Fork in the Road has learned firsthand what happens when you publish something negative about high-fructose corn syrup: Audrae Erickson, the president of the Corn Refiners Association, writes you offering “science-based information on this safe sweetener,” such as the following:
“There is no nutritional benefit gained by replacing high fructose corn syrup with another caloric sweetener. High fructose corn syrup is simply a kind of corn sugar. It has the same number of calories as sugar and is handled similarly by the body. Like sugar, honey, and some fruit juices, high fructose corn syrup contains almost equal portions of fructose and glucose.”
Oh, really? Then, why are so many food activists spreading word that cheap production of the sweetener wreaks havoc on the environment and that consuming it in large quantities is damaging to our bodies? Several studies have found links between the consumption of HFCS and rates of liver and kidney diseases, but there is no hard evidence to prove that the substance is worse for us than table sugar. Of course, it may be worth a visit to sweetsurprise.com to see what science the Corn Refiners Association has dug up to back their claims that HFCS is just like any other natural sweetener.
In response to Ms. Erickson and the issue she had with our post about people trying to avoid high-fructose corn syrup: Not everyone makes their eating decisions based on caloric intake. For some, the question of HFCS is an ethical and environmental one, with consequences more far-reaching than our overstuffed bellies.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 22, 2009