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.




Another Bad Farm Bill; Another Blow to the Environment and Our Health

I blogged about the Farm Bill and the changes that are needed if we are ever going to get healthy and get the nation turned around so that the small farmer thrives once again. Not going to happen. The November 12th, 2007 issue of Time Magazine had a scathing article by Michael Grunwald called “Down on the Farm” about the farm lobby and the lopsided business of farm subsidies. The article is too long to outline here. But our future for free range chicken, pork, or beef, more fruits and vegetables, and less tainted meat and food supplies in general instead of the top five commodities—corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, and rice is mighty bleak.

The article warns if you “eat, drink, or pay taxes—or care about the economy, the environment, or our global reputation” the Farm Bill is a big deal. We still subsidize farmers billions of tax dollars every year. The trouble is that it is redistributed to millionaire farmers mostly when 60% of small farmers get no subsidies at all. Some of the subsidies even go to farms that are no longer in business!

Besides wasting billions of our money by staying status quo and helping the rich, the way our Farm Bill is laid out:

It contributes to our obesity, and illegal-immigration epidemics and to our water and energy shortages. It helps degrade rivers, deplete aquifers, elimiate grasslands, concentrate food-processing conglomerates and inundate our fast food nation with high-fructose corn syrup. Our farm policy is supposed to save small farmers and small towns. Instead it fuels the expansion of industrial megafarms and the depopulation of rural America. It hurts Third World farmers, violates international trade deals and paralyzes our efforts to open foreign markets to the non-agricultural goods and services that make up the remaining 99% of our economy.

And this description is in the first column of a long article on just how construed our Farm Bill really is. Small farmers get next to nothing in help, and are forced out. This says much about our free market system that conservatives like to tout causes competition and keeps everyone in check. Baloney. I’ve been screaming that there is no such thing as a free market system in America any longer as long as we have lobbies and big interest groups throwing millions at Congress. Again, the wealthy rule and find all sorts of loopholes to get rid of the little guy. Some free market system!

For you and me, that means we will continue to be force-fed high fructose corn syrup in everything we eat. Type II Diabetes will continue to rise. The organic industry will continue to struggle. If you’ve ever complained about the high prices of organic, now you know why. The big guys producing the top 5 crops don’t want you buying that stuff. And you won’t at $1.00 per apple. I’ve walked into the organic section of my store more than once with determination to buy what I know is better for me. The prices drive me out. I look for sales instead and go home with half of what I planned on. Example: If you want to buy cranberry juice, and I mean real cranberry juice, no other fruit juices in it, no corn syrup, no additives, full strength, not from concentrate it’s over $7.00 for 32 oz. Thank the big megafarms and our Farm Bill for that. Or then again thank Nancy Pelosi. As a matter of fact, read the article, then contact Pelosi and tell her what you think of her accommodating the same ole farm lobby once again.

Thank goodness I have fruit trees, a vegetable garden, and know how to do good old-fashioned canning. But if our weird weather keeps up, I won’t be able to do that. If we have a water shortage and hot searing sun, I won’t be able to water like it’s needed. I lost most of my fruits this past season when the trees were in bloom and we had a freeze. By fall, the very few small apples I had also had a black, oily residue all over the skins. We’ve yet to determine what it is and where it came from. I’m leaning toward jet fuel and just peeling the skins before I eat the stuff. This is going to get about survival. People who only buy from major stores, who don’t eat healthy anyway aren’t going to notice until it gets really bad. But for people who are health conscious, and raise the things they plan to eat, much like the small, unsubsidized farmer, we know what can happen, and happen fast in a bad way.




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.


America Desensitized

I just watched the morning news that most people are not all that concerned about the rising gas prices. One of the reasons listed is that the economy is booming, for who though? My husband is working overtime on a regular basis but we’re not feeling the strong economy because food, gas, and utilities keep rising so whatever extra comes in gets ate up.  Why is it the HAVES just cannot get it through their heads they are the only ones that are feeling a boom, that they are the ones with the extra cash to invest heavily in emerging markets to make more money unlike the HAVE NOTS who have very little extra disposable income. But why is it we are not hearing from the HAVE NOTS, about these rising costs, or many of the problems being faced like loss of homes and bankruptcy? I don’t think the news is portraying the middle class realistically in this country. The news about rising gas prices even went on to say there has been a rise in the purchase of gas guzzling cars. Is this true or a skewed look at polls that don’t include a good cross section of the middle class? It appears some of the problem with our day-to-day reality lies within the news and entertainment industry.

Has anyone else noticed that our TV news sources are attempting to entertain us as well? That news and entertainment are starting to look an awfully lot alike? This is not a good thing. It is causing us to view real news and absorb real issues no differently than slogans and buzz words from the entertainment industry. Global warming to many is nothing but a slogan that does not need to be taken seriously. In our minds, no matter how realistic a movie portrays something, we’re able to think, it’s only a movie. Is this starting to spill over into the REAL world? If so, we are on a slippery slope. Studies have been done on chickens, of all things, that when forced to view too much movement, too much sound, no different than watching for example Dancing With the Stars, that they become traumatized somehow and become inactive. Is this what is happening to human beings? Have we finally bombarded our senses to death not to be concerned over gas prices heading to $4.00 per gallon?

Lately, I’ve met quite a few people who have limited the amount of TV and entertainment they are allowing their children to watch. This may be a good thing because now is not the time to become desensitized to facts and reality. There are very real dangers out there from global warming that many are experiencing already. Africans, especially in the low lying areas of Bangladesh are being driven out of their land by rising sea levels due to glacier melts in the Himalayas and intense rain. Half of Bhola Island, on the southern coast of Bangladesh, 20 times the size of Chicago, has been eroded away while many of the interior regions suffer horrible drought. Low lying areas around the great Asian rivers like the Ganges and Meghna are finding saltwater in their soil and drinking water.

I’ve posted occurrences in Africa and other places around the world that are face to face with global warming’s reality already and more than a few times, yet people still argue global warming is a myth. This falls into another category of psychology. It’s called credible threat for which someone won a Nobel prize. The theory is that human beings are not prone to act on anything despite warning after warning unless faced with a believable threat to their well-being. We’re lucky in this country so far so we are not kicking in to action for anyone else. Credible threat hasn’t pushed the envelope on us to any degree yet.

Think about credible threat. People build on water’s edge until wiped out by a hurricane despite warnings it will happen. People keep smoking and ignore warnings for their health until they’re on the operating table. People keep drinking, until their liver gives out. People keep eating until they suffer high cholesterol and type II diabetes. Paris Hilton is going to jail because she didn’t believe their was any credible threat that she would have to. Credible threat seems to be a decidedly American phenomena that encompass gambling for everything, way too much gambling because now is affects lives. We gamble our lives and everyone else’s anymore and think nothing of it because we’ve yet to face credible threat.

What’s it going to take, a giant volcano eruption, earthquake, flood, or hurricane that devastates most of our country before we act? Right now we gamble other’s lives by neglecting any responsibility for our contribution to the world’s global warming effects. If the apathy in this country keeps up it won’t be long the downside of gambling like this will effect all of us. It makes us look stupid, careless, and ineffective as we are easily lead by the ring in our nose to the point we can’t tell the difference between reality and entertainment and the consequences of being apathetic at a time we should be screaming for change.