By Gene Hall

Texas Farm Bureau: High Fructose Corn Syrup – “Sugar with an Image Problem?”

Among those that believe the U.S. food supply is a great evil, depriving us of health and happiness, high fructose corn syrup has become a particular demon.  It is said to be making us fat in unprecedented numbers.  This is a lie that has turned several laps around the world before the truth gets its boots on. 

Here are some facts –

From – “Some people mistakenly believe that some sweeteners are healthier than others. But the facts don’t add up. Whether it’s sugar from cane, beets, or corn, all sweet treats have the same number of calories.”

On – “High fructose corn syrup is simply a kind of corn sugar. It has the same number of calories as sugar and is handled similarly by the body.”

Recently, as unlikely a source as CBS News did a story called – “It’s Just Sugar.”

Check both out for yourselves –

I think we’ve pretty well established in recent posts of this blog that, for those determined to drag agriculture kicking and screaming back into the 19th Century, the facts are building materials that can be twisted, bent and if necessary, invented to suit your purpose.

Since everyone’s got a theory, here’s mine.  X-Boxes, Play Stations and High Definition TV have as much to do with high rates of obesity as anything we eat.  Genetics and bad luck have a lot to do with some of our health problems.  That’s sad, but all too often, it’s the choices we make that have detrimental effects on our health.

Confession time – I am a Jelly Belly junkie.  These are the small, incredibly sweet gourmet jellybeans with 40 flavors to a bag.  According to the label, they are sweetened with both sugar and corn syrup.  There are 35 Jelly Bellys in a serving, along with 140 calories.  Obviously, I’ve learned that consuming an entire bag – six servings and 840 calories is not such a good idea.  I’d say that when I get a sweet tooth, I do half a serving from the jar that sits by my recliner.  Some nights I just stare at it longingly and leave it alone.

I am a big guy from a family of big guys.  I topped out at about 230 pounds on my 5 foot 11 inch frame.  Recently, I decided to get in better shape.  I’ve joined a gym and can now go for nearly an hour, walking, on a treadmill at 4 miles per hour.  My 56 year old knees cannot take the pounding of running.  I’ve added some light weight lifting.  No macho stuff – as I said – I’m 56. I’m also watching what I eat more.  I’ve not yet lost a lot of weight but I do seem to be in better shape. 

There are lapses from time to time.  I’m eating leaner meat and smaller portions.  I’ve cut down on cheese and replaced 2% milk in the fridge with fat free.  Milk is my favorite food and drink. 

I occasionally dip into the Jelly Bellys too.  Anyone who wants to take them away from me will have a fight on their hands.  Are you listening Food Police?

Health and obesity depend primarily on two things – genetics and personal choice. We can do little about the former and a great deal about the latter.  This is one thing the nanny state should not try to fix.


Gene Hall

Public Relations Director
Texas Farm Bureau
I believe that the only hope for a food secure world is capitalism and reasonable profits for America’s farm and ranch families–that the first element of sustainability is economic survival.
Follow Gene on Twitter and Facebook.

4 Responses to “High Fructose Corn Syrup – “Sugar with an Image Problem?””

  1. Bayard Breeding says:

    The fact is that HFC is added to an unbelievable number of products without any reason except as a filler. Excessive sugar consumption IS real health problem in the United States and I for one resent paying dollars for a salt/HFC product. I am not getting my money’s worth. Now if someone is so stupid to pay for sugar that is there business but I do not take kindley to being ripped off by the price of a product that is more sugar or salt than the beans,salad dressing, or soup than I am getting in the actual can. Besides I am tired of the taxes that I pay on my farmland that goes to the Emergeny Room/ Hospital care for uninsured individuals that due to sugar induced health problems utilize these facilities.To me it is a matter of getting the REAL product that I want in a package without a bunch of filler. I am perfectly capable of adding salt or sugar on my own.

  2. I agree that excessive sugar consumption is a problem. Thanks for posting.

  3. Thanks for posting "Stop." I agree with you that our kids need to eat far more in the way of fresh fruits and vegetables, good lean meats, less fast food and less processed food. We tried to raise our three boys that way. The occasional sweet is okay, I believe. HFCS is not fundamentally different from sugar. Both should be limited in the diet of both kids and adults. Less time in front of the HDTV, Playstations and Xboxes – more time outside running and playing – would not be a bad idea either.
    Parents are responsible for taking charge of thier kids lives, thier diets and their exercise.

    Thanks for posting.

  4. Carla Reyes says:

    Sugar is an important part of food not junk food our body needs it too. Just like everything, wine, fat or whatever excess is counterproductive. As for Jelly Beans how God I love them

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