Dear Corn Refiners Association: Are you nuts?

I might be a bit late getting on board this train, but you must forgive me; my insufferable yuppie-ness meant I refused to buy a TV for the past four months, since I sold Garry's old 200-pounder and moved to my tiny studio.  So I have been living in a cave, or under a rock, for a while.  I finally got this giant 40" Samsung on Black Friday, which looks totally out of place but has nevertheless become the focal point of the whole apartment and gives me strange comfort when feeling lonely at night.

The channel I've been watching the most is, of course, the Food Network (followed closely by the Style network, but they are not quite as good-natured).  In fact, we did not once step out of my apartment the entire day on New Year's Day, opting instead to watch about 10 hours of the "Who Will Be the Next Iron Chef?" marathon (I was rooting for the crazy-eyed Indian guy who was super creative).

ANYWAY.  Today, while watching Alton Brown's Good Eats (of all shows!), I saw this absurd commercial sponsored by the Corn Refiners Association as part of their "Sweet Surprise" ad campaign:

My eyes nearly bugged out of my head - I thought it was some kind of sick joke.  Were they kidding?  "It's made from corn, doesn't have artificial ingredients and, like sugar, is fine in moderation."

Now I am not one to support refined sugar either, but this was ridiculous.  I love the tagline especially: "Get the facts.  You're in for a sweet surprise!"  It sounds like a pedophile luring unsuspecting youngsters into dastardly deeds.  At least the actresses were good (great comic timing!).

Besides, everyone knows a Mexican Coke just tastes better because it's made from sugar instead of that nasty high-fructose corn syrup.

In case you haven't gotten enough of the sweet surprise, here's Ads 2 and 3 from the campaign:

8 responses
High Fructose Syrup (HFS) is one the biggest contributors to poor health in the US. IMHO.
It’s become fashionable in recent years for food activists (and some marketers) to blame high fructose corn syrup for our collective love-handles. But all natural sweeteners (including cane sugar, beet sugar, corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, and others) are made up of two basic sugar molecules called glucose and fructose. Each of those sugars contains the same number of calories as all other carbohydrates: just four per gram. So a gram of fructose in table sugar is no more fattening than a gram of fructose in honey, or a gram of fructose derived from corn.,8599,1841910,00.html

Actually, Atovar, there's finally real evidence that HFCS is bad even in moderation:
Actually, Antonio, recent research suggests that high-fructose corn syrup isn't intrinsically less healthy than other sweeteners, nor is it the root cause of obesity.

My source is newer than yours ;-p
I have to agree with Antonio. I tend to find European studies about food tends to have less of a spin. When I see those HFCS ads I begin to wonder what the corporations really want. I seem to remember a lot of "cigarettes aren't bad either" commercials too.
Myth: High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is worse for you than sugar.
The Truth: The idea that high-fructose corn syrup is any more harmful to your health than sugar is “one of those urban myths that sounds right but is basically wrong,” according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a health advocacy group. The composition of high-fructose corn syrup is almost identical to table sugar or sucrose (55 percent fructose, 45 percent glucose and 50:50, respectively). Calorie-wise, HFCS is a dead ringer for sucrose. Studies show that HFCS and sucrose have very similar effects on blood levels of insulin, glucose, triglycerides and satiety hormones. In short, it seems to be no worse—but also no better—than sucrose, or table sugar. This controversy, say researchers, is distracting us from the more important issue: we’re eating too much of all sorts of sugars, from HFCS and sucrose to honey and molasses. The American Heart Association recently recommended that women consume no more than 100 calories a day in added sugars [6 teaspoons]; men, 150 calories [9 teaspoons].
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