Do you ever wonder what all the fuss is about high fructose corn syrup? I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials pumped during prime time television sponsored by the Corn Refiners Association that aim to reassure America’s moms that it’s okay to say “yes” to high fructose corn syrup, right?
After all, at least according to these tv moms, high fructose corn syrup is no different than any other sugar. As a matter of fact, HFCS, a is often said to be no different than table sugar. So what’s the big deal, right?
Well, that’s only partially right. A study carried out by Princeton University in 2010 examined the effect of the consuming HFCS versus table sugar in lab rats. As it turns out, rats that had access to HFCS gained significantly more weight than their sugar-water drinking counterparts.
What is even more alarming to that study is that HFCS seems to be in EVERYTHING. And if you’re curious as to why it’s so prolific, I have two words for you: agricultural subsidies.
Right now, corn is a commodity crop and corn growers are eligible to receive subsidies for these types of crops. In simpler terms, America grows an ass-load of super cheap corn.
“Cheap corn has also become a staple in highly processed foods, from sweetened breakfast cereals to soft drinks, that have been linked to an increase in the rate of type 2 diabetes, a condition that currently affects more than one in 12 American adults. Between 1985 and 2010 the price of beverages sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup dropped 24 percent, and by 2006 American children consumed an extra 130 calories a day from these beverages.” Scientific American
Before you go thinking I have it out for corn, I don’t. I do love corn. What I have it out for is processed foods. High fructose corn syrup is exactly that – processed.
When I had La Grande, 7 years ago, I’ve been on a mission to really cut down on how much processed food we consume because I noticed that it is really difficult to control the amount of sugar, salt, and fat that goes into our bodies. Part of my personal awareness campaign really started when I started doing the one thing I always found super obnoxious and extremely pretentious: reading food labels.
I can’t tell you how shocked I was to find HFCS in so man different things! It’s not just sodas, friends. Salad dressings?! Yogurt?! Ridiculous.
I’m a busy mom. I get it. There are days I would just rather answer the age old question “What do you want on your Tombstone” than try to conjure up a time consuming meal from scratch (in the event you were wondering about my Tombstone, pepperoni, of course. Gold star if you got my commercial reference).
I know what you’re thinking. Ditching processed foods is going to be time consuming and expensive. How are you going to find the time to cook from scratch and keep your grocery bill in check?
I’m not going to lie to you, you’re going to spend a little more time in the kitchen. But not much. You may feel like you’re not saving money at first, but I promise, once you build your pantry, you will. Plus, the more you’re cooking at home, the less you’re eating out.
And I’ll do you one better - when you’re controlling how much salt, how much sugar, and how much fat you and your family are consuming, it’ll save you money by keeping your body running at optimal performance. Put junk in, get junk out. Right?
Ditching (or minimizing) processed foods is the ultimate investment in you and your family’s health. Bar none.
Looking for fun recipes to help you ditch some processed foods? I’ve got a few of my favorites here!
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