Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The HFCS Nazi

It seems a lot of people refuse to read the labeling on food they purchase. With all the crap included in food nowadays it would behoove them to do so.

My father falls into this category. If it is on sale, he buys it. No questions asked. It doesn't matter how many chemicals, dyes or additives may be in the food. It's on sale!

I have not been much of a nazi about it, but as more and more companies offer additive-free alternatives, it makes it both easier and harder to make the choice. Easier because it is there, harder because it is often so much more expensive.

I recently grabbed a can of Hershey's chocolate syrup to make sundaes and was impressed by the label: Original Since 1928. I turned the can to read the label: high fructose corn syrup. Right at the top. Lying bastards! They did not use HFCS in 1928!

It infuriates my father that I care about something as stupid as HFCS. What's wrong with a little bit in the kids' food?

I gave him my PBJ example. The kids love them. If I didn't watch the labels, the bread? Has high fructose corn syrup. The peanut butter? High fructose corn syrup. The jelly? Can you guess?

I told my dad that if it were just one item, I could live with it. Just not in every ingredient. Why the hell does applesauce need high fructose corn syrup? How about apples and water, people. For fucks sake.

This morning, I cleaned out the refrigerator from the weekend my father was here. He'd bought a loaf of bread from the bakery of our local supermarket. The ingredients?

high fructose corn syrup
soybean oil
pasteurized dried whole eggs
vital wheat gluten
guar gum
calcium sulfate
ammonium sulfate
ascorbic Acid
egg color (FD&C Red 40 Yellow 5)

This was from the BAKERY, not off of the regular shelf. You know what you need for a loaf a bread? Flour, yeast, water. That's it. Possibly a bit of sugar if you want to feed the yeast, and perhaps a pinch of salt for taste. That's it folks. Not all that other shit.

It may be crazy of me to think this way, but I don't want my family to eat that stuff. My solution? The kids and I put on our shoes, went into the backyard and strategically left the slices of bread for the birds and squirrels to find.


Blues said...

My mom always taught me that when you go shopping, stay on the perimeter of the grocery store, hitting the fresh veggies, fresh bread, fresh meats, fresh dairy. Skip all the crap in the middle. And then go home and make your own stuff.

Living over here in Spain, I have gotten used to buying fresh and putting more work into preparing food. It's worth it though. And although from time to time I miss my days of popping a frozen pizza into the microwave, I know I'm much better off.

Joe said...

UGH! HFCS drives me nuts... all unnecessary ingredients drive me nuts. I made a loaf of bread last year (mostly out of curiosity) and thought to myself, "THIS IS IT?!?!?! This is all bread is??"

Gee, I wonder why America is getting fat.

A Free Man said...

It's not so bad here, or anywhere else in the world for that matter. HFCS is all over the place because of the government subsidies for corn farmers. Gotta do something with all that corn that nobody eats.

The thing about HFCS is that, as Joe points out, it's making Americans fat. The human body doesn't really deal that well with fructose in large quantities so it gets shuffled off into fat.

But you'll never get rid of it entirely in the States. Ever think about going back to Sweden?

I started making my own bread (bread machine) and I love it. Nothing smells better than a freshly baked loaf of bread in the morning.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Oh, honey. You and I should get together and record a YouTube video in direct answer to those stupid-ass HFCS commercials. I'm with you. Why in the name of Zeus's butthole does that shit need to be in everything? Let's subsidize some sugar cane, instead!