Corn Syrup

THE CONTRARIAN

WILLY BRANT’S DIARY

Think about this. Say 30 years ago, the average American was definitely bigger than the average Canadian.  Now, judging by what you see at Walmart, we Canadians are catching up.  I just discovered why.

My discovery starts with an article I just read in August/14 issue of ‘Acres’, an American magazine about natural farming and food. The article quotes Michael Goran, PhD, works for the Childhood Obesity Research Center at the University of California.  He said that real sugar is readily used by your body as fuel to keep you going, but corn syrup is not, it is mostly processed by your liver into fat.  He said that modern corn syrup is chemically modified (doesn’t say why), they call this modern stuff ‘fructose’, or ‘sucrose-fructose’ or ‘high-fructose corn syrup”.  He says that makes it even less of a fuel and even more of a fat.  He said pop is the biggest source of this modified corn syrup in our diet.

Wow. Make the connection.  Until this most recent ten or twenty years, Canadian processed food including jams and pop were made with real sugar, imported from the Caribbean.  Remember when American visitors made a point of taking home Malkins jam, so much better than anything they could get at home?  That’s because American processed food including jam was made, not with sugar, but with corn syrup.  Sugar imports were not allowed and their sugar made from sugar beets could not compete with corn syrup.  And Americans were fatter than us.

Now, we have de-industrialized ourselves to the point where much/most of our processed food comes from the US. I bet our pop is the same as theirs, and we are catching up in size, we are fat too.

I could hardly wait to lay my ingenious discovery on Joe, to see what he would have to say. “So”, I say, “If you put this together, it comes out that corn syrup makes you fat, and sugar keeps you skinny.  Why on earth would the US deliberately make their population into fatties, even allowing for lobbying from the corn guys?  And why would we dive into the same pond?”

Joe seemed to think my enthusiasm was funny, but when he stopped laughing, he said “I can’t argue with you, although I don’t think it is that simple. The corn industry is huge in the US, and heavily subsidized although the Americans will deny that.  They floods the world with cheap, subsidized food based on corn and soybeans, putting small farmers out of business all around the world.  So that subsidized corn syrup is so cheap the food processors don’t really have a choice.”  He stopped to think for a minute, took a swig of his coffee, and went on “to be fair, that research pinning fat on corn is pretty recent, and it takes some time to turn something as big as the corn industry around, it’s not like the US is deliberately or knowingly making their people fat.”

“But, what is our excuse?” I butt in. “We had a better product, and now we don’t —“, Joe interrupted, “Can you think of any Canadian food processors that are not branches of a giant American corporation? And how much ‘Made in Canada’ do you see at the grocery store?”

He had me there. But I still think folks who have health issues related to being fat should be suing somebody about all that corn syrup.  Specially those pop guys.

be suing somebody about all that corn syrup.  Specially those pop guys.

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