What is High Fructose Corn Syrup? Really????????

I was just in the local grocery getting party food for my soon to be 6-year old’s bash tomorrow. She wants to serve a punch and I found this one via my Wildtree recipe search. I grabbed a bottle of Sierra Mist .. the only non-HFCS lemon lime soda on the aisle and was appalled when searching for Raspberry Sherbet because most had HFCS. Got the one that was on sale ~ woohoo! SO I find a few other things, chips, smart puffs, whoonu cookies, fruit, veggies .. ya know typical party fair. I wait in line at the checkout, give my loyalty card to the cashier all is normal. And then she scans the sherbet and says, “oh I haven’t tried this one.”
I reply with, “me neither. but it is the only one without high fructose corn syrup so thats what I’m getting.”
Her response, “What’s that? Does it make it to sweet or something?”
I think my jaw literally dropped … I was in shock. Really you don’t know what HFCS is?
I know there are people that don’t care about HFCS in their food, and those who think it isn’t any different than eating regular sugar or cane juice … and that is fine — it is there opinion. But I really had NO IDEA there were still people in the world who had no idea what High Fructose Corn Syrup is! Was I the only one that saw the “Corn Sugar” commercials last year?
ok, ok I know I’m a bit more sensitive because of my Wildtee business. I pay more attention because, well it is my job, and also because I believe HFCS does has a detrimental effect. Not only is it probably made from GMO corn I have physically seen the effects on my own stomach with HFCS in my diet as well as the effects on my kids AFTER they consume it.
But really … no idea what it is???
I just can’t believe there are people who have not heard the debates over this ingredient. Can you?

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15 Responses so far.

  1. Cory Zacker says:

    Yvonne – I’m not surprised in the least! Most people have no idea what is healthy and what is not. Obesity and diabetes are rampant in this country because of what people consume on a daily basis. Also, not sure if you read last year’s NYT’s article about sugar that basically says, it’s all bad, whether it HFCS or regular. Here’s the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?pagewanted=all

    • YvonneElmHall says:

      True Cory. And Yes all sugar/sweeteners are bad .. some worse than others and my daughter would remind us all they are a “sometimes food” But when your baby girl asks for a birthday punch you pull out ALL the stops for a color-themed birthday punch! Mine was free of food dyes and HFCS! but .. punch is punch and full of sugar. We won’t discuss all the sugar in the cake they ate with it! 😉

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  2. Jean says:

    Yvonne, like Cory I am not surprised she didn’t know. Even though most of us watch TV, we rarely pay attention to the commercials. Then for every one you see against it you see one that tells you there is no differce between HFCS and sugar to your body. Lets face it, most of us a lazy eaters, we prefer prepacked or fast food because its easy with little or no regard to how its going to affect our bodies in the long run.

  3. Judy Stone-Goldman says:

    I just saw the “corn sugar” add yesterday (not the first time, but it reminded me), and I thought, “Talk about rebranding.” I don’t know whether to be surprised or not about people unaware of HFCS. I suppose not since there are, apparently, still people who don’t get that a huge double hamburger and fries is not a healthy meal.

    I don’t eat anything with sugar or corn, whether natural or not, and I know how carefully I have to read labels. I can imagine it’s tough with kids.

    Great post. Sadly, you are probably preaching to the choir in that your readers are most likely the informed ones.

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer
    Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing

    • YvonneElmHall says:

      Yes I agree probably preaching to the choir .. but hopefully when someone is wondering what HFCS is . they will find my post. 😉

      • Judy Stone-Goldman says:

        Yes, absolutely! We put our thoughts and words out there and trust they’ll get to someone who might benefit.

  4. Julieanne Case says:

    I know it seems incredible that some don’t know. But I know some who do and still drink it. Now there is one problem with the chart above. The artificial sugar substitutes are not good alternatives. Splenda converts to chlorine in your system. Aspartame is extremely bad for you. And all of them mess with your insulin and create similar problems to HFCS. It’s best to use real cane sugar, honey, or agave. Seriously, anything fake will create more problems!

  5. Maureena Bivins, PhD says:

    It is really a challenge today to chose healthy foods, especially if they are processed or packaged. I have enjoyed using pure date syrup in place of sugar, which can be found in international or South Asian markets. It’s packed with minerals and is a great sugar substitute in baking.

  6. Vicki Dello Joio says:

    I believe there are a large number of people who think if it is out there, it must be ok and don’t want to be bothered with info like this or think it is just for “health nuts” It’s sad because it makes creating change all the more difficult

    • YvonneElmHall says:

      Agreed they think if the FDA (or the lobyists) approve it then it must be fine!

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  7. Rowena Starling says:

    I can believe it. Hell, there are people who have lived in Richmond, CA all of their lives and have NEVER been to San Francisco. It’s astounding, the information people miss.

  8. Cheryl McDonald says:

    Well, I was glad to see your post. I stay away from most sugars and all artificial sweetners. I had not seen the ads because I also stay away from TV. A good reminder to read the labels.

  9. Sue Bock says:


    I too wonder about HFCS. I am not crazy that it has increased our craving for sugar. Like all sugars less is more. I am more a fan of sugar than HFCS Thanks foe the education.

    Sue Bock