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New York Times article on high fructose corn syrup

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Wondering what people thought of this article skeptical of the villanization of HFCS in the nytimes:


I've always been type of person to bring up those studies in casual conversation--i.e. HFCS is linked to obsesity and is evil and etc. Reading this article, my self-righteousness kind of crumbled. And I thought of other additives people eschew for being vaguely evil (Nutrasweet/Splenda), with a similar lack of real evidence to back their qualms. So I'm wondering: is it enough to just say: if it's not natural, it's bad, and if anyone else found this article provocative.

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  1. hi, i found that article quite interesting. mainly because i constantly hear about all the bad things of high fructose corn syrup, and then eventually found myself trying to avoid it, but all based on no real evidence, just talk. so i enjoyed learning that it's really not any worse than regular sugar.

    if you haven't read it, you should read the article on splenda and other sweeteners that the new yorker ran a few weeks back. it was quite intriguing learning how these sweeteners come about and how creating possible pesticides can lead to the discovery of a new sweetener! :)

    1. Thanks for the link. For me, hfcs content tends to remind me that I will be getting a product containing more "empty calories" than flavor. I don't think this because of bio-chemistry realities, more of a matter of manufactured vs. cooked cultures and the trends/habits involved.

      1. Thanks for the link. Very suprising! Recently the Times had a very similar story about trans fat--concluding that they are no worse for you than saturated fats (ie butter).

        1. Basic rule of thumb: there is no such thing as "bad" food in moral terms, unless your religion has specific moral strictures about foods. Americans have a long and deep cultural habit of moralizing about food; it's something chowhounds should champion moving beyond....

          1. I too read the article with interest (I used to work in trade and ag policy). HFCS might not be "evil" in chowish terms, but it is associated with some pretty bad public policy (expensive and trade-distorting subsidies). This is the same policy that encourages cattle farmers to feed their herds corn, to which the bovine digestive system is ill-suited. Michael Pollan's new book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, has a lot of good info on this (but some of its contents might put you off your chow for a while).

            1. I thought it was really interesting how the increase in soda consumption came about for all kinds of reasons, such as bigger marketing budgets.

              I've basically come to think that it's just best to always buy as few products in boxes, jars and cans as possible and not worry too much otherwise. If the vast majority of your diet comes from fresh produce, fresh meats and cheeses and dairy products and a few extras like bread from a bakery, then it's unlikely you'll be consuming anything you can't pronounce.