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    the Q is for Quackery..., 2010-05-01 11:12:15 | Main | the center of consumer serfdom..., 2010-05-03 17:57:30

    the same, only different:

    The NYT:

    Leading scientists, however, say that the product, made when various chemicals convert corn starch into syrup, is not any worse than sugar. Both sweeteners are made up of roughly equal amounts of glucose and fructose, they say.

    "I'm no fan of the Corn Refiners Association, but in this case they have biochemistry on their side," says Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University

    The article then refers to inconclusive research at Princeton University that found rats eating HFCS diets got fatter than rats eating the equivalent amount of sugar. If you go look up the announcement of those results you learn that

    there at least two clear differences between them. First, sucrose is composed of equal amounts of the two simple sugars -- it is 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose -- but the typical high-fructose corn syrup used in this study features a slightly imbalanced ratio, containing 55 percent fructose and 42 percent glucose. Larger sugar molecules called higher saccharides make up the remaining 3 percent of the sweetener. Second, as a result of the manufacturing process for high-fructose corn syrup, the fructose molecules in the sweetener are free and unbound, ready for absorption and utilization. In contrast, every fructose molecule in sucrose that comes from cane sugar or beet sugar is bound to a corresponding glucose molecule and must go through an extra metabolic step before it can be utilized.

    You would not learn about either the saccharides or the unbound fructose - that is, that the biochemistry is not on the CRA's side - if you only read the New York Times.

    Not that it really matters all that much. We spend billions subsidizing empty calories that we already know are unhealthy, and then we gratuitously add it to fucking everything we can. It's not very smart.


:: posted by buermann @ 2010-05-02 19:08:57 CST | link


    Comments:
      A few thoughts for you: First, there are actually two types of high fructose corn syrup. HFCS-55, which you mention, and also HFCS-42, which has less fructose than table sugar (42 percent to be precise). Looking at the quantities of each produced in the US, high fructose corn syrup contributes equal amounts of fructose and glucose to our diet. Second, when food companies add sugar to soda and some other foods, they have to "invert" it. In doing so, they break up the sucrose molecule into its basic fructose and glucose molecules, thus creating the same free fructose mentioned in the Princeton study. Speaking of which, I think some folks are overreacting to such a controversial study. Like the article says, Marion Nestle even sided with companies that make high fructose corn syrup.

    posted by JustinWilson @ 2010-05-03 12:43:02 | link

      Hello paid hack. The differing ratios are the arbitrary result of blending 42 and 90, which is completely unfascinating, except insofar as there aren't "actually two types", but an infinite array of discrete ratios between 42% and 90%. Wow! How that infinite array of choice devolves in the free market to a mere two unpalatable options is a mystery left for the reader.

      By "some other foods" that include inverted sugar you are referring of course to candy which - much like high fructose corn syrup - we all know is so bad for you that the USDA removed it from the food pyramid altogether, and replaced it with a stick figure getting some fucking exercise.

      While demonstrating an awareness that the empty calories from sugars are unhealthy and a danger to the public - thus suggesting a conservative policy response of high pigovian taxes - the USDA is mandated by congress to continue dumping billions of taxpayer dollars into subsidizing this dangerous product every year, costing the American economy many additional hundreds of billions of dollars to the resulting obesity epidemic and the consequent chronic health conditions that are the result of this absurdly and obviously idiotic industrial policy.

      I would think an organization calling itself "The Center for Consumer Freedom" would pay their hacks to loudly oppose the taxation of consumers and the transfer of their wealth to the agribusinesses that fill their foods with enormous amounts of sugar in an irrational attempt to murder their own customers. Your organization never mentions this act of violent force once on your website, however, making you either idiots or evil.

      Of course, those options are not mutually exclusive, and you're most probably just evil idiots. I appreciate your taking the time to cut and paste your evil idiocy to my blog.

    posted by buermann @ 2010-05-03 14:53:32 | link




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