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? :[