I’ve seen so many advertisements for HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) both in print and on the television. According to the ads, HFCS is no worse for you than sugar. Heh.
Being the Mother of a child with MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) I see first hand how “good” for you High Fructose Corn Syrup is. My child reacts within minutes of ingesting any product containing HFCS. We can’t cook with corn syrup at home because it is made with HFCS. (Click here for my homemade corn syrup free marshmallow recipe.)
The FDA says its safe, but then they also allow our foods to be painted with chemically derived colors and flavorings and are telling us that BPA is safe. We know better. No chemical is safe enough to be in my families food.
“In 1983, the FDA listed HFCS as “Generally Recognized as Safe” (known as GRAS status) for use in food and reaffirmed that ruling in 1996.”
Just what does “Generally Recognized as Safe” mean? Does that mean its safe until proven otherwise? How asinine is it that we live in a country that allows our foods to be dumped full of chemical additives and we say “hey, its safe if it doesn’t kill you.”?
Many natural or green families try to avoid processed foods PERIOD. HFCS is a highly processed food. According to Wikipedia, HFCS is made through a series of processing steps:
- Corn is milled to produce corn starch
- Corn starch is processed to yield corn syrup
- Enzymes are added to change the glucose to fructose
- Regular (100% Glucose) Corn Syrup is added to reach desired concentration
The Enzyme process used is as follows:
- Cornstarch is treated with alpha-amylase
- Glucoamylase is added to break the sugar chains down more (to form a simple sugar glucose)
- Xylose isomerase is added to convert the mixture to 42% fructose, 50% glucose and various other sugars
HFCS can not be considered an “all natural” product because it is HIGHLY processed and contains at least one GMO (Genetically Modified) enzyme (used during processing). However, the FDA currently doesn’t regulate the use of “all natural” on food labels, which is why we must read every label every time. High Fructose Corn Syrup is not something that is commonly found in truly natural foods (like those found in co-ops, natural food stores, vegan stores, etc…). In these foods, you will find Pure Cane Sugar, Agave or Honey as the sweetner of choice. Why? Because they are natural, as in FROM THE EARTH not from a manufacturing process and the use of GMO’s.
All sugars should be consumed in MODERATION. There is no doubt that over indulgence in sweet foods and beverages is at fault for our rising obesity rates. We should always be aware of our diets and what our children are eating. Restricting sweet foods entirely is more likely to lead to binge eating, sneaking and overall unhealthy eating habits. Teach them while they are young how to enjoy a variety of foods in healthy amounts and how to make better choices. It’s best for their futures.