Re: Docket No. FDA-2010-P-0149
May 30, 2012 5:21 PM   Subscribe

FDA Rules Corn Syrup Can't Change Its Name To Corn Sugar

"Consequently, the use of the term “corn sugar” for HFCS would suggest that HFCS is a solid, dried, and crystallized sweetener obtained from corn. Instead, HFCS is an aqueous solution sweetener derived from corn after enzymatic hydrolysis of cornstarch, followed by enzymatic conversion of glucose (dextrose) to fructose. Thus, the use of the term “sugar” to describe HFCS, a product that is a syrup, would not accurately identify or describe the basic nature of the food or its characterizing properties. As such, using the term “sugar” would not be consistent with the general principles governing common or usual names under 21 CFR 102.5. "
posted by TangerineGurl (100 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
So disingenuous...
It should read...As such, using the term “sugar” would not be consistent with the general principles governing effective marketing
posted by PJLandis at 5:26 PM on May 30, 2012


<archer_daniels_midland>OK... how about "corn goodness"?</archer_daniels_midland>
posted by Flunkie at 5:27 PM on May 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


See how regulatory capture is exaggerated and the corn lobby can be beaten down in favour of truth when the sugar lobby can lobby against them.
posted by jaduncan at 5:28 PM on May 30, 2012 [17 favorites]


This is a good decision, because corn syrup is in fact a syrup, not a sugar. However, the fact that it is a syrup and not a sugar has no effect on its toxicity or danger to the public. The only reason they wanted this change is because to many of us would be to stupid to notice.

Its like how upset people get about the idea of labeling HFCS - a product that honestly contains no fats, oils or lipids of any kind - as 'fat free.'
posted by Blasdelb at 5:30 PM on May 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


What would happen if the US just up and ended all corn subsidies? Seriously. I'd like to know.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:34 PM on May 30, 2012 [23 favorites]


Me too
posted by PaulaSchultz at 5:34 PM on May 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


What would happen if the US just up and ended all corn subsidies? Seriously. I'd like to know.

The entire economy of the midwest would collapse overnight.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:35 PM on May 30, 2012 [20 favorites]


Since a syrup is a solution of sugars, I'm not sure how meaningful this is.

"Organic" refers to both naturally grown food as well as the synthetic chemicals that Organic Food seeks to avoid. I don't really have high hopes for sensible and consistent naming for this kind of thing.
posted by b1tr0t at 5:35 PM on May 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


[though I guess the syrup / sugar thing is more logical than the organic / organic thing]
posted by b1tr0t at 5:36 PM on May 30, 2012


Next stop: corn honey
posted by 2bucksplus at 5:37 PM on May 30, 2012 [15 favorites]


Politically, several states would shift behind whichever party hadn't cut them.

That aside, NZ did it, and there's a reasonable article evaluating that in the US context.
posted by jaduncan at 5:37 PM on May 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


I suggest "sweet, sweet, nectar".
posted by Grumpy old geek at 5:42 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Since a syrup is a solution of sugars, I'm not sure how meaningful this is.

Because most people understand "syrup" to be any kind of thickish liquid - corn syrup, maple syrup, cough syrup and so forth. Call something "sugar" and it invokes images of either a crystalline powder you find in packets at diner tables, or canes swaying in the Cuban sun as shirtless laborers hack them down with machetes. Calling HFCS "corn sugar" was a deliberate attempt at rebranding this shit as being something more wholesome, even more natural, than what it actually is. It's a 21st century "it's toasted".
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:43 PM on May 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


Jay: Yo, y'all, you can't let your sugar daddy relabel a Benz as a Hyundai yo.

Y'all: Word?

Jay: Pardon me, I had to laugh at that. What the sugar industry is doing here is conflating some shit. They want to consider THAT shit as THAT OTHER shit. Charlize, man, she done with that.

Kanye: Word. It's like a magical rainbow too good to be true. If Bus't ain't around to cap that shit then we just repeat, 'George Bush Hates Non-Sugar-Sweetened people.

Jay: Ha. Ha. Ha. Pardon me, I had to laugh at that Kane. You would like sugar cane. Kane. Man, your coffee be..."

Kayne "Cray."

Jay: "Word, cray."
posted by nickrussell at 5:43 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe they should try calling it Sugah?
posted by Ron Thanagar at 5:44 PM on May 30, 2012


Since a syrup is a solution of sugars, I'm not sure how meaningful this is.

Well, there's only a kernel of truth in it.

The entire economy of the midwest would collapse overnight.

Must resist urge to make Red State Socialism joke....
posted by Celsius1414 at 5:47 PM on May 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


How about calling it Unregurgitated Agricultural Slime Product?
At least for the major amount of it that no one ever vomited.
posted by hexatron at 5:48 PM on May 30, 2012


Luckily for us traditionalists, Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.
posted by tommasz at 5:48 PM on May 30, 2012


Metafilter: to many of us would be to stupid to notice.
posted by joe lisboa at 5:49 PM on May 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


I, for one, blame the corn sugar.
posted by joe lisboa at 5:49 PM on May 30, 2012


Why should I drink Diet Coke when regular coke is already Sugar-Free?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:49 PM on May 30, 2012 [9 favorites]


Good. I want all corn subsidies ended (let the corn growers fail or adapt) and I want real sugar freed from government controls. Fire the people in USDA and whatever who formulate and enforce the regulatory shit.

Everything would be cheaper and we would all be healthier.

This is what happens when government turns into Medusa.
posted by caclwmr4 at 5:49 PM on May 30, 2012


My vote goes for "America Sauce"
posted by briank at 5:50 PM on May 30, 2012 [42 favorites]


"Corn Suger" probably on deck now.
posted by jquinby at 5:51 PM on May 30, 2012


The only reason they wanted this change is because to many of us would be to stupid to notice.

I extra hate that this isn't even a long-term solution to anything. They want to screw up our language and labeling system to buy themselves a few years before whatever the new name they come up with acquires all the bad connotations they're trying to avoid now. Because it's not like there's some one-time corn syrup-related disaster they're trying to distance themselves from.
posted by aubilenon at 5:51 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is what happens when government turns into Medusa.

No, this is what happens when you meet a stranger in the Alps.
posted by joe lisboa at 5:52 PM on May 30, 2012 [10 favorites]


Fire the people in USDA and whatever who formulate and enforce the regulatory shit.

Everything would be cheaper and we would all be healthier.


Various quibbles aside, I'm a fan of food regulation. Abolishing regulation does not magically make everything cheap and safe.
posted by jsturgill at 5:52 PM on May 30, 2012 [17 favorites]


Ok ok, how about Happy Fun Corny Syrupliciousness?
posted by orme at 5:54 PM on May 30, 2012


Altria something something
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:55 PM on May 30, 2012


"Corn Suger" probably on deck now.

Maybe "Corn Chigurh"?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:55 PM on May 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


As long as corn syrup is still a vegetable, I'm cool.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:56 PM on May 30, 2012


Tasteinium
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:56 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


The sugar/HFCS monster is not mere "regulation", it is make-work for government wonks and an entire industry of bribery and corruption, at the literal expense and diminished health of Americans. There are no positive features for the American people.

"Food regulation" in general is a different matter.
posted by caclwmr4 at 5:56 PM on May 30, 2012


How about "corruptose". (Y'all better favorite this.)
posted by caclwmr4 at 5:57 PM on May 30, 2012 [19 favorites]


ASFY- America Sauce Fuck Yeah
posted by spicynuts at 5:58 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fire the people in USDA and whatever who formulate and enforce the regulatory shit.

Everything would be cheaper and we would all be healthier.


This is *completely* what history shows has happened in China and other jurisdictions with not much in the way of regulatory oversight of foodstuffs.
posted by jaduncan at 5:58 PM on May 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


Honestly, I think it's a kind of arbitrary ruling. I understand how they got there and don't fault them for it, but as far as the consumer is concerned there is no good reason to distinguish between a sweetener added to a product as a liquid and one added as a solid. As the ruling says,
You also state that the name “corn sugar” as an alternate common or usual name for HFCS fully satisfies the criteria for common or usual names under 21 CFR 102.5(a) because “corn sugar” accurately reflects the source of the food (corn), identifies the basic nature of the food (a sugar), and discloses the food’s function (a sweetener).
All of which is true, and it does convey more understandable information to the consumer than HFCS. Yes, yes, I understand that the motives behind the proposed change were entirely marketing related, but regardless I don't see the merit in using a name that most people don't understand for the product. Unless, of course, you want it to continue sounding vaguely menacing to deter usage of a product with alleged health risks. But that's just playing the flip side of the marketing coin.

I think a more important part of the ruling is buried at the end though,
In addition, a search of the scientific literature[7] and various public websites demonstrates that “corn sugar” is often the term that is used to describe dextrose.
...
Moreover, “corn sugar” has been known to be an allowed ingredient for individuals with hereditary fructose intolerance or fructose malabsorption,[12] who have been advised to avoid ingredients that contain fructose.
This is an area where confusion on the part of the consumer could actually cause some harm, unlike the solid vs. liquid distinction quoted above. If I was the one-man FDA, I would think that would be reason enough to keep the names distinct.
posted by kiltedtaco at 5:59 PM on May 30, 2012 [9 favorites]


corn juice; cob nectar; kernel caramel; maize cassonade
posted by p3on at 6:00 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


No, America Sauce is clearly Ranch Dressing. Or maybe that's Freedom Gravy, I forget.
posted by Rat Spatula at 6:01 PM on May 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


You're all thinking small. Manna™ from Kansas.
posted by jaduncan at 6:02 PM on May 30, 2012


aw man, 'maize manna' works way better
posted by p3on at 6:03 PM on May 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Subsidy Juice; Iowa Welfare Sauce; Fly Over Country Communism Extract
posted by spicynuts at 6:03 PM on May 30, 2012 [22 favorites]


Personally I don't see why anyone would ever pass up the opportunity to say the word fructose.
posted by audi alteram partem at 6:04 PM on May 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is an area where confusion on the part of the consumer could actually cause some harm, unlike the solid vs. liquid distinction quoted above. If I was the one-man FDA, I would think that would be reason enough to keep the names distinct.
That's interesting - I wasn't aware that Corn Sugar was understood to mean a specific kind of sugar.
posted by b1tr0t at 6:05 PM on May 30, 2012


Personally I don't see why anyone would ever pass up the opportunity to say the word fructose.

daffy duck and porky pig might have an idea why
posted by spicynuts at 6:06 PM on May 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


> Why should I drink Diet Coke when regular coke is already Sugar-Free?

Oh man, favoriting is not enough for that one.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:07 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why should I drink Diet Coke when regular coke is already Sugar-Free?
posted by furiousxgeorge


Because it goes better with rum, that's why.
posted by blaneyphoto at 6:10 PM on May 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Next stop: corn honey
Why not? There certainly isn't any honey in most "real" honey anyway.
posted by usonian at 6:14 PM on May 30, 2012


Everything would be cheaper and we would all be healthier.

Ron Paul has some reading to do.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:16 PM on May 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh man, favoriting is not enough for that one.

That's what the fantastic flag is for!

Because it goes better with rum, that's why.

*sips rum and generic diet cola*, hmmm, I think I'm okay.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:16 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


but regardless I don't see the merit in using a name that most people don't understand for the product.

Perhaps because it accurately reflects that it's a deeply processed chemical product that comes at the end of a factory farming scheme that fucks up the soil, requires massive expenditure of chemical fertilizer used to enrich Dow and Dupont chemicals, grows a crop (the specific corn used is inedible) and simply a substance to be used in a long line of shit processed foods, from candy to sodas, to breads and cakes and condiments, all that shit they sell at gas station quick markets that has zero nutritional value and all that shit at McDonald's including the meat which is derived from feeding the cows that processed HFCS muck to fatten up as quick as possible and the whole circle jerk of waste in energy costs and water production and methane production and water table pollution that comes from millions of cows to the fact that a farmer is essentially a serf to the chemical companies who sell them the fertilizer and the huge agri-concerns that buy their useless unless processed to within an inch of their lives corn kernals...

And it that wasn't all, HFCS tastes like shit. It tastes like shit in ketchup and it makes meat taste like shit and candy and soda and bread and etc...etc....

Also, health costs.


Hell, they should call High Fructose Corn Syrup, something even more egregious like Guaranteed Heart Attack Sewage (tm.) or Corporate Zombie Slave BrainDeath (tm.).
posted by Skygazer at 6:18 PM on May 30, 2012 [8 favorites]


That's what the fantastic flag is for!

Fuck me, I thought it meant "subjected to cosmic rays and now has an assortment of superpowers". No wonder I'm confused most of the time.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:20 PM on May 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


*sips rum and generic diet cola*, hmmm, I think I'm okay.

You're not okay, man. You're to cool for school.
posted by joe lisboa at 6:26 PM on May 30, 2012


Ok, to be clear, I meant fire everyone involved in the regulatory shit of the sugar/HFCS monster. Stop the corn subsidies, kill the sugar limit and tariff or make the tariff very small, and fire everyone else in 15 government agencies whose job depends on the continuation of the corn/HFCS corruption. I did not mean kill the whole FDA.
posted by caclwmr4 at 6:27 PM on May 30, 2012


Seriously, if anyone in this thread with the slightest interest in this subject still hasn't seen King Corn, you really should. I promise you, it is nothing like the current crop of food advocacy documentaries. (Just in case you think being like them is a bad thing.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:27 PM on May 30, 2012 [6 favorites]


killfiles, now with more "corn" "sugar."
posted by joe lisboa at 6:35 PM on May 30, 2012


Yep. King Corn, George Spiggott. I love that film. So, so, excellent. Great documentary filmmaking with real heart, and real brains.

(It's where most of my rant above comes from actually...)
posted by Skygazer at 6:38 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I meant fire everyone involved in the regulatory shit of the sugar/HFCS monster. Stop the corn subsidies, kill the sugar limit and tariff or make the tariff very small, and fire everyone else in 15 government agencies whose job depends on the continuation of the corn/HFCS corruption.

Congress decides on corn subsidies. You aren't going to be able to get rid of them just by firing people.
posted by grouse at 6:47 PM on May 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


This will have....I'm guessing less than zero effect on anyone's consumption of the stuff.
posted by jonmc at 6:59 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


to many of us would be to stupid

I would also be to stupid, if I weren't already to smart.
posted by grog at 7:00 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Based on my diet, it should be called 'mana.'
posted by hot_monster at 7:01 PM on May 30, 2012


caclwmr4: "I want all corn subsidies ended (let the corn growers fail or adapt) and I want real sugar freed from government controls."

I don't. I think the subsidy, if it were administered properly, would achieve the goal of keeping a reasonable amount of food production in the US while also not rewarding people for growing corn to be converted into HFCS.
posted by wierdo at 7:02 PM on May 30, 2012


There is already a thing named corn sugar. It makes my beer fizzy!
posted by mkb at 7:11 PM on May 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


You know what else we could do with all that ridiculously high sugar/starch corn? Turn it in to ethanol! Oh, wait, my bad, then we're competing with a food crop and that's no good. Never mind.
posted by maryr at 7:16 PM on May 30, 2012


I'm so tired of all this trendy corn-bashing. The most popular "anti-HFCS" scientific study people throw around (the Princeton one with the rats) wasn't very good.

Countries which have high added sugar consumption have health problems. It doesn't matter where the sugar comes from. It's the same in the UK (where they don't really use HFCS to the extent we do in the US), and increasingly around the world where added sugars are a rising source of calories.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 7:20 PM on May 30, 2012 [6 favorites]


A bit off topic: You know how everything edible on supermarket shelves now advertises "Antioxidants!!"? Well I learned a few days that the controversial preservative BHT is one! I'm gonna become a food marketing genius!
posted by daninnj at 7:23 PM on May 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


BTW I think all the corn bashing is less about corn and more about the processing of food. Sugar does sound more pure compared to something with a four word name even if the body does see it as the same.
posted by daninnj at 7:25 PM on May 30, 2012


very obviously it should be called FREEDOM FRUCTOSE.
posted by elizardbits at 7:47 PM on May 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


briank: "My vote goes for "America Sauce""

I think you meant Amercia Sauce.

blaneyphoto: "Why should I drink Diet Coke when regular coke is already Sugar-Free?
posted by furiousxgeorge


Because it goes better with rum, that's why.
"

Blasphemy. Sugar Coke is by far the best cola drink to mix with rum.
posted by wierdo at 7:55 PM on May 30, 2012


Countries which have high added sugar consumption have health problems.

Oh, it's just sugar, then? Awesome, I can go back to cramming french fries down my gullet and subsisting on pizza.
posted by indubitable at 7:55 PM on May 30, 2012


corn poison?
posted by philip-random at 8:13 PM on May 30, 2012


Because it goes better with rum, that's why.

If you're drinking rum that needs cola, you're drinking the wrong goddamn rum.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 8:15 PM on May 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


CORN JISM.

Oh yes. You know it's it. that is it. Corn Jism is it. What HFCS should be renamed or the name of Coca-Cola's next big soft drink...

Have a Coke CORN JSIM and a smile, all ya'll...ooooweeee!!!

or

Hey hold on there, pardner. You need a little rest and relaxation.

Some refreshment...

Have a nice cold, sparkling supersized can of CO-OORN JISSSM COLA!!

Because, why?

Because fuuuuuuck you,

that's why.


Ahhhh.....

posted by Skygazer at 9:00 PM on May 30, 2012


Rum doesn't need cola but cola is enjoyed by many and rum makes it even better. I usually use cheaper whiskey blends like Crown Royal myself and save the good booze for sipping.

I still fondly remember when it dawned on my that whiskey and coke tasted better than coke alone..

Oh and corn syrup is vaguely insidious because of the subsidies wrapped around corn and it's easier to speculate with and hoard corn commodities since it stores easily and for long periods and corn is just nowhere near as badass as sugarcane or beets just in principle, it's just a perfect representation of how freakin fake and insipid processed foods can be. Since it is so cheap it goes into foods that really don't call for it but hey the competition is doing it and it gives them an edge nom nom
posted by aydeejones at 9:02 PM on May 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Countries which have high added sugar consumption have health problems. It doesn't matter where the sugar comes from. It's the same in the UK (where they don't really use HFCS to the extent we do in the US), and increasingly around the world where added sugars are a rising source of calories.

I'm going to note that this is an uneducated comment, so someone please come along and correct me. But I wonder whether it's actual added sugar consumption or just added sweetening. Because there may not be much HFCS in the UK, but there's a hell of a lot of aspartame.
posted by hoyland at 9:08 PM on May 30, 2012


Is there really anyone out there who is not going to die of scurvy or rickets anyway who thinks that either syrup or sugar sounds particularly healthy?

Since strong acids dissociates completely in water, did the FDA just basically create a precedent for labeling hydrochloric acid as hydrogen chloride solution?

Aspartame isn't a sugar, just two kludged together amino acids.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:10 PM on May 30, 2012


Amerisauce and its variants (freedom fructose, liberty syrup, patriot spoo) all have a nice ring to it, although if I had my way I'd just call it "corm".
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:12 PM on May 30, 2012


I stopped eating high fructose corn syrup when I found out that it didn't actually get me high. Talk about deceptive labeling.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:24 PM on May 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've been hating the ubiquitous, cloying sweetness of HFCS for so long now that I have a hard time remembering how it was to be a kid with a sweet tooth. I don't much care what they call the crap at this point.
posted by metagnathous at 9:33 PM on May 30, 2012


Is there really anyone out there who is not going to die of scurvy or rickets anyway who thinks that either syrup or sugar sounds particularly healthy?

I think most sodas have enough ascorbic acid to keep you from getting scurvy. As for rickets... go outside!
posted by maryr at 9:46 PM on May 30, 2012


This was a good decision.

I hope it puts an end to those irritating "corn sugar or cane sugar" commercials.

If you eat nutritionally reasonable amounts of sugar/sweetener it really shouldn't make too much of a difference if it's HFCS or not. Problem is that's not true for lots of people.
posted by zennie at 10:01 PM on May 30, 2012


Corn Elixir?
posted by mazola at 10:12 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


The word sugar is one of those words, like taxi, that's almost the same in most languages. So we really shouldn't try to mess with the meaning of that word, because that would just confuse the entire planet.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:45 PM on May 30, 2012


Sweet'N Maize?
posted by mazola at 10:58 PM on May 30, 2012


I think the name change was a stupid idea, but I've never seen any evidence that HFCS is actually any worse for you than other sources of sugars like sucrose; It's a 50/50 mix of glucose and fructose. That's basically identical to honey; most fruits have the same concentrations of sugars and sucrose breaks down to the same thing in the stomach.

There was one study that showed some rats gained more weight being forced to drink nothing but water with HFCS in it (equivalent to a human drinking nothing but non-diet soft drinks), but if you look at the actual results in some of the experiments the rats that had sugar instead gained more weight, and in some the control group gained more weight than either.

Other than that, there are just a lot of studies that show eating a lot of sugar is bad for you. Some study HCFS and others study sucrose, but there's no direct comparison other than the one study with a handful of rats, which was trumpeted as "proving" HCFS was worse but isn't clear at all when you read it.
And it that wasn't all, HFCS tastes like shit. It tastes like shit in ketchup and it makes meat taste like shit and candy and soda and bread and etc...etc....
I find that kind of unlikely. It's just fructose and glucose mixed in (about) equal concentrations. Any kind of sweet fruit, be they apples, grapes, watermelon, etc are sweet due to the same chemicals in the same concentrations. It's not clear that they would taste any different with sucrose instead.
BTW I think all the corn bashing is less about corn and more about the processing of food. Sugar does sound more pure compared to something with a four word name even if the body does see it as the same.
Yeah, exactly. "High fructose corn syrup" sounds "chemically" while "Honey" or "Sugar" sounds "natural" even though honey, from a chemical standpoint is almost exactly the same thing – a 50/50 mixture of fructose and glucose. And "Sugar" usually refers to sucrose, which is made by sticking a fructose molecule to a glucose molecule.

The paranoia about it is just so ridiculous. And so widespread.
The word sugar is one of those words, like taxi, that's almost the same in most languages. So we really shouldn't try to mess with the meaning of that word, because that would just confuse the entire planet.
The thing is, though that "sugar" can actually refer to a bunch of different molecules (including some large ones that aren't even very sweet). Fructose and glucose are both sugars, and that's what makes up HFCS. Both HFCS and cane sugar are both reasonably called "Sugar" They both work the same way in the body. That doesn't mean HFCS should get to change its name now.

The word "Syrup" just means a gooey solution of sugar, and HFCS is a gooey solution of sugar, so it's a reasonable name. Just don't get confused and think that it's somehow not sugar. It is sugar, just not the same sugar in crystal cane sugar. That's sucrose.

But it is the same sugar (or the same two sugars in about the same ratio) as what you find in Honey, as well as in fruits. In fact, that's why they call it fructose. Because it's found in fruits.
posted by delmoi at 1:19 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've never seen any evidence that HFCS is actually any worse for you than other sources of sugars like sucrose; It's a 50/50 mix of glucose and fructose. That's basically identical to honey; most fruits have the same concentrations of sugars and sucrose breaks down to the same thing in the stomach.

That's a really simplistic chemical analysis. Hydroxymethylfurfural levels are different for HFCS and honey, for example.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:38 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Delmoi: But it is the same sugar (or the same two sugars in about the same ratio) as what you find in Honey, as well as in fruits. In fact, that's why they call it fructose. Because it's found in fruits.

Except for the that little fact that sucrose and fructose (yes, the sugar in fruit) are naturally occurring and HFCS is actually, processed at high temps out of a powdery starchy sort of a type of corn variety that isn't even edible when it's picked. Real sugar, as in sucrose / cane sugar, or fruit sugar absolutely destroys HFCS in terms of taste and breaks down in the body more effectively causing less of a massive blood glucose spike, and less of a sugar crash, which just leads to more munchies and people putting more HFCS processed shit into themselves.

Try one of the new HFCS free ketchups (Annie's Ketchup, is great), or, if you can find it, real sugar coca-cola. It's just much better without the bitter, crappy aftertaste of HFCS.
posted by Skygazer at 3:51 AM on May 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


Farm subsidies and related programs total around $20 Billion. In government terms that's barely the cost of an oil change on a humvee. Can we stop blaming our fat asses and the decline of civilization on farm subsidies please*?

*Also, can we stop claiming that the midwest would completely collapse without them?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:07 AM on May 31, 2012


Awww, poor agribusiness industry. They were just trying to poison us in a friendlier sounding way.
posted by nowhere man at 5:12 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Patriot Sauce.
posted by chillmost at 5:37 AM on May 31, 2012


I read that as "Cough Syrup", and thought trying to rebrand it to Corn Sugar was a bit of a reach.
posted by phl at 5:44 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Soo, we could cut all corn subsidies and replace them with subsidies for good farming technique and properly rotated crops. Subsidies exist to promote socially beneficial behavior and George Washington would be crazy pissed off if he had any idea we'd become a nation of corn and soy bean "farmers". At Mount Vernon, corn was one year crop out of a seven year rotation because of its well known destructiveness to soil.
posted by Skwirl at 6:18 AM on May 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


Except for the that little fact that sucrose and fructose (yes, the sugar in fruit) are naturally occurring and HFCS is actually, processed at high temps out of a powdery starchy sort of a type of corn variety that isn't even edible when it's picked
Why would that affect how it tastes?
Try one of the new HFCS free ketchups (Annie's Ketchup, is great), or, if you can find it, real sugar coca-cola. It's just much better without the bitter, crappy aftertaste of HFCS.
Yeah the problem here is that a "high quality" expensive product that probably uses better ingredients overall is probably going to taste better then a cheap one. In order to have a fair test, you'd need to use all the same ingredients rather comparing cheap ketchup expensive stuff. And anyway, I'm not really that much of a fan of ketchup, I don't use it very often.

As far as coke goes I find it kind of hilarious that anti HFCS advocates say that HFCS is unhealthy and how how pop would taste so much better if it was sweetened by sucrose instead! Except pop sweetened by sucrose or HFCS would be terrible for you
Soo, we could cut all corn subsidies and replace them with subsidies for good farming technique and properly rotated crops. Subsidies exist to promote socially beneficial behavior and George Washington would be crazy pissed off if he had any idea we'd become a nation of corn and soy bean "farmers". At Mount Vernon, corn was one year crop out of a seven year rotation because of its well known destructiveness to soil.
He'd probably be more pissed off that marijuana was illegal.

posted by delmoi at 8:37 AM on May 31, 2012


In High Fructose Corn Sugar the deeds were done and done again, as my life is done in High Fructose Corn Sugar. I'll tell you about it because I am here and you are distant.
 
posted by Herodios at 9:34 AM on May 31, 2012


What would happen if the US just up and ended all corn subsidies? Seriously. I'd like to know.

That idea was just raised in the last Freakonomics podcast. The guy they had on said it's likely the whole banking system would collapse due to the massive loans banks make to farmers.
posted by jasonmc at 10:11 AM on May 31, 2012


Why would that affect how it tastes?

I don't think he was speaking to the taste of HFCS, as much as he was speaking to the comparison with more naturally occurring fructoses and sucroses.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:17 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Delmoi: As far as coke goes I find it kind of hilarious that anti HFCS advocates say that HFCS is unhealthy and how how pop would taste so much better if it was sweetened by sucrose instead! Except pop sweetened by sucrose or HFCS would be terrible for you

Yes. It does taste better when you have an occasional Coke. Go easy on the Coca-Cola. Good point, Delmoi. Thank you for pointing that out.

But what makes HFCS truly repellent is that it's an entire industrial scheme and factory farming system that impoverishes everything, it's production touches: The soil, the farmers, family-farms, the environment and other food sources and products and the health of adults and kids who eat too much of it and the whole government/corporate infrastructure that protects it...
posted by Skygazer at 11:52 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


trendy corn-bashing

Weirdly, "corn-bashing" sounds like one of those euphemisms for anal sex that deeply closeted homophobes are always spouting, like "fart knocker" and "fudge packer".
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:25 PM on May 31, 2012


That idea was just raised in the last Freakonomics podcast. The guy they had on said it's likely the whole banking system would collapse due to the massive loans banks make to farmers.
Uh, did they not notice that the banking system already collapsed 4 years ago? Federal farm subsidies are only about $20 billion a year, while the TARP bailouts were over $1T. $20b is a drop in the bucket, and the freakonomics people are complete idiots.

But at least initially you might see a massive spike in the price of corn, as the overall amount of corn planted would go way down. Which would of course cause farmers to plant a ton next year causing a crash and so on for a couple years until the price stabilizes.

Anyway, let's get real. You don't want to fuck around with the food supply in any country. You screw it up, and people starve. You might assume that wouldn't happen in a rich country like the US, and sure we could always import food like many countries do (such as Japan). However, with 300 million people plus the fact that we're a net food exporter there might not be enough. Having a major change to ag policy over some political point is what Mugabe did in Zimbabwe or what Mao did in China with the great leap forward. Zimbabwe went from a net food exporter to a country that had to rely on foreign aid. In China? Mass starvation.

And even if it didn't cause problems in the US, it would mean a massive drop in the total amount of available food produced globally.

If you think the wrong things are being subsidized, then subsidize other things. No reason you can't have subsidies for organic food, for example. I think one thing we should consider doing is subsidizing the purchase of healthy food at the consumer level, rather then at the farm level.
posted by delmoi at 2:30 PM on May 31, 2012


Changing farm subsidies from $20 billion to $0 in a year is a non-starter, even for someone opposed to corn subsidies such as myself. It's obvious that you would want to gradually reduce the subsidy.
posted by grouse at 5:10 PM on May 31, 2012


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