a response to Ms. CornRefiner’s comment

Last week, I wrote a Works for Me Wednesday post on my family’s reduction of high fructose corn syrup in our diet, entitled “high fructose corn syrup “in moderation.” My focus was on learning about nutrition and the dietary changes which are working for our family. However, the linked videos contained some references to the Corn Refiner’s Association. Today, a new comment appeared on that post. From Liz at the Corn Refiner’s Association. (sorry CRA, no link love for you.) She wanted to set me straight and provide additional resources for my research. How sweet. (pun intended)

Given the nature of her comment the blatant post highjack, complete with advertising links, I felt my response warranted an entire post rather than leave it buried in the comments of an older post. Although she ends with a different agenda, MY focus is still on nutrition. I’ll leave the economic and political commentary on this particular issue to those who have a passion for it.

“Hi, my name is Liz and I work for the Corn Refiner’s Association.”

Give me a sec. I need to re-read last week’s post to see if your lawyer will be contacting me next. No. I think I’m good. (by JSM)

“I wanted to share some information about High Fructose Corn Syrup.”

oh good. I get to heckle. I LOVE doing that! Just ask Mr. Ofori and Mr. Sunday (by JSM)

“High fructose corn syrup, like table sugar and honey, is composed of fructose and glucose, which are found in many naturally-occurring fruits, vegetables and nuts.

(you can’t see it, but Liz is patting me on the head right now.) Gee, thank you for telling me that! Because I hadn’t done ANY research before you stopped by. And I certainly didn’t know anything about fructose or glue . . . OH! No, it’s spelled glucose, right? How silly of me. I can spell Alpha-Amylase and Glucoamylase, and Xylose isomerase, but I can’t find them in the grocery store. Maybe they’re in the produce department. or the pharmacy.

And I’m definitely going to look for “naturally-occurring fruits, vegetables and nuts.” I’ll ask the produce manager at my grocery store to point them out to me. But, please. Continue. (by JSM)

“And high fructose corn syrup has the same number of calories as sugar and honey – 4 per gram.”

Well, then it must metabolize the same as sugar and honey. Right? No? Oh, that’s right, HFCS metabolizes in the LIVER. But that’s “of little consequence” like it says on the website you recommended:

Though the individual sugars are metabolized by different pathways, this is of little consequence since the body sees the same mix of sugars from caloric (nutritive) sweeteners, regardless of source.

What a relief. Somebody should tell Scott Kustes, over at Modern Forager. His has no idea that this is of “little consequence.” He wasted his time writing an article. If he had only read the Corn Refinery’s Frequently Asked Questions page first. He could have spent the time consuming HFCS in moderation. Instead, he wrote this:

“There are five sugars known as monosaccharides: glucose, fructose, galactose, xylose, and ribose.(1) These five sugars serve as the building blocks of the disaccharides that we all know and love: sucrose, lactose, maltose, trehalose, and cellobiose.(2) We’re going to focus specifically on two of the monosaccharides, glucose and fructose, and one of the disaccharides, sucrose.

Glucose is the main energy of cellular function, metabolized by most every cell in the body. It fuels your cells, and while not technically necessary for the body to function (it can operate on fuel derived from fat and protein), some level of glucose from carbohydrates is a nice to have, especially if you engage in high-intensity activity. The body works very hard to keep blood glucose in a narrow range, through careful administration of insulin. Too high and all kinds of damage can be done, too low and all kinds of death can occur. So really only one kind of death, but in the grand scheme, isn’t one enough?

Fructose is a sugar found mainly in fruits, which undergoes metabolic processing in the liver. The main problem with fructose is that little piece about needing to be metabolized by the liver. Studies have suggested that consuming too much fructose messes up all kinds of things in the body.(3) Some show a correlation with obesity. Fructose tends to promote an increase in triglycerides in the blood, which are a definite marker for heart disease. Other studies have shown that fructose pulls important minerals from the blood, chelating them out of the body. This little gem also increases levels of uric acid in the body, an abundance of which brings about the symptoms of gout. Studies have shown fatty liver disease from too much fructose, making the liver look like that of an alcoholic. And finally, fructose reduces circulating insulin, leptin, and ghrelin levels, hormones which control satiety and appetite.” read more . . .

So, Scott, you’re saying it’s not fructose, it’s TOO MUCH fructose that’s the problem. Like in high fructose corn syrup? So, I can still eat fruit, because the AMOUNT of fructose in my apple would be “moderate” whereas the AMOUNT of fructose in HFCS Apple JUICE would be . . . higher? Thank you. (by JSM)

(Back to you, Liz:)

“For the most part, you’ll find high fructose corn syrup in the same kinds of products in which you would find sugar or other sweeteners.”

I know! I buy those other products! Do you have any recommendations? (by JSM)

At the same time, corn sweeteners offer some unique functional benefits that help companies offer more choices in food products.

Oh! Do tell! I always like products that help companies. And I want more food choices containing HFCS (by JSM)

“High fructose corn syrup keeps foods fresh, enhances fruit and spice flavors, retains moisture in bran cereals, helps keep breakfast and energy bars moist, maintains consistent flavors in beverages, and keeps ingredients evenly dispersed in condiments.”

Really. It’s amazing. Those are some “unique functional benefits,” alright. How do companies making the products I buy do it? I never realized the products I buy aren’t fresh, have diminished flavors and are stale. And I just need to pay more attention when I drink my soda or juice. I’ve never noticed inconsistent flavors. Oh! I forgot. I don’t drink soda or juice. And I must have overlooked my lumpy condiments. (by JSM)

“Price may have prompted manufacturers to switch from sugar to high fructose corn syrup 30 years ago, but it is no longer a primary factor, since high fructose corn syrup has specific and unique functional qualities not shared by sugar. In addition, the price of corn is rising substantially due to demand.”

I’m sorry, what are you babbling about? manufacturers and the price of corn? We’re talking HEALTH here at Pragmatic Compendium. Focus. (by JSM)

“There’s a lot of solid research and information at

wait, those links don’t look quite right. Let me help. (by JSM)

” www dot Sweet (Sneaky) Surprise dot com and www dot HFCS (Twisted) Facts dot com. Thank you for your consideration.”

Oh no. Thank YOU. For the blog fodder. And more learning. (by JSM)

So, Corn Refiner’s Association? I said it in my first post. I’ll say it more slowly this time: Sell. It. Walking.

I’m going to learn a little more. But I’ll be sure to stick with what I can understand. Big words are scary.


Find more ideas over at Works for Me Wednesday, hosted by Mary at Giving Up on Perfect.

Works for Me Wednesday posts prior to January 2015 are archived at We Are THAT Family

Works for Me Wednesday posts prior to February 2009 are archived at Rocks In My Dryer

6 thoughts on “a response to Ms. CornRefiner’s comment

  1. This tongue-in-cheek post was really informative. I’m hypoglycemic and 15-20 years ago I was a big believer in HFCS due to extreme ignorance. I have since learned the error of my ways and was able to save my liver from self-destructing. As always, thanks for your candor and your wonderful sense of humor!

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