Chad Perrin: SOB

20 March 2009

reaction to stupid HFCS ads

Filed under: inanity,Miscellaneous — apotheon @ 02:18

A boy and a girl (by which I mean “a man and a woman, both in early 20s, I think”) are lounging about in a park.

g (offering a frozen fruit popsicle): “Want a bite?”

b: “It’s got high fructose corn syrup in it.”

g: “So?”

b: “Well, you know what they say about it. . . .”

g: “What?”

b: “It . . . um.”

g: “It has the same calories as sugar and it’s fine in moderation.”

That’s the short version of a television commercial — I saw it on TV today. There was a longer version that I saw for the first time months ago, in which the girl mentioned some other things about HFCS, such as the fact that it’s made from corn (as if that makes it completely innocuous, just like cyanide made from mangoes or almonds).

The ad’s purpose is cynically clear: it’s meant to defuse the impression that HFCS is bad for you in the minds of people who have heard it’s bad, but don’t remember why. It doesn’t actually counter any arguments against consuming HFCS — it just tries to get people to equate ignorance of potential dangers with the absence of danger.

I don’t remember all the problems of HFCS off the top of my head. I’ve forgotten more of them than I remember. I’ll list three of them that I do remember right off the top of my head, though. See if you can remember this stuff the next time you see that incredibly stupid ad:

  1. Studies suggest that high fructose corn syrup may make you fatter because it’s much more quickly metabolized than sucrose. There are half a dozen other reasons, give or take, that it may contribute to obesity, but I don’t remember them. I have some vague recollection that eating it also stops the eater from feeling full when he or she should. Just file all of this under “it makes you fat”.

  2. Most of the corn in HFCS — if not all of it — comes from Monsanto-patented corn that is genetically engineered to produce its own neurotoxins (as insecticides). Aside from the fact that this may be contributing to colony collapse disorder, it also raises some disturbing questions about how healthy this crap is for humans.

  3. It has been recently revealed that the process used to create HFCS from corn uses hydrochloric acid and caustic soda, both of which may be contaminated by mercury — resulting in nearly half of tested HFCS-containing food products containing mercury. In case you’re not aware, mercury is very, very bad for you. Eating mercury is a bit like eating lead, in that consuming it in small quantities over the course of years can lead to illness, turning into a brain-damaged moron, and death. Unlike lead, though, even touching the stuff is potentially dangerous.

That’s leaving aside the negative factors unrelated to health, like the fact that the only reason it’s used is its low price, and the only reason it’s so cheap is massive federal subsidies for farming of Monsanto-patented corn. Those are real subsidies, not tax breaks that idiot Leftists call “subsidies”. Subsidies, my friends, are bad.


  1. Another one is the possibility that systemic inflammation may result from the constant ingestion of corn — which may be related to the rise in auto-immune diseases.

    Comment by Sterling Camden — 21 March 2009 @ 03:15

  2. Good addition, Sterling.

    Comment by apotheon — 21 March 2009 @ 04:52

  3. I see you’ve installed a “Subscribe to comments” plugin. I’m very grateful. Ever since Assaf canned, I’ve had to remember to follow up on comment threads here — until now.

    Comment by Sterling Camden — 21 March 2009 @ 04:57

  4. You got it right about it stopping you from feeling full. What it does is it blocks the production of the chemical that tells your brain this.

    So HFCS bad. Monsanto very bad. Commercial extremely dangerous.

    And thank you for this post. I’ve been wanting to complain about the commercial but I’m not very good at being indignant and intelligent at the same time.

    Comment by Joseph A Nagy Jr — 21 March 2009 @ 05:42

  5. Sterling:

    Sorry about the long delay on getting comment subscriptions on SOB. My only excuse is laziness.


    And thank you for this post.

    My pleasure.

    Comment by apotheon — 22 March 2009 @ 10:37

  6. HFCS also increases insulin resistance — though apparently that can be fixed with a little harmless gene alteration:

    Comment by Sterling Camden — 24 March 2009 @ 09:49

  7. “A little harmless gene alteration.” I like that.

    Comment by apotheon — 24 March 2009 @ 10:13

  8. One thing not mentioned: in the ad the comment is made, “….that, like sugar, high fructose corn syrup in moderation does no harm”

    My question: sugar is listed on labels in grams….I’ve seen nothing listing how much HFCS is in any product. And given that HFCS are in everything from Pasta sauce to Nyquil cough syrup, and we are not told how much is in each – – – how on earth are we to ‘moderate’ it?

    Comment by Velaine — 3 April 2009 @ 08:29

  9. Yeah — that’s another good point, Velaine. That kind of vague statement in the ad just points out how much the corporate movers of HFCS and the FDA rely on us (the public) to trust them to make all our decisions for us. We live in an authoritarian culture, where it seems like everyone believes on some level that there’s some kind of pervasive conspiracy in government to act in our best interests, and those in a position of power take advantage of that (unconscious?) belief.

    Comment by apotheon — 3 April 2009 @ 09:49

  10. More:

    Comment by Sterling Camden — 4 April 2009 @ 03:32

  11. Thanks for the link Sterling.

    Comment by Joseph A Nagy Jr — 6 April 2009 @ 06:18

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

All original content Copyright Chad Perrin: Distributed under the terms of the Open Works License