The sour truth about sugar
September 21st, 2010
03:30 PM ET
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Last week, the Corn Refiners Association announced that it petitioned the FDA for permission to change the name of high fructose corn syrup to "corn sugar." Just a few years ago, in the era of "sugar-free Snackwells," and other similarly marketed foods, such an idea would have been unthinkable. But after a few decades of being among the most vilified substances in the supermarket, "sugar" - meaning sucrose, the old-fashioned white stuff made from cane and beets - is back.

Big food companies are actually bragging that they're using it again, slapping the words "real sugar" on ads and product labels. Meanwhile, sugar is no better for you than it was before, which is to say, terrible, whether it comes in the form of cane crystals or corn squeezin's.

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soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Irene Walworth

    Why not teach people that there are many sugars...sucrose, fructose, dextrose, etc and that different plants have various levels of different sugars. They ARE NOT the same and they ARE NOT metabolized the same way. I personally eat only unrefined sugars whenever possible. And as always: variety is not only the spice of life, it's necessary for a balanced diet!

    September 30, 2010 at 11:10 am |
  2. Evil Grin

    Yup. It's called marketing. When sugar was villifed in public opinion, they gave us another sweet option. When that turned out to be worse for us than regular sugar, consumption wise, they realized that people would rather have regular sugar back. So now they can grab consumers by proclaiming "REAL SUGAR" as if it hadn't been the same all along.

    Personally, I still like sugar free products. Lots of people disagree with me, but I don't mind products made with sugar substitutes, like Splenda. But of HFCS and regularly processed cane or beat sugar, I'd rather not have the HFCS or corn sugar. I just don't think the body processes it the same way, perhaps to our detriment.

    September 22, 2010 at 10:46 am |
  3. TelcoPhil

    If HFCS were really ok and no different than sugar, why is the corn industry running all these TV spots trying to convince us that it is true?

    I stopped drinking soda-pop, which I never drank much of anyway, stopped eating any food whose label listed any form of HFCS and I dropped from 160 pounds down to 130 pounds.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:40 am |
  4. John Drake

    Boycott Monsanto. They are evil! Do research on GMO foods and the paper trail leads back to Monsanto. Follow the paper trail on Nutrasweet, and it leads back to Monsanto. They want to achieve a stranglehold on the world's food supply, which is immoral.

    September 21, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
    • ohmieathomie

      JD, you are right on it, but you already know. Monsanto has been working very hard to get where they the most evil place in American Food History. Watch out people, they have just begun. Can you say "GMO salmon"? Coming very soon to replace the real thing.

      September 21, 2010 at 9:01 pm |
  5. Aloysius

    This inane, anti-sugar rant misses the point about the CRA wanting to change "high fructose corn syrup" to "corn sugar" (or "liquid sugar," which I have also seen reported as one of their options). I detest the taste and mouth feel of HFCS. Many others dislike HFCS because it comes from genetically altered (and often Monsanto-trademarked) crops. And sill others believe the mass-hysteria-promoted rumor (incorrect) that HFCS has magical, evil properties that will degrade the health of anyone who gets near them. As far as the human digestive system goes, sugar is sugar. But people have the right to know what is going into their bodies - no matter what is the nature of their concerns - and this effort by the CRA is just another step toward taking away that right. Any intelligent person will be able to understand that the ingredient "corn sugar" is HFCS, but if it's listed as "liquid sugar,' how are we to know that it's any different from the (also purposely disguised) "evaporated cane juice" listed on many organic products? This has to do with honesty in labeling, and the rights of consumers to know what they are eating. The CRA should try to fix the bad rep of HFCS another way.

    September 21, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
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