'high-fructose corn syrup' on Serious Eats

HFCS and the Three-Pronged Critique

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

In Videos: 'Baked With Love,' Rudi's Organic Bakery Commercial

There's nothing like starting your day with some azodicarbonalicious bread baked with high-fructose love syrup! That is, according to this commercial for the Prairie Morning Bread Company. ...Wait, what? That's just what the Prairie Morning Bread Company and their disturbingly cheery bakers want you to believe. Thankfully, the Prairie Morning Bread Company doesn't actually exist—this commercial was made by Rudi's Organic to mock other companies who don't have much to tout about their bread besides that it's made with love. Even if the Corn Refiners Association wants to promote high-fructose corn syrup, it's unlikely to become a positive marketing point. Watch the video after the jump.... More

Pro-HFCS Ads: Do They Bother You?

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

Consumers Say No to High Fructose Corn Syrup

Photograph from dyanna on Flickr It's commonly found in everything from soda to canned soup. But after some studies suggested a link between the sweetener and obesity, many consumers have become wary of high fructose corn syrup and are putting pressure on soft drink companies to start sweetening their beverages with sugar cane. In fact, some smaller companies like Hansen, Jones, and Thomas Kemper have already gone natural to satisfy consumer demand. Nutrition expert Dr. Peter Havel of UC Davis expressed doubts that fructose was any more unhealthy than cane sugar, telling the Los Angeles Times, "This is really an area that needs further study." But science aside, there's no question that sugar just plain tastes better, which ought to... More

Weight Gain and Fructose

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

Wal-Mart Is Selling Mexican Coke Too

Remember last week's story about Costco selling Mexican Coke? This morning, because we love soda with real sugar—and you, too—an update: alaina: mexican coke sighting at napa wal-martlia: link please!lia: or did you see?alaina: no link, i saw it myself!lia: no photo???alaina: it's a coke bottlealaina: nolia: also i did not think "napa" and "wal-mart" were allowed to be in the same sentencealaina: me neither (Alaina is in Napa attending Taste3, the annual conference sponsored by Robert Mondavi Winery that "aims to push the exploration and marriage of wine, food and art.")... More

Costco is Selling Mexican Coke!

If you like the Real Thing better made with real sugar and you happen to live near a Costco, you'll be happy to know that they're selling Mexican Coke: $17.99 for a case of 24 twelve ounce bottles, which comes out to 75c each. How'd Costco manage that, you ask? According to SFist, they've "conformed to CA and U.S. rules, such as CRV (the sort-of deposit you pay for the bottle) and "nutrition" labeling, so everything appears to be nice and legal." Coca-Cola Corporate in Atlanta says there is "no perceptible taste difference" between Mexican Coke made with real sugar and US Coke made with high-fructose corn syrup, but as anyone who's ever had the two can tell you,... More

Why Do Diet Sodas Taste Like Crap?

Why do diet sodas taste like crap? Ed and Alaina both love Diet Coke but I think it's pretty nasty, it's got to be the regular stuff for me, and preferably from a glass bottle or can. Scientists from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign say people like me say we don't like diet sodas because of the chemicals, but the real reason we don't like them is because the high-fructose corn syrup in regular sodas give them a better mouth-feel. I know they've done a study, but still: I call bullshit! Anyone who's ever had a Coke from outside the US or Passover Coke knows that real sugar is where it's at—you get a superior mouth-feel while drinking, and the... More

Passover Treat: Coke With Real Sugar!

"Each year, Coca-Cola makes Coke with sugar for observant US Jews to drink during Passover. And the rest of us get to go along for the ride. This is a boon for those who don't like Coke with high fructose corn syrup and who have to seek out the superior sugared Coke in small Mexican restaurants and grocery stores." BuzzFeed's post on Sweet Sweet Passover Coke has the ten best links to what is, as a non-Jew, my favorite Passover treat!... More

Jones Soda Switches to Pure Cane Sugar

Jones Soda spent over $1M retrofitting their equipment to use pure cane sugar in their drinks instead of the industry standard, high-fructose corn syrup. "A Pepsi spokesman told The Wall Street Journal that Jones' claim that pure cane sugar is more healthful "just isn't true. Marketing a myth for a competitive advantage is irresponsible and short-sighted." Then Jones got a letter from the Corn Refiners Association, which doesn't like Jones' claims about sweeteners, either." So why did Jones Soda make the switch? CEO Peter Van Stolk says customers have been asking them to switch from HFCS to sugar for years; "They want sugar, he said, "because it tastes better and they feel better about it because it's pure; it's... More

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