Sunday, June 29, 2008

HFCS ... Scourge!

Yes, this is coming right on the heels of my last post. After reading the ingredient list on the bottle of "liquid smoke" and seeing high fructose corn syrup, I just had to write something.

Warning: rant mode on.

HFCS, or high fructose corn syrup, is used as a sweetener in all kinds of industrial food. It's cheaper than sugar (from either sugar beets or sugar cane), it lasts longer, and it's easier to handle.

In my not-so-humble opinion ... so what?!? It doesn't taste as good, there's some controversies about the its health effects vs. normal sugars, and ... well, it's industrial food!

Here's a nice example: I'm a big can of Coca Cola. Love the stuff. Actually, I love it too much and I'm trying to quit (emphasis on the "trying"). Back in the States, Coke is made with HFCS.

When I moved to the Philippines, I noticed that the Coke tasted better. How could that be? They're the same, right? Wrong! Philippine Coke is made with cane sugar. Yes, good, old fashioned cane sugar.

Oh, it is so much better. And, it's P21 per liter (as of this writing, that's about US$0.48). So, it's cheaper, too. Ha!

OK, OK, I know it'd be more expensive to use cane sugar in the US because it's not quite as tropical as the Philippines. Still, the difference is in the taste. That's the point.

Sugar tastes better than HFCS. Sugar is also not seriously highly processed goo.

There's a reason that Kosher Coke (Coca Cola made for Passover) is so popular. It's made with cane sugar. There's a reason that Dr. Pepper connoisseurs love the "Dublin Dr. Pepper" (Dr. Pepper made in a plant in Dublin, TX) ... cane sugar, not HFCS.

I'm going to try my best to avoid this junk. And, I hope that more corporations stop using it. Stop being cheap and taking shortcuts.

OK, I feel better now.


Dave said...

I couldn't agree with you more. HFCS is so pervasive - showing up in places you'd never expect to find it, like in the liquid smoke you wrote about, that it demonstrates the necessity of reading the label of everything you pick up in the grocery store.

James said...

I agree entirely! I couldn't believe the ingredients list on the "liquid smoke".

That reminds me ... I need to have another BBQ sauce showdown. Real liquid smoke plus vinegar versus the trumped up liquid smoke.