“High fructose corn syrup is to sugar as heroin is to opium.”
        — David Servan-Schreiber
I don’t have a comment one way or the other; I don’t know the science. I was impressed, however, with the analogy and with its attendant problems of verification and falsification.

3 thoughts on “Analogy

  1. We are thoroughly convinced by all the things we read that HFCS is unfit for human consumption. One has to read all labels carefully as it can be found in almost everything.

  2. i think that HFCS is harmless, and am a little disturbed by the usual American food-faddish habit of thinking that whatever is “processed” is bad, and whatever is “natural” is good. some examples: it was not until the cyanide was bred out of lima beans that they were suitable to eat in quantity. lima beans in south america are still something to be concerned about, particularly depending on how they are cooked.

    most plant products–the exception being fruit–have evolved various chemical mechanisms for discouraging greedy animals (us) from eating them. all the yumminess of the onion, broccoli/cabbage, lettuce, and pepper families is purely the plant’s attempt to keep animals from eating it by including noxious substances. we happen to be smart enough to learn to cook such things, but we are the exception in the animal kingdom.

    white flour is a godsend for the world, because it allows flour to be kept for very long times without going bad; whole wheat goes bad because the fats in it denature. in a culture such as ours used to be in which one had to eat locally-grown things, the ability to store and preserve food was important, and since there are plenty of other sources of vitamin and protein besides wheat germ and bran, there is no harm in making white flour.

    once in a while, a particular processing technique turns out to have unintended harmful consequences, the example of the day being the increased risk from trans-fat. but, all told, the benefits for our heath from processed foods vastly outweigh the harms we have thus far faced.

    the irony is that the people who inveighed against sucrose (that is, “processed” sugar) as being horribly toxic (feh), now have mostly switched, and declared that HFCS is the toxic thing, and sucrose is the natural healthy thing. what makes them think they are more likely to be right this time than last time escapes me.

    all that said, fructose does not taste like sucrose, and HFCS contains long-chain carbohydrates which substantially alter the flavor. for that reason, i much prefer sugar–good old refined white sugar–that is, sucrose.

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