Posted by Linda Bonvie
September 18, 2012
“I will predict to you that high fructose corn syrup is going to turn out to be one of the very worst culprits in the diet.”
That statement, from popular author and pioneer in integrative medicine, Andrew Weil, M.D., pretty well sums up what scores of others, consumers and health professionals alike have been saying all along about HFCS.
Weil, who discusses HFCS in a video he made for his web site at drweilblog.com, calls HFCS “a direct driver of obesity in kids, one of the single worst things you can give to people that have this genetic constitution that predispose them to insulin resistance…”
Weil adds that “it’s very hard to find things made with sugar.”
If the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) has its way, that may turn out to be even harder. After the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) rejected its petition attempting to “officially” change the name of high fructose corn syrup to “corn sugar” at the end of May, the CRA apparently went to plan B, hitting up food and beverage manufactures, grocery retailers and chain restaurants with the message that consumers no longer check food labels for, or care about the presence of HFCS in food.
Big Corn even goes as far as to claim on its “Sweet Surprise” web site that “96% of consumers aren’t avoiding HFCS.” But the fact remains that, despite having already spent over $60 million on an advertising blitz aimed at convincing us that its laboratory concoction was a perfectly natural sweetener, the CRA has struck out with consumers, whose responses to its relabeling petition were overwhelmingly negative and who also indicated they’re making a real effort to avoid products laced with HFCS.
Turning the tables, petition-wise
What we now need to do is keep the momentum going with the food industry. To this end, Food Identity Theft has launched its own petition that will be delivered to CEOs of some of the largest food and beverage companies and grocery and restaurant chains, as well as to the FDA, for the purpose of letting them all know that we do care what’s in our food – and that we DON’T want it to contain HFCS!
Our goal is to have collected 100,000 signatures by October – so please take a moment to let the food industry know that the corn refiners are attempting to hoodwink them with misinformation by signing our petition here.
In the meantime, here are a few tips to help keep HFCS out of your diet:
1. Buy organic
While there are numerous things that make organic a superior choice, one very good reason for buying organic processed foods is that they do not contain any high fructose corn syrup. That means you can be assured that items such as bread, crackers, cookies, ketchup, mustard and jellies bearing the USDA Organic seal are HFCS-free.
2. Read the label
Out mantra here at Food Identity Theft may be “read the label!” Yes, it can be annoying, tedious and a hindrance to fast shopping, but these days it’s the only way to really know what you’re purchasing.
3. Shop at Whole Foods Markets
The entire chair of Whole Foods Markets is a HFCS-free zone. HFCS is on the supermarket’s list of “unacceptable ingredients for food.”
The bottom line, is, we’ve won a major victory in keeping the corn refiners from fooling us with a phony name – but the fight isn’t over, And it won’t be until food producers and retailers realize that HFCS is an ingredient that the majority of consumers decidedly don’t want in the food products they regularly buy – or in their diet.