Aside from the fact that the Corn Refiners Association’s new commercials, whose main point is that high fructose corn syrup is harmless in moderation, make people who stay away from the stuff look like blubbering idiots, they also use caloric count and a complete lie to justify its use. Simplistic arguments like “It has the same number of calories as sugar and honey” and “It’s fine in moderation” just do not cut it for people who are interested in nutrition, truly.

First, the belief that nutritionally-sound food is low in fat, calories and cholesterol is a belief perpetuated by companies looking to profit from the thin-is-in era in which we live, which is ironically coinciding with heart-disease era. Fat is necessary and good for cellular activity, calories are energy, cholesterol is only one of a thousand factors contributing to heart disease. I am saying all this to remind everyone that the food advertised on TV is food made with profit, not nutrition, in mind.

The commercials feature an exchange between two people, one who is offering a product containing HFCS and one who is refusing the product because it contains HFCS. When asked why they are refusing it, the person cannot supply an answer and proceeds to stutter until the other person interrupts and explains that HFCS is “made from corn, has the same calories as sugar and honey and is fine in moderation” or that HFCS is “made from corn, doesn’t have artificial ingredients and, like sugar, is fine in moderation.” So people who oppose the use of HFCS just haven’t done their research, duh!

These commercials are employing a fancy marketing thingy I’ll call language manipulation. There is absolutely nothing natural about the way HFCS is conceived. And I consider it more stupid than naive to believe that the corn being used to make HFCS is not genetically modified. So how is HFCS itself not a fucking artificial ingredient? Please do explain.

Then, what really gets my blood boiling is that moderation with HFCS is not easy if your income is low. All the least expensive foods have HFCS in them. For American manufacturers, HFCS is about half the price of cane sugar, due to import quotas and tariffs on cane sugar. In most other countries, sugar is still cheaper than HFCS. Aside from that, high fructose corn syrup’s shelf-life is longer. More appealing still! So HFCS has infiltrated US stores and products for its price and shelf-life, not its nutrient-richness. Not that sugar is chock-full of all those essential vitamins and minerals. My argument is, at least it’s not a genetically-modified, laboratory-created gunk.

I’m finished deconstructing the commercial’s deceptions and bias. If you wanna get fancy and stray away from mere common sense: apparently, when digested, fructose goes straight to the liver and is then released as fat, more fat than any other sugar. It also does not trigger the production of insulin from the pancreas as it normally should when sugar is ingested. Diabetes for all! Or maybe just low-income families. This is very sinister to me.

All that said, there are inexpensive options for HFCS-free foods at HEB (if you’re in Texas). I have found peanut butter, jelly, tomato sauce (plain), yogurt, ice cream and teas without HFCS. Other things, if bought cheap, soda, some juices, canned fruit, those huge gallons of ice cream, bread (this makes me especially sad), soup and frosting almost always have HFCS in them.

I would also like to point out that some things don’t even need sugar in them but they still have HFCS in them to enhance flavor and increase shelf-life. Like peanut butter, tomato sauce and yogurt. Why have an extra ingredient in there? Especially one that is so sketchy? :[


Countless of other stories of course. The St. Paul police do not want a repeat of iwitness’s success in the uncovering of police brutality and lies in 2004.

When I read this badass post about princesses on Anti-Racist Parent, I got some really good ideas and references to cool books I can buy for my little one. Yeah, in a few years. haha. I also was forced to reflect on that aisle in Target that is so infuriating to pass by. The one with princess stuff, tiaras, feather boas, tutus, Hannah Montana. There is a certain harmlessness in wanting to be traditionally feminine- I am merely opposed to the idea of entitlement through nothing but luck, which is what a princess is. I’m dealing with this sort of princess mentality with one of my sisters. I know it’s funny to call it that, but she honestly acts as if everyone else in the house is such a bother to her if we ask her to merely wash dishes. And she calls her little sister lazy. I think it’s because she’s in color guard and her color guard friends are beyond disgusting. One of them knows Spanish but refuses to speak it, and is content with being mistaken for white since she is half-white. They sit around talking shit about people they know for hours. And this sister has had the audacity to twice tell me that I don’t do anything all day. I was infuriated both times, eager to defend myself, or just tell her, I READ ALL DAY LONG and I MAKE CURTAINS! I guess I have some issues with her right now. It started back when I told her why I would never BUY flowers to give someone: they’re ‘factory farmed’ with dangerous pesticides, but the kicker is, the men and women who pick these flowers are severely hurt by the freshness of the pesticides when they are picked. Their hands turn black, get poisonous crystals in them, and for what? So that some dull, uncreative male can uphold his end of the patriarchal agreement? She told me that since she doesn’t see it, she doesn’t really care.She thinks I’m immature to care, and that I should just accept economics. How simple!


Since I plan to not step foot in Target with my child, (at this moment, maybe naively, I can’t imagine why I would ever have to) I feel confident I can avoid at least THAT aisle. But then there are Target ads, not usually offensive, just wildly consumerist (duh, they’re ads), which are not so easy to avoid. Blogsurfing for Target-related stuff led me to this article. The ad picture speaks for itself, so I’ll include it right here:

Yes, that is a woman with her legs wide open and her crotch at the bullseye of Target’s logo- a feeble attempt at making it look like she is making a snow angel. I don’t believe anyone is being nitpicky. It’s hard not to notice this.


21 July 2008

I was participating in the No Border Wall March this past Saturday. Somebody ahead of my friends and I was smoking a cigarette. As if the extremely toxic smoke of a cigarette is not intrusive enough, there were lots of kids around, and a couple of pregnant ladies, including me. So after a few minutes of deliberation I decided to approach the guy, alone. It was a mistake going alone because he attacked me verbally, accusing me of arguing for argument’s sake.

After I posed the question “Since I’m pregnant and there are children around, can you wait until after the march to smoke?” He said he would TRY. His exact response was “I’ll TRY not to smoke.” Later he claims he said he would try not to smoke AROUND ME. Either way, he didn’t stick to his word. Not a minute (that’s not an exaggeration, I had only turned around for a few moments before smelling it) after he finishes his first cigarette he, presumably out of spite for this outspoken BITCH asking him to have some compassion, lit his second. And he stared me down when I noticed. I couldn’t keep my mouth shut; I said “You know, it’s none of my business, but you are obviously not a person of your word.”

Angry that I didn’t take his abuse, he sputtered things like ‘get over it, walk in front of me, you are just saying this to be argumentative’ (yeah!!! as if my fetus is just an argument!) and he was SMIRKING at me. I’m all alone, big big mistake, because I know he sees the opportunity to be as nasty as possible. The only girl witnessing this doesn’t say shit. She just stares. Then the guy proceeds to, instead of turning his head, stare me in the eye (it was a really scornful stare, it made my stomach drop) and blows smoke in my direction. I shout “You’re blowing smoke in my face!” He says “No, I’m not, look, it’s going behind me.” I respond “I can SMELL it, and I just thought you should know that you are blowing smoke in a fetus’s face and now you have that on your conscience!” He said ‘shut the fuck up’ and I turned away, unable to control my shaking.

It was the first time I felt so vulnerable to pregnancy-influenced, amped-up emotions. This guy was also cementing the terrible feeling of loneliness I have been experiencing because of the lack of safe space even in a presumably radical community. I can’t help but wonder if he would have reacted with such hatred if a fellow man had approached him about this, and I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like if I had approached him RUDELY instead of sugar-sweetly. This guy took advantage of me being alone. I had felt like I was in a positive place, and that the conversation would end with us laughing and talking, maybe him asking if I had a boy or girl in my obviously swollen tummy. This guy was a total scumbag, it was written all over his face. The girl was empty-eyed and looked me up and down repeatedly. I found out later they’re ‘friends.’

Later in the day, coincidentally, I was introduced to this scumbag by a really cool guy I know. Like, a really cool guy (who obviously didn’t know what had gone down). It was awkward but funny at the same time. It was almost satisfactory in some ways.

You just never, ever know who will go out of their way to make you feel like you are an asshole for suggesting that you be taken into consideration. I mean, what the fuck? Blowing smoke in a pregnant girl’s face? You low, low human.