Written by Contributing Writer, Ashley @Pioneer Momma
High fructose corn syrup. Take one look in today’s grocery store, and chances are, the majority of food items up for sale have high fructose corn syrup as one of the ingredients, if not THE main ingredient. But what is it?
High fructose corn syrup is chemically derived from corn. It is composed of fructose and glucose, the same as sugar, but has a higher ratio of fructose, which makes it sweeter than sugar. Because of this, HFCS can be used in place of sugar, to get more bang for your buck. Well technically, the corn corporations buck. By using less of something sweeter than the conventional ingredient, companies can then start pumping out large quantities of larger portions, with less cost to them.
Now think about where that corn comes from. I recently wrote a post on GMOs that goes more in-depth on that topic. The cloned corn crops of today with the herbicidal and pesticidal alterations at the genetic level have been subject of debates, and under public scrutiny over the potential resulting infertility, tumors, and organ disease. But the main point is this: companies are taking chemically and genetically altered corn, then chemically processing it to create this cheaper version of “sugar”. Sugar is purposely air-quoted, only because by that point, it really is just a mess of unnatural.
I am in no way saying to go out and replace all items in your house that have HFCS with sugar. Both can be dangerous, and lead to diabetes, cancer, and other harmful diseases when consumed in large quantities. But if you had to choose one, organic cane sugar would be the route I’d choose. The glucose and fructose bond isn’t there in the HFCS, as it is in sugar. This means that it goes to the blood stream quicker, and possibly taking all those nasty man-made alterations with it. I know I don’t want chemicals roaming freely in my body, do you?
High fructose corn syrup is in a lot of foods most people eat today, but it can be avoided. Simply look at the ingredient lists next time you are in the grocery store. Better yet, try some homemade versions of your favorite foods. I know this week I’ll be coming up with a good recipe for homemade ketchup. Most bottles in the US have the corn syrup. But did you know that same company makes the European version with sugar? So it can be done…
What are your thoughts? I love to hear from all perspectives!
**Necessary disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and am in no way giving medical advice. Any concerns should be directed toward your family doctor.**