Lately there's been a advertising push on TV for High Fructose Corn Syrup. This commercial makes my blood boil, as two mom's discuss how "natural" this product is and how crazy all those health nuts are for being down on it. Hopefully you haven't been swayed by the lure of HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup)
I been trying to avoid HFCS for a while now, it's tough, it's in almost everything. Serious, go to your cabinets and pull out 5 packaged foods, I bet you most if not all contain high fructose corn syrup! Why is it bad you say? Well there is a ton of information about this controversial ingredient. Here's some highlights
*Because Corn is almost always genetically modified, high fructose corn syrup, made from corn itself is almost always genetically modified. Ew! This means that roughly 80% of all we eat is genetically modified on account for the high levels of HFCS in our diets.
*When studied in rats, those who ingested fructose (compared to other sugars) did not reach adulthood, DID NOT REACH ADULTHOOD! In addition, they experienced anemia, high cholesterol and heart hypertrophy (meaning their hearts enlarged until they exploded!)
*Sugar (regular) can be broken down in the body in all cells, but fructose can only be digested in the liver, causing excess strain on one vital organ.
In addition to the hazardous health concerns, there are environmental ones too! Due to the fact that corn is grown as a monoculture (the land is used only to grow corn) the crops are never rotated which may be cheaper in the short term, but long term it depletes soil nutrients ending up requiring much more pesticides and fertilizers. Michael Pollan (author of the much loved Omnivore's Dilemma) writes,
"The environmental footprint of HFCS is deep and wide, look no farther than the dead zone in the Gulf [of Mexico], an area the size of New Jersey where virtually nothing will live because it has been starved of oxygen by the fertilizer runoff coming down the Mississippi from the Corn Belt. Then there is the atrazine in the water in farm country -- a nasty herbicide that, at concentrations as little as 0.1 part per billion, has been shown to turn male frogs into hermaphrodites." (Source)
I hope that begins to give you some ammo to step it up yourself, do your research, check out the ingredients, and know what you are ingesting. The more energy, fuel and chemicals used to make your meal, the less healthy it is, you can be sure of that. Green your diet!
How to avoid HFCS
1. Avoid fast food, come on, do I need to give you another reason?
2. Kick your soda habit, switch to natural soda sweetened by sugar cane and other less harmful sweeteners
3. Read those labels, avoid whenever possible
4. Eat fresh and non-processed food