The HFCS dodge: "Not worse" does not mean "not bad"

Under the headline, “Sweet News About Your Valentine’s Day Sweets,” a guest blogger at Corn Commentary discusses “misconceptions” about high fructose corn syrup while overlooking basic truth that ought to come first.

Before I get to them, though, let’s just pause for the headline. What exactly is the sweet news?

It’s Valentine’s Day.  It’s a day of love, flowers, presents, candy and high fructose corn syrup…. Wait….what??? Yes, high fructose corn syrup will be present on Valentine’s Day in many of your candies and soft drinks.  Not to worry though!  In this post I’m going to clear up some common myths and misconceptions about this hot topic.

So the good news is that the holiday’s empty calories will have HFCS in them? Yippee!

Anyway, “misconception” 1: “HFCS is bad for you.”

Not so, says the writer, CommonGround Iowa volunteer Sara Ross, who “along with 85 volunteers in 15 states, is participating in a movement that looks to open a conversation between the women who grow food and those why purchase it,” according to the editor’s note. “High fructose corn syrup has almost the same composition as table sugar, honey and fruit juices like grape and apple.”

I’ve been saying for a while that I don’t think HFCS is any worse than table sugar, but that doesn’t mean that HFCS isn’t bad for you. It only means that it’s no worse than other processed sugars.

But according to the American Heart Association, the healthy level for women would be 6 teaspoons of it a day; 9 for men. But the average American takes in 22.

Even if a particular form of it isn't an evil substance per se, we need to take in a lot less.

Though this corn apologist hardly deserves multiday coverage, I'll cover a couple other of her "misconceptions" in the next couple of posts, to cut down on each post's length.