September 30th, 2010
12:20 PM ET
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Wondering what the heck HFCS actually IS and how it's made? WE EXPLAIN



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soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Hentecliddets

    game

    May 29, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Reply
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  4. Ervin D. Baltimore

    In March 2010 my doctor told me my blood sugar was too high. I needed to reduce my sugar intake. I begin looking closely at the ingredients in any product I buy and trying not to buy products with corn syrup or processed sugar. It really isn't difficult to do. There are many low sugar and sugar free food products available. You just have to look. My blood sugar is now normal and since March I have lost 24 pounds. My diet has not changed, except for the corn syrup and processed sugar. I am a 70 year old man and I have regained much of my energy and am sleeping better at night. What works for one person may not work for another, but I believe reducing or eliminating corn syrup and processed sugar has had a positive effect for me.

    October 10, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  5. Will

    The main issue with subsidizing anything is that it becomes POLITICAL. It stops being good or bad.

    October 6, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  6. WAKE UP FELLOW AMERICANS!!!!

    Watch the documentaries "King Corn" and "Food, Inc". You'll learn way more than you ever wanted to about what goes into the food that we as Americans are forced to pay for consume. It's all a result of Big Business running/ruining our government and economy. If that wasn't bad enough, we're now forcing other countries to grow the same crap that is killing us, our children, and the planet. Read the labels before you buy, demand healthier meat and produce, avoid fast food, and if possible grow or buy your produce locally.

    October 5, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Reply
    • Cass

      Exactly why you should eat meals made from raw ingredients as much as possible. It's the only way to know you're eating something without a bunch of hidden junk in it. Labels don't always exist to consult, not to mention that they don't tell you everything. Take deli meats for example. Processed... full of preservatives... no label. Just buy a roast and make your own lunch meat out of it. It's so much healthier.

      Knowing precisely what you're eating is invaluable.

      October 10, 2010 at 10:48 am | Reply
      • Bob

        If you are going to be rigorous about it, Cass, you should also eat your food raw, meat included. Cooking converts food into all sorts of complicated chemicals not found in "natural" foods. Cooking is "processing" every bit as much as those ready-processed foods you buy at the store. And unlike the additives put into manufactured foods, none of the chemical compounds produced by cooking has ever been tested for safety.

        October 10, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Reply
    • Todd

      Well, I , for one, want my corpse to be preserved for the ages. Eat preservatives, and your corpse won't rot.

      Neat, huh?

      October 10, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  7. r

    "corn subsidies to US farmers – $3,975,606,299 in 2009." Why wouldn't they want to re brand this crap and keep pushing it. Its prob stockpiled for the next ten years.

    October 5, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  8. JENX

    Yes, Americans consume too much sugar, and need to get exercise. However, we should just stop subsidizing corn. It is like subsidizing tobacco. We subsidize their industry, and then they turn around and just flat out lie to us. Then they try to weasely rebrand their junk. What a bunch of losers.

    October 5, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Reply
    • Stoner

      Maybe all the farmers should grow that there Mary Ja Wanna? Become Rebels like Willie and Robert Mitchum.

      October 5, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Reply
  9. crap

    What can I say its crap!

    October 5, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  10. Robert

    What this article did nothing to explain is why it is we are so reliant on HFCS. If you are interested, I recommend Michael Pollans "The Omnivores Dilemma" He has an INCREDIBLY in depth explanation of our dependence on corn in the first section. Due to the enormous subsidies given to huge scale corn farmers, we have had a ridiculous surplus of corn since the mid 70's. So much so, that we had to figure out ways of using corn aside from eating it. So, along side many other chemical experiments, a super cheap and super sweet liquid was invented from the chemical breakdown of corn. The processed food machine thus utilized this hypersweet and cheap liquid in place of wholesome and natural sweeteners. That has led us to our 25 cent/liter sodas and $2.25 maple syrup whereas natural twins cost much more. It is our cultural obsession with thing cheap and huge that hurts. HFCS or regular sugar, 160 oz. of coke is gonna make anyone fat, whether you spend $1.00 or $10.00...

    October 1, 2010 at 10:09 am | Reply
    • Will

      A good portion of the cost of "natural" sugars can be attributed to the importing of those sugars. Cane sugar is a good example. We mostly import our cane sugar and our fruit and maple syrup, etc, etc.

      October 6, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Reply
    • Bob

      There is no such thing as "natural" sugar. There is just sugar – or sugars. The fructose in HFCS is identical to the fructose in an orange. Both are equally bad for you if you are diabetic or overweight. One of the common harmful misconception, promoted above, is that somehow "natural" sugars are less harmful than manufactured sugars.

      October 10, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  11. Will

    Just like pretty much everything else in life, moderation is key. But personally, I'm not at all for HFCS. I enjoy the taste of real sugar (especially in pop) far more than HFCS, in moderation that is. HFCS just makes me crave more, no satisfaction like the real thing!

    October 1, 2010 at 1:49 am | Reply
  12. Mary

    The only thing making people obese is over eating. The end. Stop making retarded excuses!

    September 30, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Reply
    • JENX

      You drink it then. The stuff is nasty, and tastes no where near as good as sugar. The researcher was not obese. I am not fat, and I consume very little sugar. My point is: Should we subsidize the growing of corn to the tune of $75.8 billion from 1995 to 2009 for something that is harming us?

      Source: http://farm.ewg.org/progdetail.php?fips=00000&progcode=corn

      October 5, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Reply
      • Cammorgie

        Do you have any idea at all what corn is used for in this country beyond HFCS? Maybe you should do a little research and then ask the question about whether or not it should be subsidized.

        October 5, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Reply
      • Bob

        How can sugar not taste as good as sugar, JENX?

        October 10, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • wes

      Mary,
      Yes when we eat too much we gain weight. Some of us have a problem with this.
      But, you need to admit...some of the food we produce and eat is really unhealthy. HFCS...we abuse this stuff...we have a diabetes epidemic..and we subsidize these HFCS companies 3.9 billion dollars! Thats Nuts

      October 6, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Reply
    • Kim

      Mary- I am an overweight American. I eat very healthy, no sugar, and no pops. I drink teas and water and eat whole fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meat. No beef, or butter. I am ill. That is why I'm heavy. So don't catagorize everyone by appearance. You ever know what that person is going through. I pray you never have to endure what I have had to endure, and the types of medicines I have to take to keep me walking around. You should be ashamed of yourself.

      October 10, 2010 at 10:30 am | Reply
    • Todd

      anyone remember the Atkins diet? Eat a hamburger with cheese, butter, and bacon. Just hold the bread and pickles and it's healthy.

      October 10, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Reply
  13. DW

    TV, Fat, Sodium, Carbs., Glucose, Sucrose, whole milk, drive-up windows etc...
    Bottom line....Americans are fat, lazy, slovenly animals. I am embarrassed to say that I am an American.

    September 30, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Reply
    • washington carver

      nothing like a big glob of corn syrup on a piece of toasted bread.........mmmmnnnnnn corn syrup drippings!

      September 30, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Reply
    • Geoff

      DW: If that's all it takes to make you embarassed to be an American, you weren't much of one to begin with.

      October 5, 2010 at 11:14 am | Reply
  14. woodie

    Someone close to me is allergic to HFCS but not to sugar or honey. So there is something in HFCS that many people cannot consume. That's the real issue with it.

    September 30, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Reply
    • washington carver

      probably corn.

      September 30, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Reply
    • Ragan

      I'm also allergic to HFCS - it gives me hives all over the backs of my hands. I have a family history of allergies to corn and various corn products. It's difficult, but I manage to avoid HFCS by doing my own cooking from fresh ingredients (no boxed or frozen meals, no canned soups, etc.). Honey and sugar do not cause this reaction in me.

      October 3, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Reply
    • JENX

      My cousin is alergic to lemons. You are drawing logical conclusions.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Reply
    • Cammorgie

      people are allergic to honey and not to other sweeteners. not sure what your point is.

      October 5, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Reply
      • bertnb

        The point is that high fructose corn syrup is in everything!!– and that more and more people are becoming allergic to CORN as a result. The big deal? Who cares if you're allergic to lemons? Very easy to avoid. Try being allergic to corn....it means you can't use tampons, toothpaste or lick envelopes. It means you can't have stored blood product or dextrose IVs at the hospital - or most of the medications that drs may want to use to make you well or save your life. It means that you can't buy bread at the store - you can't eat out in restaurants. You can't even drink milk that has vitamins added to it because they use corn oil as a suspension for the vitamins. That is what the big deal is.

        October 10, 2010 at 8:44 am | Reply
    • Bob

      Somebody close to you is ignorant, woodie. I would not rely on them for any advice related to your health. Honey is nothing more than HFCS with some contaminants. Both have about 50% fructose and 50% glucose.

      October 10, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  15. lln

    We do not know whether HF Corn Syrup is bad for you but we do know, which CNN failed to comment on when the mom standing holding her newborn in the grocery aisle so easily spouts that she'll feed her baby "honey" is that HONEY UNDER THE AGE OF 1 IS DEFINITELY NOT SAFE.
    CNN - you need to do a better job - focus on SAFETY and not politicizing food issues!

    September 30, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Reply
    • washington carver

      This is true due to the slight chance that a botulism spore floated into the honey. Newborns immune system isn't up to dealing with it. I'm guessing it doesn't happen that much though or the same spores that float around and end up in honey would get in a infants mouth as it crawls around on the ground.

      September 30, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Reply
    • Jane

      They lady with the baby didn't specifically say she gave the baby honey, she obviously has other kids, herself and a husband DUH!

      September 30, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Reply
      • lln

        she did specifically say that, don't say "DUH" to me like I'm an idiot. No where on the report was it suggesting that she had additional children or for herself - the report stated don't give HFCS give honey.
        It is important for people to know that HONEY IS NOT SAFE for children under the age of one.
        My pediatrician was very adamant about it.
        So if you don't know that and you're watching this, you might give your infant honey.
        We know honey isn't safe under one - over the age of one, fine.
        I'm not a fan of HFCS but the report was not very scientific or thorough and was basically empty. Even the host, I forgot his name, yelled after the report, "so can I eat it or what! That wasn't clear!"
        I agree - it was extremely poor and uninformative reporting on CNN's part. It felt really dumbed down.

        September 30, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Reply
      • Eric

        I'm just going to throw this out there, but maybe if your pediatrician made a big deal about not feeding honey to a newborn, maybe it's fairly common knowledge among parents and doesn't need to be pointed out.

        OMG DON'T HOLD YOUR NEWBORN UNDERWATER FOR AN HOUR AT A TIME, IT'S DANGEROUS!

        October 6, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Reply
    • Bob

      Honey is nothing but HFCS with some coloring and flavoring added. As far sa the sugar content, it is virtually identical to HFCS.

      October 10, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  16. Jonathan Pearce

    What the media seem to be by-passing in this argument is the enormous quantity of sugar(s) that Americans
    are consuming and that are contributing to the national Fatness Problem. HFCS is sugar and as fat-producing
    as cane sugar or beet sugar or whatever other sugar.

    September 30, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Reply
    • JENX

      That is not what they are saying. The researcher (not the corn industry) said that it is way worse than sugar. Did you listen to the part about the mice who consumed less total calories of HFCS, and they actually got fatter than the mice who ate sugar. Yes, oranges (and other fruits) have fructose and we have been eating fruits forever, but it is a negligible amount since they also have filling fiber, Vitamin C and other vitamins. Reducing your total sugar intake is also a great idea, of course.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Reply
      • Cammorgie

        Well, you can listen to the research on rats, or read the research from Dr. Rippe which is the only study actually done on Humans. Might be a bit more enlightening.

        October 5, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Reply
      • Asamov

        One study with interesting findings does not mean we need a paradigm change. The ONE study needs duplication and peer review. It fits your own agenda and bias so it's the only study you'll believe. Emphasis on "believe" because the evidence is scarce.

        October 10, 2010 at 10:54 am | Reply
      • Bob

        HFCS IS sugar, JENX. Is no different from the other sources of sugar. If you want to reduce obesity, you need to reduce intake of CALORIES, including sugar AND starches.

        October 10, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Reply
    • Maargaret Hawkins

      Did you know that HFCS is processed in the LIVER and converts to FAT. The Corn Growers Association is lying to us.
      Don't believe anything they say because they get a lot or $$$$ for their HFCS. It's cheap. It's not good for anyone in cluding animals.
      MH

      October 5, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Reply
      • Mark

        I would very much like to encourage you to take a basic biochemistry class. While it is true that HFCS is processed in the liver and partially converted to fat, it is also very much converted to other things. All sugars can be processed in the liver and can be converted to fat. You are oversimplifying the process and using only the parts that help your argument, while ignoring the rest.

        I personally agree with you in that the CGA is lying to us, but I just needed to point out that you were also lying by omission.

        And I agree that it isn't good for us. However, all simple sugars are not good for us. Why don't you apply your argument to normal sucrose too. Again.. take a basic biochemistry class please.

        October 10, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  17. ALA

    Here are some facts: the body does metabolise fructose and glucose differently, BUT sucrose (table sugar) is 50% fructose and 50% glucose (not counting trace impurities such as salt). The major sugar in honey, corn syrup and maple syrup is fructose. Bottom line, humans have been consuming fructose for milenia. The only difference now is that we consume far more total sugar than our ancestors. Reduce total sugar intake in your diets, don't just target one specific source.

    September 30, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Reply
    • crap

      Well basically its crap!

      October 5, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Reply
      • crap

        Crap I say! Crap crap crap crap!

        October 5, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Reply
      • Henry Kissinger

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/26/AR2009012601831.html

        Washington Post – "Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury,"
        Didnt see THAT in this article??? Yea, "I didnt know, AND NOW I DO!" (lol at the survery..) _Thanx_ CNN N, you're superduper.

        P.S. That stupid CNN N ad at the bottom keeps covering my Post button, & it's REALLY ANNOYING.

        October 10, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Reply
    • grmrsan

      I don't avoid food with corn syrup because the corn syrup is so bad, but because whenever I see it, it's followed by sugar, and usually sucralose. Thats way too much sweetness to be good for you.

      October 20, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Reply

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