Put Down That Soft Drink; High Fructose Corn Syrup NOT Like Sugar

According to an article this week on Science Daily’s website, “A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain.” Rats with access to HFCS gained much more weight than those with access to table sugar even though caloric intake was the same. There was also an abnormal increase in body fat especially the abdomen, and more circulating blood fats or triglycerides.

Psychology professor Bart Hoebel, a specialist in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction said that all the rats that drank the HFCS got obese “across the board,” more so than the rats fed high fat diets where not all gained weight. This should be of major concern because there is an effort to push HFCS to be the same as sugar. I caught an ad the other day that conveyed that very message.

Watch the ads that are circulating.

Did you catch the end of the second one? The woman said “in moderation” HFCS is fine.
It’s hard to moderate HFCS in the U.S. when it’s in all types of products. I found some in canned chili—chili?

The results of a study involving two experiments between HFCS and its link to obesity was published online March 18 by the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior also. The experiments show not just weight gain but traits of obesity characterized by excess belly fat and higher levels of triglycerides.

There is a paragraph in this Science Daily article that shows the difference in chemical composition between HFCS and sucrose or table sugars. It’s validated by the website of the Corn Refiner’s Association called SweetSurprise.com. However, SweetSurprise website suggests, “Once the combination of glucose and fructose found in high fructose corn syrup and sugar are absorbed into the blood stream, the two sweeteners appear to be metabolized similarly in the body,” while Science Daily’s article reveals that it may not and the chemical composition of HFCS and the manufacturing process may be the culprit of quick obesity.

Something cause the rats to get obese and fast. The rats were fed the same amount and type of rat chow along with water sweetened with either HFCS or regular sugar. The scary part, “The concentration of sugar in the sucrose solution was the same as is found in some commercial soft drinks, while the high-fructose corn syrup solution was half as concentrated as most sodas.”

I think SweetSurprise.com needs to revise the info on its website so as not to MISLEAD the public and pull the commercials above.




Madagascar land grab we’re not hearing much about in the news

Korea’s “Daewoo Logistics” is attempting to lease HALF the agricultural land in Madagascar for 99 years for the industrial farming of palm oil and maize (corn), some 1.3 million acres according to an article on Care2.com. Of all the stupid things a country could do at this time of environmental uncertainty is kill off habitat for some of the most diverse creatures on the planet. Madagascar is a treasure chest for scientists and holds a key to biological changes occurring as the planet’s climate changes.

But the biggest travesty is that the people on this island off the SE coast of Africa are already suffering a severe food crisis. Naturally they are protesting because they may soon be losing THEIR land. This in turn is causing a governmental crisis. The world needs to let the people of Madagascar and those CEO’s of Daewoo know we are watching and will not in any way stand around and let this happen. We know about the wonderful biodiversity there and the plight of the people. What business does Korea have intruding on an island off of Africa anyway? We’re worried about N. Korea, and S. Korea proposes to do this? This is just not getting enough media attention considering the biodiversity issue at stake. Some of the world’s most rare creatures are found in Madagascar ONLY.

Anyone with children has seen the animated features “Madagascar and Madagascar II.” Like “Charlotte’s Web” these animated animal icons in Madagascar films are far removed from the horror the creatures they imitate suffer in real life. Little pigs like the one in “Charlotte’s Web” more than not will be found rotating in their whole bodily form on some rotisserie barbeque somewhere this summer. And the animals in “Madagascar” are no different. The lemur is already endangered. We’ve watched the Discovery, Science, Nat Geo, and Sundance Channels, Jeff Irwin and Jack Hanna enough to catch presentations about Madagascar and hopefully comprehend that Madagascar is a biological wonder http://www.wildmadagascar.org/overview/FAQs/.
That notwithstanding, the hostile takeover of any people’s agricultural property by another country, especially a people already suffering a food crisis, should be a call for intervention by the U.N. if their own country doesn’t soon support them.

We’re hardly hearing about this advance on Madagascar in the news. Please sign petitions to let both Korea and Madagascar know the world is watching and protesting. The people of Madagascar have managed to keep the biodiversity of their island country in tact forever. Just last year they agreed to “sell more than nine million tons of carbon offsets to fund rainforest conservation in a newly established protected area. Conservationists say the deal protects endangered wildlife, promotes sustainable development to improve the economic well-being of people living in and around the park area, and helps fight global warming” according to the website “wildmadagascar.org.” And this is how they are repaid by the world community? Much of that biodiversity could be lost with one bad decision, the decision to look the other way instead of protesting along with the people of that country. The U.S. should have much to say to S. Korea about this proposed plan.

To sign petitions: http://www.care2.com/c2c/share/detail/1172161.



New Farm Bill with Additional Environmental/Conservation Programs Gets Final Perusal by Senate

The Farm Bill is on the senate floor this morning getting its final going over. The Farm Bill has some very good changes compared to all the years it went on as is. The following is a summary of the new changes to the S2419 Farm Bill I found on gov.track. I highlighted the items that many people and organizations like The Sierra Club pushed to get through.


·  The following summary was for the Passage With Amendment for this bill on 2007-12-14. The bill may have changed since then. It hasn’t.


·  -Creates a tax penalty for transactions designed exclusively to avoid federal tax (Sec. 12522).

·  -Lowers an income tax credit for ethanol blenders from 51 cents to 46 cents after the sale of 7.50 billion gallons (Sec. 12315).

·  -Establishes the Agriculture Disaster Relief Trust Fund to provide disaster assistance for crop losses (Sec. 12101).

·  -Ends assistance by the year 2010 for persons who have an average adjusted gross income of $750,000 or more and earn less than two-thirds of their average adjusted gross income from farming, ranching, or foresting (Sec. 1704).

·  -Reauthorizes the Federal Food and Nutrition Program, the Commodity Distribution Program, and the Nutrition Information and Awareness Pilot Program (Secs. 4801, 4802, 4803).

·  -Extends the Conservation Reserve Program and the Wetlands Reserve Program through 2012 (Sec. 2311, 2321).

·  -Establishes programs to provide assistance for improving land for wildlife and forests (Sec. 2313, 2331).

·  -Establishes a mandatory labeling of country of origin on meats (Sec. 10003).

·  -Increases loan rates for sugar producers (Sec. 1501).

·  -Requires the Department of Agriculture to purchase certain dairy products to support their prices, extends the Dairy Export Incentive Program and the Dairy Indemnity Program, and extends the Dairy Promotion and Research Program (Sec. 1601, 1603).

·  -Provides a tax credit for energy generated from wind (Sec. 12301).

·  -Expands and extends programs that provide credits for renewable fuel production (Sec. 12311, 12312, 12313, 12314).




This Farm Bill doesn’t appear to have any changes since December 2007.  The only thing I see missing that is really important is tax incentives for good stewardship of the land, which gives farmers more freedom to rotate the crops of their choice. Our country pretty much locks farmers into 5 crops: corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, and hay. As a result of all the corn, we end up with high fructose corn syrup in practically everything that’s packaged. One would think the HFCS would have a high enough caloric value to use as fuel instead of dumping it into our food. I bet some farmers in the Tennessee hills know how to make that stuff into high octane.


Look up the different sections in more detail @ http://www.nationalaglawcenter.org/assets/crs/RL34060.pdf






From Surplus of Corn to Obese Nation

While channel surfing on Sunday, I happened to catch 60 Minutes with Andy Rooney. He claimed no one drinks real milk anymore. He wondered if it still came from cows. He thought he would read the label and show it on TV. There it was, high fructose corn syrup. Andy wanted to know what that was doing in his milk, along with the usual preservatives. It seems a lot of people are reading food labels these days and there is high fructose corn syrup in absolutely everything.

Our food supply was doused with the stuff in the early 1980s, and now virtually everything has HFCS in it. But how did it get into everything?  In the 70’s, American farmers started losing profits to imports. Our government needed to come up with something that would use up the corn surplus because Americans didn’t want to pay more for their groceries. The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture allowed the development of HFCS, a new kind of sweetener, that would keep corn from American farmers in demand and drive the price up. And, the HFCS in foods had a super long shelf life. Perfect. We’re eating the overload from corn production. Too much corn; so why not just switch crops? Farmers can’t very well switch to the crop of their choosing when subsidies are involved.

The environment suffered recently when the budget was cut and subsidies to farmers to use part of their land for alternative energy sources like solar and wind power fell to the wayside. This is one of the problems that arises when we don’t pay enough attention to the Farm Bill. The Farm Bill is about all of us, not just farmers, or just about what we eat. No one would have to worry about the surplus of corn, if the time, effort, and subsidies relative to corn went toward something new, something green. Instead we have had a huge rise of Type II Diabetes in this country that’s pointing toward the overuse and abuse of HFCS.

New studies are beginning to show that our body processes HFCS differently than real cane or beet sugar. The fructose is processed in the liver and the liver turns around and dumps more fat into the bloodstream. The brain doesn’t register the feeling of being full because of fructose. There are nay sayers about this of course, just like the debate on global warming. They can debate all they want. Something is causing people to eat out of control so much that our whole system is set to swamp us with food. Order fries and get a plateful, not a handful. I think frozen french fries have HFCS on them. Canned chili has it also. I was surprised about milk.
There are more studies with male rats where large amounts of HFCS halted the full development of testicles. Hmmm? And the hearts of female rats swelled until they burst. This is disgusting to begin with. I’m against animal testing, even rats (another story). But there are many, many things we are just now finding out about. Lets see, it’s been almost 30 years since someone decided it’s OK to power load high fructose corn syrup in all of our food and look at the statistics. What? Everyone in the last 30 years just went berserk and lost control? Combine HFCS with a gadget for anything and everything that keeps us sitting all the time, and we’ve got a lethal mix.


Tainted Food Imports

So there is a beef and seafood recall in Michigan and everyone is up in arms about imported food from China. Their catfish is full of antibiotics. This is laughable because ours is full of PCB’s from its food source. That was on the news years ago. I know. I love farm raised catfish and remember well my options: farm raised equal PCB’s, ocean caught equals mercury. Now I have a third choice. With China’s catfish I get antibiotics. I guess our concern is what quantity of harmful substance is in our food. Is this not a pitiful situation? It never occurs to anyone that these things shouldn’t be there at all? I’m waiting for a national expose on our industrialized farms. I feel like a hypocrite so many times when I watch the media get in a dither over substandard imports while ignoring our own shortcomings. We’re throwing stones a lot lately.

As far as China’s use of antibiotics, our industrial farm raised meat is full of it along with hormones. You don’t honestly think a baby cow or pig ripped from their mother as soon as possible and confined for the rest of their life in a bin where they can’t turn around or scratch themselves, while standing above fumes from the cesspools below where all the droppings, afterbirth, babies that have fallen through the slats, and pesticides that have doused the animals are drawn upward by large exhaust fans, isn’t sick? Heck, they are traumatized and many are barely alive before they become our food. They have to be shot up with antibiotics in this environment. And we think Korean’s are barbaric for traumatizing dogs as meat before eating them. We do it all the time.

Our poor food animals chew on the metal of their bins out of frustration. This is a hell we allow animals to live in; the same lovely farmyard animals we like to introduce our kids to on petting farms. If those kids only knew the hell sweet little “Charlotte the Pig” endured before being slaughtered … This is not right. It’s very hypocritical especially when on the other end of the media it’s been reported that pigs are up on the intelligence scale with dolphins and elephants. They are beyond the intelligence of the Korean dog evidently but are next weeks sickly pork chops anyway. But then again we shouldn’t expect much, we don’t treat each other well either, another whole spectrum of hypocrisy.

If you think, I’ll just eat chicken and turkey; think again. Poultry doesn’t fare any better. Many birds are crammed into one little cage, where they can’t stand or spread their wings, and peck each other horribly out of sheer frustration. The cages above pollute the cages below. The visions we have of farms where animals are in a yard, a pen, or pasture to roam have all but disappeared. The petting farm is a facade of what America’s farms used to be. It will take a monumental movement by people to stop the way our food is raised or should I say tortured to death. Industrialized farming is so wide spread the idea of reversing it is daunting. We’ve used up quite a lot of farmland at a rapid rate with urban sprawl and congress of late has decided bio fuel should be the front-runner for alternatives to gasoline. So available land will go to corn and we will deal with imports.

Pay attention to the new Farm Bill. Call our congress people often. The movement for change must start somewhere. Congress is presently involved with this bill so it will be a timely e-mail or phone call if you do so now. Act out, for a change or nothing will improve. The farming conditions we have in this country are deplorable, immoral against living things, harmful to our environment and us, and shameful for this nation.