Saturday, June 5, 2010

"Creating a Ubiquitous Sweetener"

The really cool thing about this graphic is the ultimate source: the Corn Refiners Association.  (source)

Seems to me there are a couple interesting issues for further exploration contained in this graphic.

1st: where do Chinese manufacturers come into the process?  Do they get the dry kernels and then produce the various concentrations of HFCS?

2nd: Ok, we know there are other formulations for HFCS, including a HFCS-90 and even HFCS-95.  How do we know which one we are getting?  Often the Audrae Ericksons and Rick Bermans of the world will argue that the HFCS-55 and HFCS-42 are "nutritionally the same" as cane sugar because the rough ratio of fructose to glucose is "the same."  Well, do they pretend not to know that there are varieties of HFCS with 90% or more fructose?  How do consumers know which they are getting? 

3rd: just for fun, let's dissect the opening statement in this graphic:
Corn syrup is found in many food products, including ''all-natural products.''
Why is "all-natural products" in quotes? And this statement then suggests that it's also in all-UN-natural products, as well. What exactly is the difference? When is natural really natural?
Though demonized by many as a leading cause of obesity in the United States, evidence suggests that it may be no different than the refined sugar it often replaces.
The expression "evidence suggests" is interesting.  What evidence?  If there's also evidence that suggests that opposite, then why even make this statement?  And then this phrase strikes me as noteworthy, too: "it MAY be no different than the refined sugar" (emphasis mine) MAY?  I thought the whole argument is that they are "nutritionally the same"??  Different in what respect?
Although the components of high-fructose corn syrup occur naturally in foods, it takes a number of mechanical and chemical processes to turn corn into it. 
Really?  You mean we can't just squeeze HFCS out of an ear of corn? (source for below image)

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