Corn Commentary

When Sugar Isn’t So Sweet

The battle of the sweeteners rages on as the Western Sugar Cooperative sues the Corn Refiners Association and corn processors to stop use of the words “corn sugar” in place of the more traditional “high fructose corn syrup.”  Despite arguments that they want to protect consumers from false advertising, the reasons behind the suit are anything but sweet.

Even the notable foodie and nutritionist Marion Nestle agrees, the biochemical difference between sugars made from corn, beets or cane is insignificant. In a recent article, Nestle goes so far as to state that “your body cannot tell them apart.”

If corn sugar is biochemically the same as other sugars and reacts the same way in a human body, why is the Western Sugar Cooperative crying foul?  They want to maintain the marketing advantage that anti-HFCS campaigns have built over the past decade.

By scaring consumers into the mistaken belief that HFCS somehow magically metabolizes differently than other almost biochemically identical sweeteners, sugar has gained an advantage.  Now, many familiar products boast that they are not made with HFCS.  Should consumers become aware of the fact that the amount (not the type) of sweetener in their food causes weight gain, they would most probably opt for the more affordable option: Corn sugar.

Vote with your pocketbook this weekend.  Whether shopping for groceries or picking up a special treat for mom, don’t be fooled into picking a product just because it doesn’t contain corn sugar.  Be smarter than the anti-HFCS marketers expect and buy affordable, delicious foods without unfounded fear – even top nutritionists know that it is okay.