Perhaps you’ve been following the dialogue I’ve been having with Therese Pompa, the social media manager for the Corn Refiners Association. We started speaking after I posted a Saturday Night Live video satirizing a high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) commercial, and then we subsequently exchanged a pair of letters. As you’ll see below in our second exchange of letters, I felt Therese was dodging my concerns about HFCS, and she in turn felt that I am “not trying to have a genuine conversation.”
So let’s have that conversation. Readers, please leave any comments, questions, or concerns below that you have about high fructose corn syrup. As always, please remain respectful and thoughtful in doing so. Therese, feel free to comment yourself, or ask people from your camp to contribute their ideas.
Earlier this week, after posting a “Saturday Night Live” skit that parodied the ubiquitous high fructose corn syrup commercials (in which HFCS is presented as “basically equal to sugar” and “fine in moderation”), I was contacted on Twitter by Therese Pompa, the social media manager for the Corn Refiners Association. She sent links that, according to her, refuted my position that HFCS appears to be dangerous to our health and a contributor to America’s health crisis. I asked if she thought it was not disingenuous to have HFCS in salty foods, creating a wider reach for sugar that is essentially hidden in food. Our Twitter conversation is posted here. After the representative asked to speak more in-depth offline, I received this email:
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has an image problem. As this Saturday Night Live parody demonstrates, the HFCS industry has launched a series of commercials over the past year to clarify misconceptions and “state the facts about corn sugar.” That’s right, it’s no longer “high fructose corn syrup,” but “corn sugar”—an almost identical, warm-and-fuzzy twin that will subtly convince you that “sugar” and “corn sugar” are interchangeable ingredients. Wrong.
Last week Congress failed to pass the Child Nutrition Bill. It would have created stronger nutritional standards and provided additional funding for the first time in 30 years. Do you know how much the funding was? Six cents per lunch.
That means that in Los Angeles, for example, the money spent on each school lunch would have risen to 60 cents from 54. In France, they spend more than five dollars on each school lunch. And then we wonder why French women are skinny and we’re not.
Change won’t happen waiting for Congress to get their act together. It has to start at home, with one school, with your child.
“Eat food; avoid edible food-like substances” — Michael Pollan on the Daily Show discussing his new book, Food Rules (only $5!). Another Pollan factoid: As Americans, 20 percent of our calories comes from high fructose syrup. As I’ve mentioned, this is likely because people don’t understand how pervasive high fructose corn syrup is in our food–it’s not just in juice; it’s in pizza sauce, french fries, hamburgers, cereal, you name it. Jon Stewart also made an interesting comparison:…