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High Fructose Corn Syrup

            What is high fructose corn syrup? Why is it in the news so much? Can it really be that bad for our health? These are all questions that are asked frequently by our culture and not too many people actually know the answer. It has come time to get to the bottom of this controversy and separate the facts from the fiction. Back in 1977 a sugar tariff was passed by the Federal government increasing the cost of sucrose otherwise known as table sugar. Because businesses like to save money they tried many different ways to find alternative sweeteners for their foods. One of these other sweeteners was corn syrup. Corn syrup was cheap because of the government subsidies, abundant because of the amount of corn grown locally, and easy to use because it could be mixed with just about any product to give it a little more sweetness to attract consumers. As you have this rise in high fructose corn syrup and fall in table sugar the nation has increased their yearly intake of sugar by about twenty pounds since 1975 (Hyman). Our hunter gatherer ancestors only ate about twenty teaspoons a year which is the same amount in two cans of coke. The rise in sugar intake is due primarily to two separate events. The first being the increase in availability and usage of corn syrup in a lot of our foods and the second being the decrease in our fat intake. You may be wondering how the second one increases sugar intake. Well with America going on a low to no fat intake craze, that means companies are taking fat out of their products. What happens when you take fats out of food? They taste terrible. So how do you make them taste better? Add sugar! So while a product can contain no fat and label itself as fat free, it can contain massive amounts of sugars and carbohydrates to compensate for lost flavor. With these two factors in place the amount of sugar and high fructose corn syrup in our diets has skyrocketed. We all know where table sugar comes from, either cane sugar or from beets, but where does corn syrup come from and how is it made?.

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