Corn Syrup Sales Slipping

Corn syrup has been around for a while, but high fructose corn syrup has only existed since the 1950s. In the late 1970s and ’80s, high fructose corn syrup really took off. We now find it almost everything. And that’s the problem. Corn syrup, even high fructose corn syrup, which is different, has its uses. You can’t make pecan pie without it. But because high fructose corn syrup is so cheap, food manufacturers have put it in almost everything.

That’s the real problem. Processed food is made better tasting by adding high fructose corn syrup even when it’s something that you don’t expect to be sweet. Part of the reason it’s so cheap is that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has pushed the growing of corn for many decades. Much of that corn is not the Sweet Corn we see in the grocery store or even in the can. Much of it is inedible by humans. So, if the USDA gives you inedible corn, you make high fructose corn syrup, ethanol and animal feed.

But the tide may be turning. On our News Page today we have a story that actually came out a few days ago about the decline in high fructose corn syrup usage.

U.S. use of the sweetener found in most soft drinks, cereals and a range of other products dropped 11 percent between 2003 and 2008, the most recent year figures were available. A number of companies also have stopped using corn syrup in some or all products, including Hunt’s ketchup, Snapple, Gatorade and Starbucks’ baked goods.

That’s good news for sugar cane growers, who are seeing an increase in sales. The story from Associated Press tells us that corn sweetener makers think it’s a plot by sugar growers, that they’ve been given a bad rap.

Producers blame the decline on a campaign that argues corn syrup is behind rising obesity in the U.S. and that favors sugar over the refined product, although most nutritionists find little difference between the two.

We need to cut down on sugar, no matter what form it takes. That’s another argument against processed foods. Cook your own food and you won’t have that problem. Check out this latest addition to our News Page.

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