3.26.2009

Brands of Substantial Awesomeness: Taking the High Fructose Corn Syrup Out

Yesterday I got home from Information Resources' Consumer Package Goods conference (sexy!), where I spoke on a smart panel of mom bloggers to a roomful of close to 1000 marketers, salespeople and retailers about marketing to moms, the power of The Blogger, and what matters to us when make decisions for our families.

We were straightforward. We were honest. And I think we scared them a little talking about things like honesty, corporate responsibility and doing right by your consumers; and that considering how the internet works these days, transparency is going to happen with or without your participation. Essentially, you can fix problems now and address reasonable customer concerns as they come, or you can wait until the number two google search for your brand X soap is Brand X Soap Sucks and Here are 46 Reasons Why

At one point I said: I'm putting you on notice: High fructose corn syrup is your next big problem.

It was kind of quiet at that point.

This afternoon, entirely coincidentally, I got a press release from Log Cabin Syrup, the official maple-esque syrup of my own childhood. It would seem that that they are officially removing HFCS from their syrups and replacing it with real sugar.

Real sugar!

I like real sugar.

Now personally, I'm all about real maple syrup too. Stick a pail under a maple tree and tap that sucker. But still, the effort gets a big honkin' whoo from me. So here I am shilling for Log Cabin Syrup (r), just to let you know that there's a company out there doing the right thing.

Any other brands out there taking HFCS out of your products? Let me know and I'll list you here so we can sing your praises. (At least until I get tired of this and move onto the next crazy consumerist rant.) And I'm kind of hoping Coke gets in touch. Because God, I love a nice cold Coke.
  1. Log Cabin Syrup
  2. Oroweat Breads
  3. Snapple (coming soon)
  4. Pepsi Raw, Pepsi Throwback, Mountain Dew Throwback (coming April)
  5. Ocean Spray juices (I have it on good word but would still like to see the press release)
  6. Hansen's Cane Sodas
  7. Simply Heinz Tomato Ketchup


84 Comments:

Blogger catnip said...

Woohoo! HFCS really is their next big problem and I'm so glad you said it to them.

3/26/09, 5:56 PM  
Anonymous Womenkind said...

Bravo! The only thing worse than high-fructose corn syrup is partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Let's get back to real ingredients, folks! Enough with the chemistry.

3/26/09, 5:58 PM  
Blogger Miguelina. said...

A topic out of my own heart. Arnold breads are HFCS free. Kudos to them!

3/26/09, 6:10 PM  
Blogger Motherhood Uncensored said...

We buy Arnolds bread. And glad to hear about Log Cabin.

I'm sort of sick of buying $15 maple syrup every two weeks.

3/26/09, 6:22 PM  
OpenID madgetastic said...

GOD, you're the best. I love you. Thanks for officially putting them on notice.

We just had Maple Sunday up here, so we're all about the real stuff. But it's good to hear about Log Cabin.

3/26/09, 6:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good news!
We buy Arnold breads too. I was SHOCKED the other day to find HFCS in my canned kidney beans from Publix. WTF?

After HFCS and trans fats I'm also worried about dyes.

3/26/09, 6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI, you can buy Coke in glass bottles made with cane sugar at Costco. (At least you can in CA) It comes from Mexico.

3/26/09, 6:37 PM  
Blogger kschendel said...

Not trying to pee on anyone's parade, but...

Just exactly WHAT do you (or they) consider Real Sugar?

Sucrose? It's a dimer of fructose and glucose. Glucose? Mannose? One of the other gajillion simple sugars?

I'm not a big fan of HFCS either, but if you are going to complain about it, you need to understand the alternatives. And carbohydrate chemistry is not simple. Alas.

3/26/09, 6:43 PM  
Anonymous mrs. q. said...

Ocean Spray. They've taken HFCS out of all their products. And if you've tasted a natural cranberry straight off the vine (*wince*), you know why the hell they need sugar. I gave my old coworkers a high five. As Dylan once said, "That's cranrrific!"

3/26/09, 6:56 PM  
Anonymous Karen Sugarpants said...

yet another reason for you to move to canada and live with me: i have a forest behind my new house. maple syrup!
you're such a smart cookie.

3/26/09, 7:00 PM  
Anonymous Stefanie said...

Pepsi and Mountain Dew will soon have sugar versions available (try googling Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback). My husband and I are eagerly waiting for Coke to follow!

About a year and a half ago we cut HFCS out of our diet. We now make most of our own breads, sauces, desserts, etc. My husband lost 25lbs and we both feel healthier and surprisingly have had less headaches. And food made with sugar just tastes better!

3/26/09, 7:03 PM  
Anonymous Barb said...

Wow! Here it is...History in the making. Great work!

3/26/09, 7:14 PM  
Blogger A said...

Orowheat breads!

Tasty and HFCS free.

3/26/09, 7:16 PM  
Anonymous Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com said...

Didn't Quaker take the HCFS out of some of their flavored products and put in real sugar after they were listed as being one of the top competitors for having traces of mercury in their food?

I may have imagined it, but I think they did. Or at least, I think I heard they did or read they did?

Or I'm insane?

3/26/09, 7:24 PM  
Blogger Miss M! said...

Orowheat took it out of their breads. It was a happy day when I discovered that!

3/26/09, 7:41 PM  
Blogger Dana's Brain said...

Good for you for giving it for them straight! And, yay for those that are kicking it out!

3/26/09, 7:54 PM  
Blogger Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

That is fantastic that companies are listening to this next big complaint. It will be great to reduce HFCS.

BUT I think so many of the foods also just don't have to be SO sweet!!!!

Like flavored yogurt? I mean come on! I mix ours half and half with plain yogurt.

Yoplait cut their kids one down by 25% which is great. I wish ALL companies would follow suit. I am rooting for yogurt with 50% LESS sugar/or any sweetner.

3/26/09, 7:54 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

You do realize "Real Sugar" is at least equally as bad as HFCS, right?

3/26/09, 7:58 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Hi Kelly, I'd love you to elaborate on that theory that sugar is at least as bad as HFSC.

3/26/09, 8:10 PM  
Blogger Amy Jo said...

Liz, you are my hero! Arnold bread is hfcs-free, by the way!

3/26/09, 8:23 PM  
Blogger Sagey said...

Janice, I can't find a Yoplait product w/o HFCS? What am I missing? We have switched to Stonyfield Farms for all of our yogurt or Archer Farms (Target). Oh and Danimals are HFCS free as well.

3/26/09, 8:37 PM  
Blogger Issas Crazy World said...

I read Snapple is taking it out. Going back to real sugar. They said it actually takes 40 calories out of a bottle.

I am with you, I really hope Coke takes it out. I love Coke, but I rarely drink it anymore. I am going to look for it at Costco the next time I go. Thanks to Anon at 6:37pm for that.

3/26/09, 8:47 PM  
Blogger Dorsey said...

I don't know about Coke, but you CAN get Dr. Pepper sweetened with Pure Cane Sugar instead of HFCS. I'm not sure you can find it in the can, but you can in the small glass bottles. And it IS yummy!!!

3/26/09, 8:47 PM  
Blogger SAIA AND CHAGO said...

I'd like to hear Kelly's reply to Mom101, too, not because I'm necessarily a sugar fan, but I honestly don't know all that much about the pros and cons of either. And now there are those weird, really awkward commercials about how HFCS is just fine, and I'm like, hunh??? Nothing about the name, except maybe "syrup" even sounds remotely ok, but to push it on TV now, I feel like it's one of those prescription drug commercials, only without the benefit of the tell-all side effects, including death and dismemberment, blah blah blah.

3/26/09, 8:54 PM  
Blogger Amelia Sprout said...

Pepsi is doing a "natural" version with real sugar (it is OK), but I want Coke to so very very badly. I miss Coke.

The "light" breads with HFCS should be slammed for mislabeling. Products marketed to kids should also have to not have it.

What drove my husband to get on the no HFCS wagon was those creepy commercials. He said if they had to advertise to say how not bad they were, they had to be up to something.

3/26/09, 8:58 PM  
Blogger J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Orowheat is taking hfcs out? AWESOME!

3/26/09, 9:08 PM  
Blogger PS~Erin said...

Good on your warning. Thanks for standing up for us out here.

3/26/09, 9:27 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Wow thank you all for these great tips. And go, Pepsi! I like you too.

@selfmademom HFCS is made in part with corn syrup. The wikipedia article is helpful.

@Jen that article is interesting. It says that both may contribute equally to obesity. It doesn't look at other factors like hormone disruption, liver function or the fact that HFCS is starting to be revealed to have small amounts of mercury in it because of the way some plants process it. Eek.

I always have to believe that a natural product like cane sugar is always going to be better (relatively) for our systems than one that's processed or created in a lab.

3/26/09, 9:58 PM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

Oh, funny you write this. I just saw Michael Pollan speak last night and I am now his minion (well, I was pretty close to this before last night).

Real food. That's it. HFCS sucks but so does a lot of the crap that is in food. Log Cabin syrup is still not maple syrup no matter what they do to it. But at least they are making an effort, and I hope more companies jump on the 'bandwagon'.

3/26/09, 10:02 PM  
Blogger Christy said...

Oh girl you must get you some Mexican Coke! It is made with cane sugar and tastes SOOO much better than American Coke!

3/26/09, 10:49 PM  
Blogger Fiona said...

That is great news... and good for you for putting them on notice!

3/26/09, 11:29 PM  
Blogger Cloud said...

I can't speak for Kelly, but back when the mercury thing hit, I decided to go look up some of the science articles on the metabolic differences between HFCS and sucrose (what I think most people mean when they say "real sugar") and I couldn't find any peer reviewed articles that showed any actual difference in how your body handles the two. Now glucose vs fructose, yes there is a difference. But sucrose is 50-50 glucose-fructose and most HFCS is 45-55. I wrote a blog post on it, and I'll be crass enough to link to it in case anyone is curious for more details: http://wandsci.blogspot.com/2009/02/some-research-on-high-fructose-corn.html

As I state in that post, I'm open to any peer-reviewed science anyone finds that might change my mind. And I haven't looked into the other main complaint about HFCS, which has to do with whether or not it is encouraging a corn monoculture on American farms, and whether or not that should bother us.

In general, I'm with @Janice- I'd rather they make products that are just less sweet overall, regardless of how they sweeten them.

3/27/09, 12:09 AM  
Blogger Cloud said...

Oops, I should have made that a real link. Here is my post on why I don't think HFCS is any worse than sucrose.

3/27/09, 12:16 AM  
Blogger mothergoosemouse said...

You can get sugar-sweetened Coke; it's in the ethnic foods aisle. No, I'm not kidding.

I'm exhausted by the HFCS topic, having written about it in depth. Yes, in most uses it's 55/45. But it's found in plenty of places where sweeteners simply don't belong.

And frankly we're all eating way too much processed shit (and way too much of it) anyway, which is where HFCS is usually found due to its preservative properties.

3/27/09, 1:12 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

Amen! Give us real sugar and real food. Seriously. This cheap processed crap has gotten us to a bad place.

Thanks for speaking out about it. :)

3/27/09, 1:43 AM  
Blogger Althea said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/27/09, 5:58 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Re coke: Look for the Coke bottles with the yellow cap that are Kosher for Passover (on shelves now)--these are made with sugar, since corn is verbotten during the holiday. Score 1 for the yids! Also, word is Coke Natural, in production will give you all sugar Coke all year round. And that, I say, L'Chaim!

3/27/09, 8:11 AM  
OpenID thepurplecanoe said...

Rock it!!!

3/27/09, 9:09 AM  
Blogger St said...

Isn't coke still really bad for you no matter how you sweeten it? I don't claim to know anything about any of this but I've been reading the linked articles etc. I think it's a "sweet" problem in general. I didn't feel any different about eating bread made with "sugar" than I did when it had HFCS in it. I switched to a no sugar added bread. (Kroger makes one)

3/27/09, 10:05 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Great question ST - I think that yeah, Coke is not something I'm going to be putting in Sage's bottle before bed anytime soon, but as a treat, I'd feel better about it if it were made with cane sugar.

Time for a trip to Mexico!

3/27/09, 10:07 AM  
Blogger Midwest Mom said...

One product my family really loves is Smucker's Low Sugar jelly/preserves. It has no artificial sweeteners and no HFCS. And trust me, it's plenty sweet.

When fruit is in season, we make our own strawberry and peach preserves. But when those supplies run out, it's nice that there is an alternative that works for us.

Thanks for the post!

- Julia at Midwest Moms

3/27/09, 10:16 AM  
Blogger roni said...

we have jumped on the arnold's bread bandwagon. couldn't believe i missed HFCS in my reg whole wheat brand...also in love with 365 ginger ale from whole foods. waiting for coke to add cane sugar...

3/27/09, 11:35 AM  
Blogger Cloud said...

I was going to keep quiet, because I don't really think HFCS is worth defending. I don't eat much of it. It is empty calories. But so is "real sugar".

Also, "Real sugar" is made using chemistry, too. There is no plant that grows sugar in a form that can go directly into Coke or whatnot. What we think of as "sugar" is made by processing sugar beet or sugar cane. wikipedia has a little bit of info on how. It is chemistry.

I have no argument with people who decide to cut HFCS from their diet. I don't really have an argument with people who want to campaign to get rid of HFCS because they believe in natural foods, think HFCS is skewing our food policies, or whatever. But I feel strongly that if you're going to argue based on science, you have to look at all the science, not just the studies that support your argument. I was outraged when the Bush administration suppressed science because it didn't match their political views. It would be hypocritical of me not to be bothered by similar behavior wherever I see it.

In this case, I can't find any studies that indicate HFCS is causing any problems with health when compared to sugar. I do find studies indicating that fructose causes changes in liver metabolism and hormone levels when compared to glucose. But replacing all the HFCS in our food supply with sucrose ("real sugar") won't realy change the amount of fructose we eat.

I'm afraid that people will get the wrong message, and keep drinking gallons of Coke and eating heaps of processed crap, because they found versions that don't use HFCS. I suspect they'll be just as unhealthy as they were when this whole thing started, because really the science is pointing to a problem with our intake of refined sugar of any type.

And now I'll shut up, because really if I want a different campaign than the one you're talking about, I should go ahead and start one.

3/27/09, 12:47 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I got the same press release from Log Cabin, and it actually made me want to eat waffles w/syrup again.

I know that Thomas' English Muffins are now being made without HFCS ('cause I see the announcement on the bag when I look at it every morning).

And on a slightly different topic, Coke is working on making several of their diet drinks sweetened with Stevia instead of aspartame. Stevia is a natural source of low-cal sweetness, as opposed to all of the research out there showing aspartame may be risky.

3/27/09, 1:25 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

@cloud, NO don't shut up now! I love this discussion and any additional info is great to have.

I probably have to look at the science more myself, but my understanding is that fructose creates way more issues than sucrose. When folks I respect like Dr. Mehmet Oz say that HFCS is one of 5 foods to avoid because of things like leptin and insulin blockage I'm listening. He explained: "It's not so much the 150 calories in the soda pop -- it's the fact at that same meal you will normally consume an extra 100 calories of food than you would have."

It also would seem that nearly all the studies saying HFCS is the same as sugar are funded by companies who make or use HFCS in their products. And that a lot of the issue is the vast quantities of it in foods these days.

I'm also very freaked out by the tip of the iceberg research from the former FDA scientist that indicates small amounts of mercury in HFCS because of the way chlorine is used to separate the corn components. Yikes.

If you've got a campaign, let me know - I'll jump right in.

3/27/09, 1:27 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

And thanks to all of you for the great brand recos and other information.

I will still refuse to drink diet sodas - I prefer the evil (sugar) I know to the ones I don't - but I'm glad there are alternatives out there for everyone else.

3/27/09, 1:33 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I know Thomas now offers english muffins without that junk. The NYT just did an article last week about the replacement of HFCS w/sugar.

I wish Heinz would catch on, until the it's $6 a small bottle agave sweetened catchup/katsup.

3/27/09, 2:37 PM  
Blogger Cloud said...

@Mom101- I think we probably agree more than we realize. I completely agree that the studies indicate that the high levels of fructose in the average American diet are a problem.

My main point is that sucrose has fructose, too. Sucrose is a disaccharide composed of glucose + fructose. HFCS is a mix of glucose + fructose. The most common form of HFCS has a little bit more fructose (55% vs 50%), but none of the studies I can find demonstrate any difference in how our bodies actually respond to the two substances.

So I don't see any evidence that replacing HFCS with sucrose will make our diet any healthier. Decreasing the amount of refined sugars in our diet would definitely make us healthier. As far as I can tell, everything bad about soda that is described in that link you provided would still be bad if the soda is sweetened with sucrose instead of HFCS. It would still be a huge source of empty calories and extra fructose, and would still mess with your body's satiety cues.

The levels of mercury that actually made it into food were so tiny that I couldn't bring myself to worry about it. I also wouldn't be surprised to find similar levels of mercury or some other thing you wouldn't think should be in there would be found in foods without HFCS. As I mentioned above, pretty much all sugars that are in a form that can be added to food have been processed chemically. The authors of that mercury study didn't do the appropriate control, which would be to look at levels in foods without HFCS.

The concern about study bias is a fair one, and I would never argue that scientists don't have biases. However, our training tries to teach us to look at the data and let that guide our opinions, and most scientists I know genuinely try to do that. For one thing, it is professionally very embarrassing to have a later study come out and prove that you misinterpreted your data.

Even studies paid for by industry have to go through peer review to be published. Most industry agreements to provide funding to academic scientists give them the right to publish their results regardless of the outcome. Universities insist on that. There may be subtle biases getting by- but I think that is true of any study. There were certainly biases in that mercury study, for instance. Wholesale fabrications of data do happen, but they are rare, and are usually caught by other scientists fairly quickly. Given all that, I find the volume of studies that see no difference in our metabolism of HFCS and sucrose to be convincing, especially since I can't find a single study that has shown a difference in how our bodies respond to HFCS vs. sucrose (and I'll say again- if anyone knows of one, I definitely want to see it).

I wouldn't be sad to see HFCS disappear from our food supply. But I am sad if people think that sucrose is healthier. Any sweetener should be used in moderation. Your occasional Coke as a treat is unlikely to cause you a problem whether it is sweetened with HFCS or sugar. But drinking several Cokes a day probably will cause problems, even if it is sweetened with cane sugar.

I'm sorry for another long-winded comment. I appreciate your interest in hearing all views on this.

3/27/09, 2:47 PM  
Blogger Cloud said...

@Amanda- agave has very high fructose content (upwards of 80%, I think). If you're worried about fructose, agave is not the solution for you. Neither is honey.

But I hear that its very yummy, and maybe it is so sweet that there is less overall sugar needed?

3/27/09, 2:56 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

@cloud you are brilliant. I want you to come over for dinner and fill my head with smart things.

3/27/09, 3:03 PM  
Blogger Cloud said...

@Mom101- Aw shucks. I'm not brilliant, I'm just a science geek. I don't think this makes me a lot of fun at parties. But I would come over in an instant if I lived in NYC! I'm in San Diego.

3/27/09, 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Tami in NY said...

@Mom101 and @Cloud thank you both for this conversation.

My husband is a diabetic and when we attended courses about restricting his diet they were quite adamant about HFCS, fructose, glucose, sucrose and carbohydrates as well. As a rule we try to stay away from processed food and prepare most of our own foods. But no I don't bake bread and was so shocked a couple of years ago when I started seeing HFCS as the second ingredient in Whole Wheat breads. Seriously! Now I'm always on the look out for breads that do not have any form of the sugars in their top 5. It's not easy.

I also had to giggle at your Twitter use of the @ symbol when you were addressing each other.

3/27/09, 3:45 PM  
Blogger Joanna said...

I'm glad to see HFCS come out as a potential problem ingredient in foods. I won't eat it or buy anything with it that my kids eat (my husband is addicted to soda).

My issue is that it uses genetically modified corn and a GMO enzyme to create it. Add trace amounts of mercury and I'm totally out. I don't want to eat GMO food.

As far as "real sugar" goes, I feel it's OK in moderate quantities as long as it's non-GMO. Beet sugar is now coming in the GMO variety.

I'm with Womenkind, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and food coloring are also high on my list of ingredients I won't eat (or try very hard not to).

There is far too much crap in our food. But, no matter what the food is, even if it's organic, if it's packaged and processed, it's going to contain things that aren't good for you.

3/27/09, 3:56 PM  
Anonymous andrea from the fishbowl said...

I am loving this discussion, and I am excited. This is how change is made.

Mom101, I had to snicker at your description at the silence which befell the room after your mention of HFCS. Good on you.

3/28/09, 7:43 AM  
Blogger Mandy said...

Mom101, this is one of the best discussions I've seen to date HFCS (ie, it's not so deep in scientific jargon, I can understand it).

We are fortunate enough to be a two parent family in the middle class and I have had the time and resources to start making a lot more of my food. I've hauled the breadmaker out, done a lot more homemade cookies, etc. And I'm spending the time at the grocery store to get yoghurts etc without all of the extras. (Kids aren't so happy about that.) I'm still guilty of buying fast food on occasion, and indulging in some "bad" foods, probably more often than I should.

However, I think this is a crucial battle to fight because I know a lot of parents (working two jobs, less up to date on current events, single parents without a lot of time or resources) won't have this luxury. In Vancouver, the Children's Hospital had an event talking about the diabetes epidemic in North America. Some of our biggest societal conveniences? They're putting us in an early grave, literally. We're smart enough as a society to know better. We should start doing better.

3/28/09, 11:14 AM  
Anonymous Jen said...

[comment reprinted with link]

Okay, I realize that the source of this link isn't so encouraging, but they are talking about real journals reporting real science:

USA Today

Basically, as a couple of people above have said, it's not so much the form of the sugar as the fact that it's sugar. Better to avoid it all, as much as possible, in processed foods.

Reading labels to just choose sugar over HFCS isn't really doing you any good, at least according to the latest research.

3/28/09, 5:52 PM  
Anonymous selfmademom said...

[comment reprinted with link]

I saw a new version of Pepsi at the market on Monday made with natural ingredients. I was so shocked by its presence that I forgot to buy it and take a photo of it. Here's a link in Brandweek.
A question though- is there any difference between corn syrup and HFCS?

3/28/09, 5:54 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

This is an interesting conversation. I haven't found a good discussion of the implications of this much less a peer-reviewed study, but keep in mind that although the ratio of glucose to fructose doesn't change much between sucrose and HFCS there is a difference. In sugar the glucose and fructose are bonded together (and must be separated as part of metabolism), but in HFCS it appears there are actually two separate molecules in the food. Breaking this bond might actually be very easy but it is a possible difference.

Honestly, I'm not sure if there is a significant difference between these but I love the movement towards natural ingredients. (If you can't pronounce it, do you really want to put it in your body?)

3/28/09, 8:05 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Mrs Q: I'm not sure Ocean Spray has taken out HFCS from all their products. They may have from some products but the best-selling cranberry juice cocktail lists it as the second ingredient

3/29/09, 1:41 PM  
Anonymous mrs. q. said...

As of last summer, HFCS was removed from all consumer beverages and foods. The link you provided was to their ingredients division, which supplies industrial products to food manufacturers (think cereals with craisins, cranberry-flavored beverages); however, I think they are going the same route.

I am a little perturbed that there is not better information about the reformulation on their website (www.oceanspray.com), and don't expect anyone to take my word, so I sent a note to my PR pals. As of now, this is from their product fact sheet: "All Ocean Spray products contain no high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors." I'll keep you posted.

3/29/09, 3:21 PM  
Blogger Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

Here's what Michael Pollan says about HFCS, "Is HFCS any worse for you than sugar? Probably not, but by avoiding it you'll avoid thousands of empty calories and perhaps even more important, cut out highly processed foods--the ones that contain the most sugar, fat and salt."

The point is not that HFCS is bad for you. The point is that anything containing HFCS is probably not "real food," and therefore you shouldn't eat it.

I believe one could make an argument that HFCS is ruining our taste buds, in that only supersugarysweet stuff tastes good to us now. I haven't seen a study on it, but anecdotally I'd say it's true.

3/29/09, 7:50 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

That's awesome Jennifer, thank you. I love Michael Pollan.

And thank you also for hotlinking and not borking my template with a long url.

3/29/09, 7:55 PM  
Blogger Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

This is an aside: My kids love Nancy's plain yogurt mixed with crushed mint leaves & a dollop of honey. Even visiting neighbor kids like it. It takes about 45 seconds to "make" & if you want to pack it for lunch, you can spoon it into a jelly jar.

You might also list products which don't have HFCS and never did, like Nancy's yogurt and Heinz organic ketchup.

Oh and also kudos to Hansen's, which took HFCS out a year ago, I think.

3/29/09, 8:01 PM  
Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

@cloud - thank you for rehashing the science, just as you did at my place. It really boils down to the amounts we consume, regardless of how they're sweetened. My beef with HFCS remains that we find it in places where sweeteners just don't belong - adding to the calorie count for the sake of preservation and shelf appeal.

3/30/09, 1:41 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

I think it's hysterical that the HFCS companies have now taken to getting commercials and print ads to explains that they're really not that bad. Not at all.

Actually, it's kind of sad. Not funny at all.

There's a shop around here that sells Coke made only with sugar (bottled in Mexico) but the prices are out of this world.

3/30/09, 10:34 AM  
OpenID mindofmandi said...

Here's a quote from You: The Owner's Manual that explains nicely why HFCS is to be avoided:

"Your digestive system has 2 main hormones that control hunger and appetite. When you stomach's empty, it send ghrelin in out requesting food. Leptin tells your brain that you're full. When you eat, your fat cells sercrete it so that you stop eating. One of the biggest evil influences on our diet is the presence of HFCS, a sugar substitute that itself is a sugar found in soft drinks and many other sweet, processed foods. The problem is that HFCS inhibits leptin secretion, so you never get the message that you are full. And it never shuts off ghrelin, so, even when you have food in your stomach, you constantly get the message that you're hungry. The double whammy on our hormones has contributed enormously to our collective enormity. When you consider that many American women consumer over 50% of their calories each day from salad dressing (which contains HFCS), you can see the problem. While food manufactures may eliminate fat, they make up for its taste with sugar and HFCS - which are simply empty calories that serve no nutritional purpose."

Interestingly, he goes on to say that a lack of sleep plays the same havoc with your hormones and has the same effects as eating HFCS.

3/30/09, 3:19 PM  
OpenID heartfull said...

All I know is that when I cut out all HFCS and HVO from my diet, I naturally reduced the amount of food I ate and lost 40 lbs. Obviously, cutting out those two ingredients prevented me from eating processed foods.

After my 3rd baby, I got lazy. I gained back 15 lbs (after having lost the baby weight w/breastfeeding.) What can I say - I love a Coke...

I'm now in the middle of committing myself to a processed-food free life. It is yummy, but difficult when there are grade-school aged children in the house who need snacks for school. Who need lunches they can carry to school and will actually eat so they can function. Sigh...

3/31/09, 8:15 AM  
Blogger Aubrey said...

We also buy Arnold's bread.
The only yogurt I've found made by Yoplait that doesn't have HFCS in it is the little 6-packs with Dora and Diego. That's the yogurt I feed my 2-year-old. For myself I like Dannon Light & Fit, also without HFCS.
I am so glad Log Cabin is giving it up, because I was getting reluctant to pour syrup on our pancakes lately.

3/31/09, 4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone why we got away from sugar in the first place? Was it considered bad for you, too expensive, what?

4/1/09, 11:20 AM  
Blogger cherecherry said...

As a Registered Dietitian MOM I feel I need to write to clear up some confusion and misinformation on high fructose corn syrup.
Most of the problem stems from confusion about what high fructose corn syrup really is. Most people have heard of high fructose corn syrup, but aren't aware of how similar it is to common table sugar.
Scientists continue to confirm that high fructose corn syrup is no different from other sweeteners. It is essentially the same as table sugar and honey, and has the same number of calories.
Even leading former critics of high fructose corn syrup reached a consensus that this sweetener is indistinguishable from table sugar in its metabolic effects and that it can not be linked to obesity any more or less than other caloric sweeteners (December 2008 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition). This consensus echoes the most respected medical body in the world, the American Medical Association, which stated last summer that “high fructose corn syrup does not appear to contribute to obesity more than other caloric sweeteners.”
So, wonderful moms I would encourage you to spend time to show healthy eating by eating a variety of colorful foods which includes fruits and veggies; being physically active and showing your kids ways to energize your spirit. Focus on creating healthy habits by example and using the three pillars of health – planning, variety and moderation. You are all doing great because you care! To your health! Chere

4/1/09, 9:49 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Really appreciate the info Chere. I looked at that piece and it states that in the short term the two may be similar but "longer-term studies on connections between HFCS, potential mechanisms, and body weight have not been conducted." There seems to be a lot of hypothesizing by scientists that the obesity epidemic correlates with the drastic increase in HFCS use in processed foods beginning in the 70s.

In any case, obesity isn't my only concern. Sugar and honey have yet to be implicated for containing trace mercury because of the way they are processed. I imagine the preliminary findings of mercury in HFCS from the former FDA scientist that I linked to in the post is just the beginning.

4/1/09, 10:01 PM  
Anonymous Isabel Kallman said...

love it!

i think there's definitely an education process happening.

On brand I met with this past summer just simply didn't realize that it's important to communicate that certain things are NOT in their products even though they are assumed that they are.

Others are getting better. I met with Pledge today and their parent, SC Johhnson, just launched a website that simply explains everything in their products: whatsinsidescjohnson.com

We need more of that. If you have nothing to hide, then don't. Shout it from the rooftop. Tell everyone.

4/2/09, 5:54 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

YES Isabel! Transparency is one of the key things that matters to moms and Alma specifically called out SC Johnson for their proactivity on that front. Go SC Johnson!

4/2/09, 5:57 PM  
Blogger SUEB0B said...

Its funny how our food safety laws have probably contributed to some of our problems. In Mexico, busy streetcorners have men with little carts that have glass cases on top, full of beautiful cut fruits. The man will make a selection for you and you can season them how you want, which usually means some lime juice, salt and chile powder or sauce.

Another popular snack was mango on a stick.

Here, that wouldn't be "safe." So we can have vending machines full of fried chips and stale cookies.

In general, I found that Mexicans ate tons more fruit than we do.

4/3/09, 12:21 AM  
Anonymous Lauren said...

Regarding the mercury in HCFS...I wonder if you have read what the Corn Refiner's Assoc. says? I don't know how to put a hotlink in a comment, but their website is www.corn.org and over on the left it has a bar titled "newsroom" with 3 articles referring to the mercury study.

4/3/09, 12:06 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Lauren, with all due respect, if I have an issue with corn refiner industry members polluting foods with crap, I'm probably not going to go to their website to see what their take is. I also don't go to the Chinese government to get the real scoop of lead in painted toys or to the Marlboro website for info on how many cigarettes I can safely smoke a day. Call me crazy.

As for their rebuttal of the mercury "study" as unscientific, frankly, the scientist who conducted it claimed it was unscientific! She was very specific and said it was just a preliminary study to see if it was worth further exploration. It seems that her hunch was right.

4/3/09, 12:34 PM  
Anonymous Lauren said...

Gosh, I wasn't trying to say we should trust them...I just wondered what you thought about their statements. The Dr. from Duke University Medical Center, one of the nation's leading experts on mercury contamination, reviewed the results and concluded there was no quantifiable mercury detected and HFCS does not appear to be a measurable contributor to mercury in foods. Is his opinion invalid because it is stated on the Corn Refiner's website? I really don't know. I am overwhelmed when it comes to choosing foods and snacks for my children. I don't want to be afraid of everything. I guess that is my personal problem with HFCS - it seems to be in so much! But I have found, I think as some others have already stated, that as I avoid HFCS I am also choosing things that are in general less processed and have less sugar also.

4/3/09, 1:32 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Apologies if I misunderstood Lauren - there have been a lot of deleted comments here from dubious anonymous sources!

I would say the research is just the beginning and not definitive by any means - even though two studies from two different groups found similar results. (See the Washington Post article)It would seem there are some HFCS products that have some amounts of mercury and some that don't, depending on which plant processes the HFCS.

Part of the issue is how much is too much - some? A little? A little more? I just wish it were all being discussed honestly with the aim of seeing if there aren't better production methods that don't use mercury.

4/3/09, 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Lauren said...

I agree, thank you!

4/3/09, 1:49 PM  
Blogger Veronica Mitchell said...

Thank you, both for telling corporations about our concern over HFCS, and also for announcing that Log Cabin is taking it out. I can buy syrup again! I have been letting the girls use honey for their pancakes, and it is LOADS more expensive.

4/5/09, 7:09 PM  
Blogger Leighann said...

I'm anti-HFCS and am actually starting a weekly feature on my blog about HFCS-free snacks and foods.

I was just telling my husband last night that I would love to see Coke made with sugar instead of HFCS. Because Coke is one of my last hold-outs for being totally free of this unnatural "natural*" substance.

*I don't care if the government has ruled that HFCS is natural, I'm not buying that bill of goods!

4/6/09, 2:06 PM  
Blogger Selena said...

A brand that recently surprised me that took HFCS out was Ocean Spray! I love cranberry grape juice but had been getting the Whole Foods brand & then one day I noticed that Ocean Spray took HFCS out of theirs, so now I'm back to buying their brand (much more convenient to pick it up at Target!) Also, Hansen's sodas are now being made w/ cane sugar instead of HFCS. I'm so happy because I love their grapefruit soda!

4/7/09, 4:48 PM  
Blogger Surfer Jay said...

Funny thing is, all of the sodas use to say in the ingredients "HFCS/And Or Sugar', now they all say just 'HFCS'. So they took the sucrose out completely. I hope they don't take out HFCS because I am allergic to Sucrose. Of course thats just me...

4/8/09, 2:09 AM  
OpenID alray1281 said...

I'm with cloud, I would say the thing that puts weight on the idea is the corruption of the food industry and the weight that they put on corn. Look into it, if you are interested in this topic it's quite interesting. Googling Mansanto should keep you busy for a while..... =) I agree though.....we need to get away from sugar period. I had a 6 year old take the tomato off their burger before covering it in ketchup, because "tomatoes are gross". What the hell have we done to our kids.....

11/1/09, 6:19 PM  

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