Monday, May 04, 2009

Sweet Choice?

For the past several months, I've noticed an onslaught of commercials promoting high fructose corn syrup - you've probably seen them too. I can't help but wonder if corn producers (the ad campaign sponsors) are starting to feel the squeeze as more and more people are starting to avoid the additive and popular products are removing it. The funny/offensive thing is that the ads make health conscious people look ignorant. In each commercial (I've seen maybe 2 or 3 different ones) the HFCS promoter "converts" the health conscious "idiot".

There is a website given at the end. Here are a few of the facts they list at the advertised website:
1) Research confirms that high fructose corn syrup is safe and no different from other common sweeteners like table sugar and honey. All three sweeteners are nutritionally the same.

2) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted high fructose corn syrup "Generally Recognized as Safe" status for use in food, and reaffirmed that ruling in 1996 after thorough review.

3) High fructose corn syrup offers numerous benefits. It keeps food fresh, enhances fruit and spice flavors, retains moisture in bran cereals, helps keep breakfast and energy bars moist, maintains consistent flavors in beverages and keeps ingredients evenly dispersed in condiments.

I find the ad campaign ludicrous. I'm sure Michael Pollen, Barbara Kingsolver, and many other current (and popular!) authors are on their hate list. And the benefits of avoiding high fructose corn syrup are well-published. It's hard for me to imagine that these ads are successful but I guess it might make people feel better about their food decisions.

As for us, we will continue limiting and eliminating our HFCS intake around here - I remain unconvinced. :)


Jennifer M said...

Here, here! I've seen the same adds printed in magazines (the ones kept on the table at the Doctor's office no less), and just shook my head at what a sell-job it was. Someone is going on a huge marketing campaign, that's for sure.

BRiehl said...

Ha! I love that you pointed this out. Those commercials are ridiculous! "Wow, you're such an idiot! You don't even know why to avoid HFCS...let me re-educate you; now stuff your face!" I love it! Amen, Sister!

kitzkazventure said...

I don't know if I have seen one of these doesn't stick out in my mind because it would have totally made me laugh. I have tried to avoid the cornsyrup products for Nick as I was so glad that he had not been exposed to them until 3 ...the air he had to breathe on the other hand! ;) I get so mad that all the health items sold have this in them...yogurts, granola bars, cereals, etc. I am a big label reader and people would not normally believe that I could actually be overweight with all my obsessive food buying patterns but I digress... I totally agree with you....

Advertising/news media are the most un-informed good nutrition outlet out there. Please just eat corn and forget the syrup! ;)

Monica said...

"Generally recognized as safe" doesn't exactly sound like a compliment to me. I'm with you on this one, though not a diligent as I should be. Thanks for the reminder.

Sara Luke said...

When I first saw one I thought it was some sort of spoof . . . like an SNL skit or something. Incredible.

Next thing you know, Marlboro will be running ads about how smoking is a healthy way to help you unwind.

Joel and Stacey said...

The cigarette companies used to run ads like that, with doctors doing the promoting.