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We are facing a major epidemic in this country that could mean our children will
be the first generation to not live longer than their parents.

Nothing illustrates the perverseness of subsidies and our political system better
than the politics of sugar, which has led to a major danger for our children and
our country:   The epidemic of obesity and type two diabetes along with an
alarming rise in metabolic syndrome.

“Diabetes and cardiovascular disease cause death and disability,” said Professor Paul Zimmet, Chair of the IDF Task Force on Epidemiology and Prevention and co–author of the definition. “Almost 4 million deaths every year are a consequence of diabetes–related causes. And with diabetes set to reach 380 million people within a generation, the death toll can only rise. This is the first generation where children may die before their parents.”

The Next Epidemic?
Metabolic syndrome affects nearly 50 million Americans -- almost one in four American adults. Approximately 7 percent of adults in their 20s and about 40 percent of adults over age 40 meet the criteria for the syndrome. The prevalence in Americans over age 40 has increased by more than 60 percent in the past decade, Medco pointed out.
Although no clinical guidelines for the treatment of metabolic syndrome in children currently exist, the prevalence of this condition in children is on the rise. One out of eight children, ages 8 to 17, has been identified as having metabolic syndrome, placing them at greater risk for premature heart disease and diabetes, Medco noted.

The rise in obesity, diabetes type two and metabolic syndrome could put a major strain on our health care system.

Metabolic syndrome -- a condition characterized by a combination of hypertension, diabetes and obesity -- rapidly is becoming one of the United States' costliest health concerns, a new analysis suggests.
The average yearly pharmacy cost of treating adult patients over age 20 with metabolic syndrome exceeds $4,000 -- more than four times the average annual drug spend for all other patients, according to data released by Medco Health Solutions, Inc. The analysis also found that the number of adults being treated for the conditions associated with metabolic syndrome increased more than 36 percent from 2002 to 2004.

"Metabolic syndrome and its components -- diabetes and pre-diabetes, obesity, hypertension and abnormal lipids -- will likely become the major public health problems we face in the 21st century," said Dr. David M. Nathan, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Diabetes Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.
"Its long-term consequences, including heart disease, stroke, and the other complications of diabetes, can be reduced with aggressive treatment of risk factors, but at a substantial cost. Lifestyle approaches should also decrease metabolic syndrome and its long-term health and economic costs," he added.

House Republicans are pushing back against Obama administration efforts to promote healthier eating in a spending bill that pays for food and farm spending.

High Fructose Corn Syrup sounds innocuous, and if you read labels in the store will find almost every product containing it.  But your body metabolizes hfcs much differently than table sugar. With almost twenty percent of children becoming obese and diabetic, one has to wonder what is happening.  This is nothing less than a major health epidemic.  

The Corn Refiners Association. would have you believe that all sugars are the same and this has been their argument since the introduction of hfcs into our food in 1978.  Americans eat about a half pound of sugar a day most of it in hfcs not sucrose.

  A recently released Princeton study has thrown cold water on the contention that all sugars are created equal.  Sugar in quantity is not healthy for anyone,  but high fructose corn syrup appears to be more dangerous than table sugar.  Because of politics and the support of higher sugar prices in America, hfcs has become the major sweetener in most foods, (even ones you would think contained no sugar),  and all sodas.  The rise of the use of hfcs can be directly linked with the rise of obesity and diabetes in young people and our population in general.

This problem is dealt with in the public as needing many interventions, diet and exercise,  prescriptions to lose weight and lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and even surgery like Gastric Bypass.  But  what if it could be as simple as removing  one ingredient from our diet?

In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States.

"Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn't true, at least under the conditions of our tests," said psychology professor Bart Hoebel, who specializes in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction. "When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they're becoming obese -- every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don't see this; they don't all gain extra weight."

High-fructose corn syrup and sucrose are both compounds that contain the simple sugars fructose and glucose, but there at least two clear differences between them. First, sucrose is composed of equal amounts of the two simple sugars -- it is 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose -- but the typical high-fructose corn syrup used in this study features a slightly imbalanced ratio, containing 55 percent fructose and 42 percent glucose. Larger sugar molecules called higher saccharides make up the remaining 3 percent of the sweetener. Second, as a result of the manufacturing process for high-fructose corn syrup, the fructose molecules in the sweetener are free and unbound, ready for absorption and utilization. In contrast, every fructose molecule in sucrose that comes from cane sugar or beet sugar is bound to a corresponding glucose molecule and must go through an extra metabolic step before it can be utilized. 

This creates a fascinating puzzle. The rats in the Princeton study became obese by drinking high-fructose corn syrup, but not by drinking sucrose. The critical differences in appetite, metabolism and gene expression that underlie this phenomenon are yet to be discovered, but may relate to the fact that excess fructose is being metabolized to produce fat, while glucose is largely being processed for energy or stored as a carbohydrate, called glycogen, in the liver and muscles. 

In the 40 years since the introduction of high-fructose corn syrup as a cost-effective sweetener in the American diet, rates of obesity in the U.S. have skyrocketed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 1970, around 15 percent of the U.S. population met the definition for obesity; today, roughly one-third of the American adults are considered obese, the CDC reported. High-fructose corn syrup is found in a wide range of foods and beverages, including fruit juice, soda, cereal, bread, yogurt, ketchup and mayonnaise. On average, Americans consume 60 pounds of the sweetener per person every year. 

"Our findings lend support to the theory that the excessive consumption of high-fructose corn syrup found in many beverages may be an important factor in the obesity epidemic," Avena said.

This study naturally has come under attack by industries but the attacks are mostly biased and do not look at the study carefully.

Dr. Robert Lustig, professor of pediatric endocrinology at UCSF. dicusses in his video  Sugar the Bitter Truth, a youtube video that has almost one and a half million hits,  the chemistry of hfcs and how it acts on the body the same way as ethanol found in alcohol.  If it were a matter of diet and exercise he asks, “Why do we have an epidemic of obese six month olds? Why does baby formula contains more hfcs than a coke?”
sugar the bitter truth

Because of the high price in sugar in this country, we pay twice as much for sugar than the rest of the world.  Pepsi and Coca-cola switched in 1984 from sugar to HFCS.  It has now become the major sweetener in most products in the grocery store because it is cheaper than sugar.  Ketchup, cereals, cookies, pies, cakes.

A system of sugar tariffs and sugar quotas imposed in 1977 in the United States significantly increased the cost of imported sugar and U.S. producers sought cheaper sources. High-fructose corn syrup, derived from corn, is more economical because the domestic U.S. and Canadian prices of sugar are twice the global price[28] and the price of corn is kept low through government subsidies paid to growers.[29][30]
HFCS became an attractive substitute, and is preferred over cane sugar among the vast majority of American food and beverage manufacturers. Soft drink makers such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi use sugar in other nations, but switched to HFCS in the U.S. in 1984.[31] Large corporations, such as Archer Daniels Midland, lobby for the continuation of government corn subsidies.[32]
But back to the question of why is HFCS used: As many have guessed, cost is the only reason that HFCS is used in place of cane sugar. As I clumsily pointed out in another post, a 1/10th of a cent increase in sweetener, per serving, would cost Coca-Cola roughly $122,423,790.

Why is HFCS so much cheaper than cane sugar? The answer to that question may surprise you.
Because the government wants it that way.
The Federal Government accomplishes this in two major ways:
    •    Sugar Tariffs
    •    Corn and Sugar Subsidies
Add these two variables together, and the result is sweetener made from corn.
The difficulty in explaining how the above work is in understanding that none of the above would exist without at least tacit complicity between the Sugar Industry, the Corn Industry and the United States Department of Agriculture. Remove any one of those three players from the equation, and the tariffs and subsidies most likely go away.

Do you want to know who makes HFCS? It's Archer Daniels Midland. Do you want to know who pays for HFCS? That'd be you and I, in the form of the taxes we pay to the U.S. Government. The government spent $41.9 billion on corn subsidies from 1995 to 2004, a trough of money at which ADM gladly ate. ADM buys 12 percent of the nation's corn at a heavily subsidized price from farmers, and turns it into high-fructose corn syrup and ethanol.
"Tom Philpott summed up the issue and the politics of sugar well in his recent post concerning the idiocy of our obsession with corn.

That’s grim news. On average, Americans get 10 percent of their total caloriesfrom HFCS--and kids, who rank among its heaviest users, get an even higher percentage of calories from it.

And even if HFCS isn’t metabolized differently than table sugar--and some non-industry-related observers remain doubtful about the Princeton study--the ubiquitous sweetener would still be a lousy product. As I and others have argued before, rise of HFCS as a cheap sweetener (see chart, above) has helped push up overall sweetener consumption to unseen levels. In short, a gusher of sweetener from cornfields to food factories has resulted in billions of additional, and nutritionally void, calories in the American diet."
In acreage terms, fully a quarter of U.S. farmland is typically planted in corn.

Between 1995 and 2006, the government paid out $56 billion in corn subsidies, the Environmental Working Group reports. Corn is our most lavishly subsidized food crop, by a wide margin; it drew more in subsidies over that period than wheat ($22 billion), soybeans ($14 billion), and rice ($11 billion)--combined.
Between May 1982 and November 1984, the U.S. government reduced the sugar import quotas six times as the USDA desperately tried to balance foreign and domestic sugar supplies with domestic demand.

While USDA bureaucrats worked overtime to minutely regulate the quantity of sugar allowed into the United States, a bomb went off that destroyed their best-laid plans. On November 6, 1984, both Coca Cola and Pepsi announced plans to stop using sugar in soft drinks, replacing it with high-fructose corn syrup. At the drop of two press releases, U.S. sugar consumption decreased by more than 500,000 tons a year — equal to the entire quotas of 25 of the 42 nations allowed to sell sugar to the United States. The quota program drove sugar prices so high that it wrecked the market for sugar — and thereby destroyed the government's ability to control sugar supply and demand. On January 16, 1985, Agriculture Secretary John Block announced an effective 20 percent cut in the quota for all exporting countries.

 The Commerce Department estimates that the high price of sugar has destroyed almost 9,000 U.S. jobs in food manufacturing since 1981. In early 1990, the Brach Candy Company announced plans to close its Chicago candy factory and relocate 3,000 jobs to Canada because of the high cost of sugar in the United States. Thanks to the cutback in sugar imports, 10 sugar refineries have closed in recent years and 7,000 refinery jobs have been lost. The United States has only 13,000 sugar farmers.

Why do we continue this sickening cycle that is risking the health and jeopardizing the lives of our children? Politics. Our sugar politics have cost us billions, jobs and now our health.  Politics got us here and is keeping us from doing what we need to do.  And the government knowa we have a major problem.

Overweight and obesity in children are significant public health problems in the United States. The number of adolescents who are overweight has tripled since 1980 and the prevalence among younger children has more than doubled. According to the 1999-2002 NHANES survey, 16 percent of children age 6-19 years are overweight (see Figure 1). [1], [2],[3] Not only have the rates of overweight increased, but the heaviest children in a recent NHANES survey were markedly heavier than those in previous surveys.

The CDC has also recognized the severity of the problem and the implications for our future health.  They have stepped up programs to identify diabetes in younger children.

CDC Initiatives
In response to this growing public health concern, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are funding a 5-year, multi-center study, SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth, to examine the current status of diabetes among children and adolescents in the United States.
Cooperative agreements were awarded to six sites to establish a multi-center registry system that will cover over 6 % of the children and adolescents in the United States. The main objectives of the study are to assess the magnitude and burden of diagnosed diabetes and to develop criteria to differentiate between the types of diabetes among young people in the United States.

Figure 1. Prevalence of overweight among children and adolescents ages 6-19 years

Our children are paying the price for our sugar politics.  Giving subsidies to help ruin our children's health is unconscionable.  Avoiding pinpointing the probelm and addressing it would be the prudent course of action.  Instead we let politics dictate business profits even at the expense of our children’s lives.

The rise in obesity, TT diabetes and metabolic syndrome will further strain our health care system.

The prevalence of metabolic syndrome in children is on the rise. One out of eight children, ages 8 to 17, has been identified as having metabolic syndrome, placing them at greater risk for premature heart disease and diabetes.

Our children are in trouble and we need to do something about it.  Immediately.  This could be the first generation not to live as long as their parents.  If this were a flu epidimic every news organization would be reporting it and our government would be marshalling the resources to combat it.

This is nothing short of an emergency.  The lives and health of our children are at stake.    Unfortunately hfcs has invaded the market place and can be found in almost every product you buy,  even bread,  making it hard to avoid.  The first key is to eliminate sodas and sweetened soft drinks, and yes, even juice, which has hfcs, from your child’s diet.  Even drinking one soda a day can cause a weight gain of fifteen pounds a year.  Our diets should have as many fruits, vegetables and raw foods as possible in it to avoid hfcs. Industry will obfuscate and try to keep the real problem disguised by wrapping it in a plethora of medications and advice, but just eliminating hfsc could go a long way towards saving the health and lives of your children. No sugar is good for you but hfcs appears to be much worse and could be the culprit in our child/adult/American obesity epidemic.

Originally posted to notdarkyet on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 11:05 AM PDT.

Also republished by Sustainable Food and Agriculture and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

    •  to quote Huey Freeman from The Boondocks (7+ / 0-)

      "High Fructose Corn Syrup....It's the white man's poison. Read about it. It'll kill you!"

      "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

      by TheHalfrican on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 10:14:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Distortions and omissions galore. (6+ / 0-)

      First off, you completely leave out that the American Diabetes Association and the USDA did a human study several years ago with a large sample size (and none of the huge flaws of the Princeton study) and found no difference between HFCS and sugar.  

      Secondly, you portray any opposition to the hugely flawed Princeton paper as meaningless industry smear, dismissing it offhand.  One of the main critics of the study is Marion Nestle who (despite the name, no relation) has never worked in the industry.  She's the Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health (the department she chaired from 1988-2003) and Professor of Sociology at New York University, and she's written several books about the pervasive influence of industry lobbying on our food supply (generally for the worse).  Hardly the corporate shill you're trying to make all the criticism out to be.

      Marion does a more than sufficient job on her own.  You can compare to the original paper.  I will sum up.

       * They fed male rats different levels of sucrose and HFCS
       * The rats fed HFCS for 12 hours a day gained more weight than those fed sucrose for 12 hours a day
       * BUT the rats fed HFCS for 24 hours a day gained less weight than those fed either sucrose or glucose for 12 hours a day!  So their study clearly has major problems.
       * They ignored this and removed sucrose from the equation from the next test, having declared it to not be relevant, and only tested whether rats gain weight when eating HFCS for long periods.  Which is a "duh" thing; rats gain weight when fed any sugary food for long periods.
       * Their third study found a statistically-insignificant greater weight for rats fed sucrose than HFCS..

      And even if you want to dismiss all criticism, the study's authors themselves openly state that their study is hardly conclusive, and more study is needed before anyone can draw any conclusions from it.  Which anyone working with small sample size rat models can attest.

      "Natural" sugars come in countless forms, and I've seen anti-HFCS people jump through all sorts of crazy loops trying to explain why their favorite sweetener is not bad but HFCS is.  Cane sugar.  Agave nectar.  Rice syrup.  Honey (which is a broad category in its own right).  Real maple syrup.  Grape juice.  And on and on.  All have different ratios of different sugars (some very high in fructose, and unbound, btw -- agave nectar being a good example).  

      The reality of the situation is that sugars are bad for you.  It's actually a good thing that cane sugar is expensive,  What's unfortunate is that there are alternative sugars which are not.  We need caloric sweeteners, period, to be more expensive if we want to fight this obesity problem.  Sugars cause obesity because they provide calories but move through the digestive system incredibly quickly, and thus do not cause a person to feel full.  This property applies to all simple sugars which are hydrolized early in digestion.

      Non-caloric sweeteners are the answer.  I personally recommend stevia (or at least its constituent sweet glycosides).  It has a solid backing in the peer-reviewed literature as far as safety goes, it should satisfy the "it must be natural!" crowd, and IMHO, it is an excellent taste substitute for sugar.

      •  Another critique worth reading, if you want (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emmasnacker, Robobagpiper

        more detail: link.

      •  HFCS is NOT the same as sugar (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The body recognizes and processes it differently.

        If HFCS was the same as sugar you should be able to buy it in granulated form at the grocery store and use it on your table just like table sugar. The fact is the amount of fructose in HFCS can be manipulated and made higher or lower depending on the application and it requires special handling.

        HFCS is NOT the same as sugar and the fact it is in literally every processed food meaning it's nearly impossible to get away from it if you eat the standard American diet is a big reason why we're getting fatter and sicker.

        When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

        by Cali Techie on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 04:04:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "standard American diet" (1+ / 1-)
          Recommended by:
          Hidden by:
          Boreal Ecologist

          what a load of crap.  You must mean the lazy person's diet who buys nothing but processed and packaged foods for their families.

          You don't have to eat like that.  There are plenty of choices without sugars.

          This is a consumer-driven "crisis".. which means it is no crisis at all.  And, certainly not something the federal government should be involved in - except for perhaps promoting healthier diets through education.

          •  To avoid HFCS (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roadbed Guy, tobendaro, CA Nana

            You have to avoid ALL processed foods. That means making your own salad dressings, sauces, breads, etc. Most people do not have the time to spend on food prep.

            It's impossible to avoid unless you're lucky enough to have a family where one adult is home all day doing the cooking or you can hire someone to do it for you. It also means never stepping foot into a restaurant.

            VERY few people have the time or the money for that so they are stuck with what they can buy at the grocery store and throw together in 15 minutes.

            When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

            by Cali Techie on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 04:50:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's actually easy to avoid (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tommymet, notdarkyet, cville townie

              HFCS in bread.  Several major brands, including Arnolds and Pepperidge Farm, have full lines of yummy breads with no HFCS.

              And salad dressing-- not a chore.  Got olive oil?  Got vinegar?  Got some spices?  Presto- salad dressing.

              I sometimes use pasta sauce from a jar-- no HFCS in the Classico brand I buy.  Other sauces- like cream based sauces-- take a minute or two to whip up with just the stuff in your fridge and a bit of flour and seasonings.

              It might be difficult to avoid HFCS in other packaged foods- I don't buy many so I don't know.

              •  Good for you (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                You can afford to pay for those brands. There are people who cannot. When you are making minimum wage and supporting a family you have to make every penny count.

                Not everyone has the culinary skills you have. Not everyone likes a simple oil and vinegar dressing for a salad. Your one-size-fits-all approach fails when you take into account money and personal tastes, not to mention there are places where it's cheaper to eat out of McDonalds than it is to buy healthy food at the grocery store.

                It's not that simple for people who don't have the same options you have.

                When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

                by Cali Techie on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 09:18:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I know-- I've already posted (0+ / 0-)

                  a comment about access.  I get the economic issue.  This is not one-size-fits-all.  But it fits a lot of people.

                  I can't singlehandedly solve economic disparity.  Wish I could.  All I'm suggesting as that for those people who have access-- both geographic and economic-- it is far from impossible to avoid HFCS.  And it doesn't involve baking their own bread.  There's a link posted here to one of many lists of HFCS-free  products, many of which are not premium brands.

                  I gotta laugh at my "culinary skills", which are pretty basic.  And pretty easily mastered by anyone who seriously wants to avoid a lot of processed food.

                  Personal taste?  It's personal.  But it still involves a choice.  If you can't find a prepared salad dressing without HFCS and you choose to buy one that does, fine with me.  I'm not the vinaigrette lobby.

                  •  I saw that (0+ / 0-)

                    but you're still taking an oversimplistic view. It is nearly impossible to avoid HFCS. Do you know it's often added to milk and it's not on the label? It's usually the difference between the premium and cheap brands of milk (one place where HFCS increases the price). It's not the only place it's added. It's also added to such healthy foods like orange juice where it also doesn't appear on the label.

                    Why? Because the bovine dairy and orange juice lobbies have managed to convince the federal government that HFCS is the same as sugar and milk and orange juice both contain sugar naturally so there's no need to put it on the label.

                    You and even I may think your culinary skills are basic, but many people lack even the basics you know. We have a generation of people now entering adulthood who have eaten most of their meals from a box because the generation who bore them didn't have the time and energy to prepare wholesome meals after working full time during the week.

                    As others have pointed out here people don't have the time to scrutinize everything they buy at the store. Not everyone has convenient and cheap internet access and the time to research online.

                    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

                    by Cali Techie on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 10:19:53 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So what do you suggest? (0+ / 0-)

                      Not being a wiseass, I'd really like to know.  Do people just give up and say it can't be avoided? Where's that gonna get us?

                      You're right that a lot of younger people have no clue how to do anything in a kitchen.  I'd say try to teach them-- it really is not rocket science.  The fact that they don't know does not mean that they can't learn.  My grandkids could put together a decent meal by the time they were five or six.  Not because they're geniuses, just because somebody showed them how. Basic cooking classes in school or community centers would be a big help.

                      There are lots of healthy meals that require maybe ten or fifteen minutes prep time.  Not as fast as throwing some frozen thing into the microwave.  But those frozen dinners are not exactly cheap. People trade convenience for economy-- which is certainly their right-- but in many cases I don't think they even realize that they've made that trade.

                      I don't have solutions.  I just have suggestions.  And I'm happy to hear suggestions from anyone else.

                      •  The key is education (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        The problem is the food industry has made it so that education is nearly impossible. Marketing is misleading, labels are misleading, government info is misleading. Think about it. How many times over the past 40 years has the US Government changed its recommendations on what to eat? We know it's based mostly on politics and not science (but the new one is, we promise!). It's nearly impossible to get the straight scoop on anything. We're constantly being given misinformation because if the correct information is given some industry will suffer.

                        Your grandkids are lucky. They have someone who took the time to teach them, and I imagine that person was you. I was lucky too. My mother and grandmother took the time to teach me as well and I'm an excellent cook, but I rarely have the time to do it because I choose to fill my days with other activities like debating on blogs.

                        The solution is to stop kidding ourselves and take a serious look at food policy in this country. We're eating way too much and of the wrong stuff all because of the food lobby.

                        When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

                        by Cali Techie on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 10:52:57 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Well I certainly agree (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Cali Techie

                          with all of that.  It's a more macro approach to the problem.

                          Taking on the food lobby is a huge challenge-- I guess I'm better at the micro stuff.  The only thing they'll ever respond to is profit.  Which is one reason that I try to encourage people to buy no-HFCS products when they can-- even if they have to pay a premium for it.  

                          Those bread companies did not start featuring the no-HFCS label because they care about our health.  They tried it out to gauge the demand.  Would people pay more for healthier stuff?  Apparently a lot of people will, since they keep expanding their offerings-- there are probably 10 different varieties of no-HFCS, high fiber breads just in the Arnolds line now.

                          Maybe if enough people buy it, prices will come down a bit so that even more people can afford it.  At least I hope so.

                          •  Or (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            get rid of the corn subsidies and watch the cost of HFCS surpass that of sugar then all bread will be HFCS free.

                            When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

                            by Cali Techie on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 11:43:42 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Of course-- that's what (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Cali Techie

                            I meant about a big challenge.  I'd love to see it happen, but I'm not real optimistic at this point.

                          •  Not as long (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            as we have the best government money can buy.

                            When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

                            by Cali Techie on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 12:09:11 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well that's been pretty much (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Cali Techie

                            the case for as long as I can remember.  But yeah, it's gotten a lot worse as the lobbies have gotten stronger.  Now it's just structural-- every congress critter has to vote with an eye to local interests-- as presented by lobbyists-- and few of them will risk considering the greater good.  All too often, the gutsy ones just lose elections.
                            All of which is why I'm not optimistic.

                          •  You're spreading a myth you heard on the internet (0+ / 0-)

                            or in a food book or film or, well, just where did you hear that?

                            Subsidies don't cause low prices.  There are four kinds of proof for that:

                            1. the historical record.  prices have gone down because price floors were dropped, and there were no subsidies during part of this, until 1961 for corn.  (Government Payments: United States by Program, 1933-2009)
                            2. 5 major econometric studies suppport the view that subsidies are not a major factor in low corn and other factors, as summarized here p. 21.  One study found corn would go up with subsidy removal, for good reasons.
                            3. subsidy removal in other countries did not cause low prices  (Full report here, starting on p. 40)
                            4. corn prices are usually low in free markets (ie. low/no price floors and supply management) for a variety of reasons. That's the cause, not subsidies.  
                            For charts documenting this and more sources see the videos: "Michael Pollan Rebuttal 1" and "Michael Pollan Rebuttal 2".
                            Don't believe everything you hear on the internet, including in this diary, which supports your myth.

                            "We're trying to warn this nation of a tidal wave ..., and it's coming your way, whether you want to know it or not...!" family farm woman, Donahue Show, 1985

                            by Iowa Farm Activist on Fri Jun 03, 2011 at 06:10:40 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  If you're going to eat at McDonalds, (0+ / 0-)

                  you're going  to end up in poor health.  Period.  Their recipe for attracting customers is to load every dish up with some combination of high levels of salt, fat, and caloric sweeteners.

                  To pretend that in a first-world nation we don't have choices as to what we consume is beyond absurd.

          •  Perhaps promoting? (1+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            cville townie
            Hidden by:
            Victor Laslo

            So republican fuckards are free to scoff and mock and red-bait any actual efforts to encourage healthy eating and excercise led by a President's wife...provided of course that she is a Democrat and a Negress.

            What you are saying loud and clear is that poor black people are sick and fat because they are lazy.

            Go DIAF.

            Hide rated for being a poisonous troll.

            A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger (Proverbs 15:1)

            by Boreal Ecologist on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 05:25:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Sadly there are many who have no access (4+ / 0-)

            to better foods.

            People without money for transportation to groceries that sell fresh produce.
            People without money to buy fresh produce --which is more expensive.

            There are many inner-city neighborhoods without much but convenience store outlets.

            THIS IS NOT a problem of laziness. It's an economic problem as well as a problem of education.

            For the latter point, I'll give you a story about a dietician who was trying to educate early elementary students in Des Moines Iowa, in a lower-economically mixed area of the city.

            She asked the students who had had something healthy for breakfast.
            No one raised their hand except one boy who eagerly related that he'd had "pineapple drink" for breakfast.

            As you may not know, this product contained virtually no pineapple juice --It was made of a lot of sweetener and "artificial flavor."

            Democrats promote the Common good. Republicans promote Corporate greed.

            by murasaki on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 06:24:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Getting good foods can be a challenge.. (0+ / 0-)

              I will not argue with that.  What I will argue with is your statement of having "no access".  That is simply not true even for millions of people who are listed as living in "food deserts".

              Supermarkets were non-existent when I was growing up in the inner city of Chicago.  Yet, we ate healthy home cooked meals every day.

              People have simply become lazy.  Cooking and providing healthy food for your family is work.. hard work.  But it is something you commit to when having children.

              People need to take lessons from the past.  Fold up your grocery cart and hit a bus, which in Chicago is never more than 2-3 blocks away.  Huge supermarkets dot the South Side and are within a few miles of any residence.  They simply call these areas "food deserts" because healthful groceries are not within a few blocks of your home.

              You can lug home enough groceries for several days in one of those carts.  All the healthy foods you can carry.  I reject completely the idea that you cannot cook from scratch as cheaply as buying packaged.  I've done it. Cheap and good are not exclusive.

              But, for the sake of convenience, families can buy convenience side dishes - rices, noodle dishes, etc - serve that with fresh meat and veggie and you have a wholesome dinner at least as cheaply as going to Mickey D's.  It simply takes some work - something which even people who have access to supermarkets and whole foods are simply too lazy to do today.

              Don't have buses where you live?  Make an arrangement with a neighbor who has a car to ride along on shopping day.  Get together with other like parents and pitch in a few bucks each for the old guy down the street to drive you shopping on Saturday.

              My point is - very few people have NO access.

              •  Not to mention... (0+ / 0-)

                today we live in an era where there's not a town even in the poorest parts of the country, be they Tuba city in the southwest or the Pine Ridge Reservation in the badlands, where there's not at least a library with internet access.  You can order healthy foods in bulk and have them shipped to your house for a lot cheaper than that garbage most people eat.

                Even at your average podunk town grocery store... Are we seriously going to pretend that healthy foods like oatmeal are absurdly priced?  It's cheaper than the sugary kids cereal garbage that so many people stuff their kids full of.  What about dinner -- are we going to pretend that the hyper-saturated-fat-rich foods like hamburgers that people eat are cheaper than your average vegetarian meal?  I mean, this is nonsense.

          •  I think you are being a little simplistic, Victor. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cali Techie, notdarkyet

            I cook every meal every day (except those occasional ones we eat out) and I cook from scratch. But it is still difficult to buy anything even minimally processed which does not contain HFC.

            For example, I recently ran out of my last year's batch of homemade sweet pickles and I wanted a jar to tide me over for tuna salad for the next 3 months. I searched numerous groceries for over a month until I found a new brand at Kroger that does not contain HFC - 1 brand in 1 store. (I feel sure I could have found a brand at Whole Foods, but I live about 100 miles from the nearest Whole Foods. The majority of people do not life near a health food store or cannot afford to pay twice as much for everything).

            We were also looking for some BBQ sauce for Memorial Day to doctor up rather than making the whole thing from scratch. Again, 1 brand  had no HFC. It took about 10 minutes each to look at the labels on all the BBQ sauce and pickles to find those 2 items. Most people don't have that much time to pore over every item they buy. (I thought my husband was going to leave me in the condiment aisle and go home.)

            So it is not just prepackaged items that are full of junk. Just about every condiment you buy from catsup to pickles has HFC.

            You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

            by sewaneepat on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 07:13:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe it would be helpful to (0+ / 0-)

              compile some sort of community list or HFCS-free brands of various grocery items.  Some of it's easy-- like bread with prominent "NO HFCS" labels-- but you're right that some of it takes too much time to track down.

              A list would save people a lot of time-- I'm wondering if something like that already exists online?

            •  Yes, I am.. (0+ / 0-)

              And, unlike you, I wouldn't try to be 100% HFC free.  Some small amounts in a B-B-Q sauce doesn't bother me.  It is something you use sparingly and  is negligible in the total nutrition equation of a meal.

              I was mainly aiming my comments at families that eat their entire meal from prepared sources.  That is simply unhealthy.

              Parents these days buy frozen pizzas, frozen fried chicken (have you ever seen the sodium contents of this stuff???) and that's dinner, if they bother to cook at all.

              Excusing parents by saying: Awww.. you can't find anything healthy that's easy.. so go ahead and feed your family crap - is, IMHO, counterproductive.

              My approach, as the federal government, would be to educate parents.. And there are several ways to approach this. You could use  a common sense approach that talks directly about nutrition facts.  But also, even to the point of humiliation and intimidation - perhaps in a humorous way.  Elicit help from TV stars and family TV shows to feature food awareness plots.

              Parents have to be told they're killing their kids.

              •  Agree for the most part. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cali Techie

                My main difference with you is basically I think that the gov't should stop subsidizing sugar, corn, wheat, and other agricultural products that contribute toward poor nutrition and focus on subsidizing healthier products such as fruits and vegetables headed for the fresh market.

                And I am sympathetic to those who come in from working an 8 hour day, have children who need help with homework or just some time with their parents, a house to clean and laundry to wash, bills to pay, etc. It takes some time to cook fresh food. For one thing, the prep - the washing, peeling, chopping, etc. And afterwards there are many more things to wash. And how long do they have to get it done? No time to put one's feet up for a few minutes after work if dinner is to be on the table at a reasonable time.

                Although I do refuse to buy any product that has HFCS, I would not refuse to eat said product at someone else's house on occasion and I am certain that on those occasions we eat in a restaurant, we are consuming them. I just think life would be better for everyone (except the CEO of ADM perhaps) if such a thing did not exist. It is not food. It is not found in nature.

                You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

                by sewaneepat on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 08:32:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No argument from me on subsidies (0+ / 0-)

                  I would prefer that the government not be involved in any subsidies at all.

                  What the government could do, however, is help out in making nutritious foods more available.  Perhaps subsidize delivery to neighborhoods listed as "food deserts", etc.  That's probably something better done locally though.

                •  You and the diary are wrong. The Farm Bill (0+ / 0-)

                  lowered and removed corn price floors, but didn't lower sugar price floors as much.  Sugar has fairly good programs, corn has bad programs.  Subsidies are largely irrelevant, as they have only tiny, indirect influence on the issue.  What subsidies do is to distract people like you and this diary writer from knowing the facts, and they do that very, very well!

                  Read factual information on the sugar program here, especially starting with Appendix A on page 27.  Here's the2 page factsheet version.

                  Sugar policy, factually known, shows basically what we previously had for corn, and what we need.  Support the Food from Family Farms Act to bring corn up to the sugar level and eliminate the need for any subsidies.

                  "We're trying to warn this nation of a tidal wave ..., and it's coming your way, whether you want to know it or not...!" family farm woman, Donahue Show, 1985

                  by Iowa Farm Activist on Fri Jun 03, 2011 at 06:22:18 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Could you do a diary explaining all this? (0+ / 0-)

                    I tried to follow your links but the information was too long for me to read right now (sorry) and would take a lot of time to figure out the technical language. Are you basically differentiating between price supports and subsidies?

                    Here is a link to the Food for Family Farms proposal for others who are interested. I wholeheartedly support this proposal. What is the status of it?

                    This is a very important issue and I hope you will write a diary helping us non-farmers to understand it.


                    You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

                    by sewaneepat on Fri Jun 03, 2011 at 08:42:39 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Would you prefer they feed their children (0+ / 0-)

                nothing instead?

                We don't live in the same world we lived in back in the 50's, 60's, 70's or even 80's where a single income could support a family of 4 making it possible for one adult to stay home and run the household. Today in the vast majority of homes with children every adult family member works full time. They get up early in the morning to get the kids ready for school and/or day care, work for 8 or more hours, come home exhausted and then they're expected to spend a couple of hours preparing a meal?

                There was a time when convenience foods were a small part of our diets. When I was a kid we had frozen pizzas maybe a couple of times a month. The chicken nugget hadn't been invented yet. The nearest McDonald's was 20 miles away. In fact the only fast food in town were local mom and pop burger joints and the Sonic Drive In, none of which stayed open late. My father earned enough so my mom could stay home and prepare our meals for us, almost all of them made from scratch. When mom started working about the time I started high school, convenience foods became the norm unless I cooked something because when she came home she was as exhausted as my father.

                Parents aren't lazy, they're exhausted!

                When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

                by Cali Techie on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 10:02:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Pickles? that's insane (0+ / 0-)

              why do you need any sweetener in pickles?

          •  true for some, but not all (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gramofsam1, Cali Techie

            Agree with poster above.

            Some, maybe many, people choose processed foods when alternatives are available. But the laziness for most is not in buying those foods, it's in not learning the real consequences of those choices. The disinformation run by food industries is terrible, the lack of health information in the schools disheartening.

            Some people though truly don't have alternatives available. Many urban groceries are pathetic, if there's even a grocery store around, and many people don't have the ability to go elsewhere without a long bus ride (not feasible for many mothers) or a taxi ride that will add $30 or so to the grocery bill.

            One alternative that I hope takes hold is urban gardening, but this can be fraught with similar risks that farmers face. The long-term solution has got to be better food options made available (if the gardens fail), without subsidizing the processed foods with tax moneys to make them more competitive.

            •  I mostly agree (0+ / 0-)

              but a lot of it is also deceptive marketing by the food industry. Most people get their information from the packaging and even the ingredients list can be deceptive because not all ingredients are listed in many cases.

              For instance many foods marketed as fat free are loaded with extra HFCS to make them palatable. There's little to no difference in caloric content. Not only that but the HFCS is arguably worse for your body than the fat is.

              We also consume more food as a society than we should to be honest. Portions are HUGE in the US because we're all conditioned to believe we're getting a better value from large portions. Not only that but thanks to the great depression when food was scarce, we're also conditioned to eat every scrap on our plates and leave nothing behind.

              There's no one single cause for the obesity epidemic. Mechanization means we don't get the exercise we used to get as part of our daily routines. We are no longer a society where most people toil doing manual labor. Our most menial tasks are done by machines now for the most part. We get in our cars and drive places where we can easily walk. Kids spend more time indoors plopped down in front of a computer or video game console than they do playing outside, besides they're less likely to get injured playing video games. In the mean time our per capita caloric intake is staying the same or rising and stuff like HFCS is being added to our food to make it so we consume even more even though the nutritional value of that food is dropping.

              Sure for most there's still access to fresh produce and non-processed foods. However fewer and fewer of us have time to spend preparing them in ways that are appetizing to a generation who has eaten most of their meals from a box. Not to mention thanks to subsidies to the corn industry (the source of HFCS) it's a more expensive to eat healthy and some families simply can't afford it.

              When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

              by Cali Techie on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 10:37:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Really? That's your argument? (0+ / 0-)

          That you don't find granulated HFCS at the store?  All that differentiates between a granulated sugar and a syrup is how much water is mixed in.  Pour some HFCS on a tray and leave it sitting in the sun for a couple weeks, then come back here and make that argument.

          The reason HFCS is sold as a syrup is twofold.  One, it's produced that way.  Extracting the water would cost energy and require additional hardware, raising the cost.  And two, you don't have to worry about the hygroscopic nature of sugars when it's already in a syrup.

          Absolutely the fructose level of HFCS is customizeable -- from lower than that of table sugar to higher than that of table sugar.  And is usually approximately equal to that of table sugar.

          The "standard American diet" is horribly unhealthy because of a lack of fiber, a surplus of red meat, and a surplus in caloric sweeteners, period.

      •  I also put in a link to others that are non (0+ / 0-)

        industry that question the study.  It would be impossible to include all studies, many of which are funded by industry and separate fructose from hfsc. I felt the article was already long. There is also this study out of Duke.

        I am the fellow citizen of every being that thinks; my country is Truth. ~Alphonse de Lamartine, "Marseillaise of Peace," 1841

        by notdarkyet on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 10:48:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So you can get a DUI from drinking coke now? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler
    the chemistry of hfcs and how it acts on the body the same way as ethanol found in alcohol.
    •  Except for being processed through the brain. (0+ / 0-)

      I should have said that.  TY.

      I am the fellow citizen of every being that thinks; my country is Truth. ~Alphonse de Lamartine, "Marseillaise of Peace," 1841

      by notdarkyet on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 11:52:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As far as one's liver is concerned (0+ / 0-)

      there is essentially no difference between between a beer and a coke because of the fructose used to sweeten the coke.

      See Doctor Robert Lustig's video linked in the diary.

      “Humankind can not bear very much reality.” - T.S. Eliot

      by truong son traveler on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 12:26:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't rely on YouTube so much for (0+ / 0-)

        scientific information - but searching Pubmed turns up a spate of interesting (and  some quite damning) recent studies about HFCS.

        That said, it does not necessarily follow that just because the liver selectively metabolizes fructose, the effects on the "body" are the same as for ethanol (in too many ways to talk about right now . . . ).  Really, if one wants to bash HFCS, there are plenty of legitimate reasons to use.

      •  And the fructose in fruit juice, cane & beet (0+ / 0-)

        sugar, and so on is every bit as much of a toxin as that in HFCS, and is processed in the same way.

        The slight difference of fructose content of HFCS (55%) vs sucrose (50%) isn't enough to make it especially more toxic.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 06:54:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I remember when I was a kid, (9+ / 0-)

    my mom was appalled at the amount of sugar required to make Kool-Aid, so we didn't buy it. These days, HFCS makes that amount of sugar seem healthy. We're lucky here in Baja, it's possible to get Mexican soda, both Mexican Coke and a brand called Jarritos, that still use sugar. Now to replace that Powerade stuff the Kid likes.

    •  The good thing about Kool-Aid (4+ / 0-)

      the unsweetened kind, is that you can use your own judgment on how much sugar to use. My mother never made it using the amount of sugar stated on the package. Not because she was worried about how much sugar we were consuming (this was the '60's after all), but because she didn't want to have to stir it any longer than she had to.

      At any rate even with the full amount of sugar suggested by the directions Kool-Aid is still less bad (we won't say better) for you than sweetened carbonated beverages.

      When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

      by Cali Techie on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 04:08:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Soda was a treat in the olden tymes. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wv voice of reason, CA Nana, Azazello

      We got a quarter a week on Fridays. The quarter bought me a bag of Chz Doodles or Wise chips and a 7-up to watch the Flintstones and 77 Sunset Strip with, OR save it to go to the movies on Sat.
      There was no something sweet every day. Water was the beverage of necessity, sometimes a glug of milk. :-D

      OBAMA got Osama, bitchez.

      by OleHippieChick on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 04:23:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A pro Free Trade diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Utahrd, Creosote

    at daily kos not written by me.

    I'm shocked.

  •  Great diary, this (8+ / 0-)

    should receive more attention.  HFCS is causing and epidemic of diabetes in this country.   And while our children become obese, children in developing countries are starving so the same agribusiness interests can convert food into gasoline.

    Agribusiness is a tough target, even on a progressive site, since the meme persists of a noble independent family farmer rather than a mechanized agribusiness like ADM or Cargill.

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. ~Edward Abbey

    by martinjedlicka on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 12:21:17 PM PDT

  •  The New Tobacco (7+ / 0-)

    Marketing, subsidies, denial of scientific studies, long term health damage.  It's 100% identical to tobacco in the 50's and 60's made all the worse by the declining resources and willingness available to implement comprehensive health care reform in this country for the segment of the population which will be most adversely affected:  the uneducated and  poor.

    •  Exactly. Dr. Lustig calls it opium in his video. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cali Techie

      I am the fellow citizen of every being that thinks; my country is Truth. ~Alphonse de Lamartine, "Marseillaise of Peace," 1841

      by notdarkyet on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 12:50:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sorry, he calls it poison. The reporter on (3+ / 0-)

        Nightline called it opium.

        I am the fellow citizen of every being that thinks; my country is Truth. ~Alphonse de Lamartine, "Marseillaise of Peace," 1841

        by notdarkyet on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 01:05:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm sorry, but that's junk science (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          and junk science for a good cause is ... wait for it... junk science.

          Is excess sugar bad for you?  AB-SO-LUTE-ly

          but saying it's opium or tobacco is ridiculous.  

          •  what makes it junk science? (0+ / 0-)

            Isn't junk food extremely addictive?
            Junk food addiction may be clue to obesity study

            I was about to post that the parallels to tobacco are particularly striking due to the heavy addiction associated with it. It may depend in part on the person's genetics (similar to alcoholism) in just how addicting it is, but some people respond to junk food exactly like addicts.  Maybe opium is a bit stronger, but tobacco is extremely similar. And the consequences of obesity are likely to have similar affects on our population's health as all the associated cancers with tobacco products.

            •  the analogization fails to take into account (0+ / 0-)

              the realities of addictions to drugs like tobacco and opioids differs markedly from addictions like sugar, or for that matter - internet usage.

              Nobody denies that sugars (simple sugars in particular) have a strong effect on biological processes - insulin dumpage, etc.

              I mean, c'mon "junk food addiction may be clue to obesity study" ... file under: duh

              People who eat sugar, especially those who do so frequently, have strong urges to continue to do so.  The problem is that is true of all sorts of shit - internet use, massage, driving fast, etc. etc. etc.

              Analogizing sugar consumption otoh to addictions like those with opioids or tobacco is another matter entirely.

              Yes, it's difficult to quit eating crap.  

              •  why are they different? (0+ / 0-)

                What realities are you speaking of? What is it specifically that makes tobacco and opiods different? What you've said above is that they differ markedly, but not why.

                The study quoted in the reuters article didn't just say that junk food addiction causes obesity. It also says that similar brain pathways / neurotransmitters are likely involved and that therefore it may be best treated in the same way.  If the same reactions are in fact happening in the brain and if they are of relatively similar strength, then the addiction is quite comparable. Obviously more research is needed, particularly in humans, but I don't see what makes this "junk" science.

  •  As a recovering climb-the-walls (8+ / 0-)

    sugar junkie (two years abstinent!) and type two diabetic (in "remission"), I would like to thank you for this important diary.  I know few people suffer from this problem as severely as I did, but this is a very serious issue, IMHO.

  •  bad link (0+ / 0-)

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 03:12:47 PM PDT

  •  HFCS and sugar in general is not hard to avoid. (3+ / 0-)

    Well, let me be more precide.  The HOW of avoiding it is EASY.  But actually having the discipline to do so is another thing entirely.  

    There are few things that the average person has more control of, and that will have such a profound effect on their life in general, as what they choose to eat

    I am for stuff that does NOT limit choice (such as SF's odious Happy Meal ban)

    Churches, community centers, schools, etc. should all implement programs to help people choose better, learn to cook from scratch, etc.

    •  It is difficult for most people (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      because it's in virtually every processed food product. In order to avoid it completely you'd have to avoid every processed food, which means going as far as baking your own bread from scratch and never ever setting foot into a restaurant. Most people don't have the time.

      Our food supply system is broken and it's main purpose has shifted from making sure we all have adequate nutrition to squeezing as much profit as possible out of it.

      When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

      by Cali Techie on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 04:15:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, it's just not the case that (0+ / 0-)

        you would have to bake your own bread.  See my comment above.
        I think it's more helpful to educate people how to avoid HFCS, rather than insist that it cannot be avoided without spending hours every day to feed your family.

      •  It is in virtually every processed food product (0+ / 0-)

        Here's a hint: stay away from processed food products and read the label.

        I don't  personally eat paleo, but I have plenty of friends that do.  They certainly avoid it easily.

        I seek out simple sugars on occasion (post workout or during long training sessions) for their benefits, but generally avoid them.

        Regardless, the vast majority of our country's population has access to a basic grocery store where they can find decent foods IF they want to.

  •  Dirty Commies produce sugar (12+ / 0-)

    We can't use sugar because dirty Commies in Cuba produce it.

    We can't buy Cuban sugar until the Cuban government gives Florida Republicans their casinos back.

  •  No, apparently, you body doesn't metabolize (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OleHippieChick, Rei

    HFCS much differently from table sugar - because HFCS & table sugar are both half fructose, and fructose is the problem.

    Replacing HFCS with cane sugar doesn't solve this crisis - except to make sugar more expensive and thus less ubiquitous.  

    We have to stop with the ridiculous sugar intake we as a nation consume - and that includes HFCS, cane & beet sugar, and fruit drinks.

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 04:11:05 AM PDT

    •  For why it's fructose, and not the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      sweetener that carries it, that's the problem, spend your morning watching this:

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 04:14:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If it's exactly the same (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      why can't we buy it at the grocery store and use it the same way we use table sugar?

      Because HFCS is NOT the same as table sugar. For one the amount of fructose in HFCS can be manipulated depending on the application. HFCS also requires special handling and it cannot be reduced to granulated form as a substitute for table sugar.

      There's more than just fructose, glucose and water in HFCS. It's an engineered food and there isn't anything natural about how it's made.

      When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

      by Cali Techie on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 04:19:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Basically any food humans eat is "engineered" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Robobagpiper, Rei

        heck, peeling a banana involves engineering.     That's why I eat the whole damn thing!

        •  False equivalence (0+ / 0-)

          Peeling a banana is not even remotely close to the same as making HFCS.

          When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

          by Cali Techie on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 09:29:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But what if you peel it (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            and then * cut * it with a tool?  You've just taken the engineering to a whole new plane.

            And then go on to heat it in some way (what some people call "cooking" . . .).  Wow., that 's almost going into the 11th dimension, engineering-wise.

            Or maybe ferment it (ala, mimic what happens during HCFS production - namely, allow enzymatic changes to the food occur).

            I'm just saying that unless a bug accidently flies into your mouth and you inadvertantly swallow it - basically everything you eat has been engineered.   And that's not (necessarily) a bad thing . . . .

            •  That's not engineering (0+ / 0-)

              that's processing and minimal at that. Peeling and cutting the banana doesn't make it less recognizable. Now you're arguing ad-absurdium.

              Even fermented bananas are still recognizable as bananas. Show someone an unlabeled bottle of HFCS and ask them what it is or where it came from.

              When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

              by Cali Techie on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 10:41:38 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Here's the definition of Engineering: (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Engineering is the discipline, art, skill and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes that safely realize improvements to the lives of people.

                It's really quite broad, and everything I mentioned can easily fit under the definition.  Bottom line, as soon as anything has been manipulated in any way to make it more useful, it has been engineered.

                I'm just curious, what is your definition of engineering?

                •  That is the correct dictionary definition (0+ / 0-)

                  however your application of it is overly broad and absurd.

                  When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

                  by Cali Techie on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 10:56:31 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  But you refuse to even tell me what (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    your definition is.

                    That is even more absurd, since you seem to feel so strongly about this for some reason.

                    BTW, granulated cane sugar (sucrose) is also highly processed (some might even say "engineered")  - again if engineering per se is so offensive, you really have to dis sucrose as well  to avoid the inevitable appearance of hypocrisy . . .

                    •  Yeah, it's pretty incredible all the steps.. (0+ / 0-)

                      sugarcane gets put through to get turned into white table sugar.

                      And many of these other alternative sweetners go through chemical changes before shipping, toor.  Look at what they do to make agave nectar.  They have to thermally decompose the inulin into fructose units.

                      "Cooking" is the process of performing chemistry on food.  Whenever you cook food, you're causing all sorts of elaborate chemical reactions.  Probably the most well known is the sugar caramelization reaction.

                •  You've also changed the subject (0+ / 0-)

                  and not done anything to counter my original premise. I'm no longer pursuing this thread of conversation.

                  When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

                  by Cali Techie on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 10:59:24 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  No one said it's exactly the same (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        notdarkyet, Rei

        But the body doesn't process complex sugars; it breaks them down to simple sugars and then processes them. The problem isn't the complex sugars, but one of the simple ones.

        Glucose is processed by every cell in the body. Fructose - wherever it comes from - is almost exclusively processed in the liver in a manner consistent with a toxin (its metabolic byproducts are actually similar to the breakdown of alcohol sans buzz). Fructose -a gain, wherever it comes from - also depletes the body of energy because it shunts its energy and then some into fat production.

        I know it's fashionable for liberals to blame industry for all health ills, but our bodies were not meant to process large amounts of fructose from any source except in late fall when fruits are ripe (a sign for our middle miocene ancestor that a harsh winter was coming, hence the need to put on fat). And in the case of fruits, the large amounts of fiber in raw fruit does a lot to mitigate the negative effects of the fructose.

        Singling out HFCS is massively counterproductive and speaks more to anti-industrial ideology than addressing the real problem.

        We need to massively reduce our intake of fructose-laden sugar. That's from cane, beet, fructose-enhanced corn, fruit juice, honey, agave, all of it.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 05:59:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not true (0+ / 0-)

          The HFCS industry pretty much says so, and you're parsing your own words. This whole campaign to de-emphasize what HFCS does in and to our bodies is meant to confuse consumers into thinking it's a benign substance when it isn't.

          I know for a fact through experience my body doesn't treat HFCS the same as table sugar. I won't go into detail because it's a bit disgusting, but I know when I've consumed something that has a large amount of HFCS in it. A single 12 oz can of HFCS sweetened soda or other beverage can trigger it. It's almost instantaneous and as I've begun weaning my body off of it the less it takes to trigger the reaction. Meanwhile I can drink large amounts of "throwback" sodas, iced tea, and other drinks sweetened with sugar with no ill effects. That's just the digestive system. I also find it's more difficult to concentrate and remember things for a couple of hours after I consume HFCS and I don't experience that with anything sweetened with sugar. The blood sugar crash is also more severe with HFCS than it is with sugar. I also find I crave more of it later, where that doesn't happen with sugar.

          Humans were not designed to consume HFCS and the way it affects our metabolisms and brains proves it.

          When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

          by Cali Techie on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 09:46:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't care what the HFCS industry says (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            And I don't care what your subjective anecdotal experience says.

            I care what pathologists say. Fructose is fructose.

            Humans were not designed to consume fructose in large quantities, whether that fructose is free or in sucrose.

            Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

            by Robobagpiper on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 12:33:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  We're a bunch of little babies who want "candy" (0+ / 0-)

    all the time.
    When, oh when, do we grow up and do what's right for ourselves, do what's right for existence in the flesh?

    "I demand my freedumbs to pork up, get sick, and wonder why, why, why. Don't regulate me, bro."

    OBAMA got Osama, bitchez.

    by OleHippieChick on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 04:32:35 AM PDT

  •  A Libertarian Perspective (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy, tobendaro

    As our national debate focuses on Medicare, it's important to realize that the second most expensive factor in the ballooning health care costs for our aging is Type II diabetes. I think of it as I do the motorcyclists who insist on their right to ride without a helmet. If they choose to do so, they should pay into a fund (not my fund!) for their long term care from closed head injury.

    If some folks choose to drown in sugar, some portion of the cost of that product should go to their long term care. Just like cigarettes, we know the score here.

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

    by MrMichaelMT on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 04:40:09 AM PDT

    •  At least the libertarians are somewhat (0+ / 0-)

      consistent in wanting the government to stay out of both telling them how to avoid injury/illness and doing anything about it . . . . .  (by contrast, the Teabag faction is paranoid about the former but liikely still insists on the latter).

  •  You may be interested in this campaign (0+ / 0-)

    by Jamie Oliver against various food excesses (sugar in school milk?!)

  •  Your sugar consumption plot - though widely (0+ / 0-)

    used - is missing one key ingredient: fruit juices. If you add those in, annual sugar consumption is through the roof.

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 06:50:59 AM PDT

    •  The further removed you are from the raw fruit, (0+ / 0-)

      the less healthy it is, as a general rule.

      With the raw fruit, you have to expend a lot more energy to prepare and consume it, and you get a lot of fiber with it, and in general don't conusme as much while getting more full.

      With some degree of processing (a fruit smoothie or similar), there's little work, but at least you still consume all of the fiber and other associated nutrients.

      With pulp free, but minimally processed, cloudy juices, you're no longer going to get full from drinking it.  But at least you'll still get the poorly soluble nutrients -- more of the polyphenols, etc.

      With highly processed and clarified juices, you're pretty much just drinking sugar water plus some of the associated highly soluble compounds only (whatever didn't get lost in the clarification process).

      Everything you remove makes it less healthy for you.

  •  The First Popcicle Is Free (0+ / 0-)

    The gateway drug: high fructose corn syrup

    "The skeleton in the closet is coming home to roost!" Tom Stoppard

    by Apotropoxy on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 07:06:42 AM PDT

  •  I don't think sugar prices are high enough. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gramofsam1, tommymet, Rei

    Sure, HFC is cheaper but they are both too cheap in my opinion. If both were more expensive, people might eat healthier because highly sweetened items would cost more.

    Of course, there is also the problem of other refined carbs - from chips to bread to boxed processed "food".  When it is cheaper to buy a can of green beans or beets or a box of "mashed potatoes" than to buy the fresh vegetables, something is wrong.

    You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

    by sewaneepat on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 07:22:02 AM PDT

    •  Your view is well supported by the facts. (0+ / 0-)

      Sugar has price floors, and they should be higher.  Corn price floors were lowered for decades (1953-1995) and then eliminated.  It doesn't self correct in the free market, so pricew floors are needed to maintain a farm profit.  You can see charts of this (of some historical price floors and prices for major commodities) in videos here and here.  The data of prices comes from the USDA NASS Track Record book for crops.  The data for price floors comes from the annual Agricultural Statistics, mostly offline, but I have the data.  You can put this in constant dollars (ie. the 1947 record high corn price!) and see how much it has fallen, or as a percent of parity, which is more accurate (and which is also found in Agricultural Statistics).

      Notice that the diary gives no standard for fair prices, such as fair trade prices.  

      "We're trying to warn this nation of a tidal wave ..., and it's coming your way, whether you want to know it or not...!" family farm woman, Donahue Show, 1985

      by Iowa Farm Activist on Fri Jun 03, 2011 at 06:38:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I read and responded to your comment downthread (0+ / 0-)

        before I read this one. (Going down my list of comment responses ;-) )

        I hope you will write a diary explaining all this to help us understand.

        I remember a chapter in one of Michael Pollen's books also talking about how gov't policy has forced farmers to plant more and more corn for less and less money, driving them more and more in debt. I need to find that again and remind myself how it worked.

        You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

        by sewaneepat on Fri Jun 03, 2011 at 08:47:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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