HFCS is "natural"; No, and so what if it was?

I started a trio of posts yesterday about a guest post at the maize-pimping website Corn Commentary that talks about "misconceptions" around high fructose corn syrup.

Before dealing with "misconception" no. 2, let's just pause to consider the general absurdity of this playing field: The guest blogger, described as "CommonGround Iowa volunteer" [italics mine] Sara Ross, has taken the time to "defend" a ubiquitous industrial food additive because ... it's not ubiquitous enough? And it's being published on a website devoted to spreading the reach of corn because ... corn isn't already on every part of the plate, as well as in our gas tanks?

Surely, these are just earnest, well-meaning, salt-of-the-earth, grassroots efforts to right the world's wrong, with no ties to the Big Food giants that profit from the growth, processing, and sale of these substances. Surely. Regardless...

”Misconception” 2: “High fructose corn syrup is not natural.” No, of course not: You pluck it right off the HFCS bush! Here’s how Wikipedia tells it:

High-fructose corn syrup is produced by milling corn to produce corn starch, then processing that starch to yield corn syrup, which is almost entirely glucose, and then adding enzymes that change some of the glucose into fructose. The resulting syrup (after enzyme conversion) contains approximately 42% fructose and is HFCS 42. Some of the 42% fructose is then purified to 90% fructose, HFCS 90. To make HFCS 55, the HFCS 90 is mixed with HFCS 42 in the appropriate ratios to form the desired HFCS 55. The enzyme process that changes the 100% glucose corn syrup into HFCS 42 is as follows...

Just like grandma used to make!

Meanwhile, if you know anything in today’s Big Food universe, “natural” means nothing. Manure is more natural than HFCS, but you’re not going to eat it.

Tomorrow: the "last" "misconception."

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