally declines after eating. In tinkering with the body’s hormonal balance, fructose also causes the liver to spew more fat into the... More

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