Guess who’s back bitches?!? And now that Manic Expression hit the ol’ reset button, I’ve got shit tons of articles to post, all of them old as fuck (two years is old in blog terms)! Since I’ve still got podcast work to do, and this shit is just collecting dust (internet dust is the worst), I’m going to ram these fuckers down your throats for a second time!
Let’s start with one that seems to have been my most controversial. This is the one where I had to forward some of my research to someone who’s mother refused to allow them to eat HFCS after blaming it as the cause for their father’s death! THAT was a fun conversation! So go on! Read it!
“We must revert to natural sugar! A national genocide is imminent if we don’t make a change! High fructose corn syrup is Hitler in lollypop form! It causes cancer and makes you fat! Repent! REPENT!”
Really? For years I’ve heard shit like this. The United States made a switch from cane sugar to high fructose corn syrup about 30 years ago and, apparently, we have suffered ever since.Not that there hasn’t been a shit load of other things over the past 30 years that have had more devastating effects (I’m looking at you Glam Rock). People saw that a switch occurred, noticed more fat people, and shouted to the heavens “My God! This stuff has taken my high school sweetheart and turned her into a fatty, fatty two by four, can’t fit through the kitchen door!”
I’ll probably have to write another article about this later, but I need to briefly explain the difference between correlation and causation. When one thing directly influences something else, that’s a causation. Take this example: “The orphanage burned down because little Billy put a lit match to the drapes.” A match creates fire (no shit, right?) and Billy put the match to something flammable. The cause of the fire was Billy’s action. It’s a directly observable event with an observable outcome.
Correlation is when a line is drawn between two things with the middle being an unknown factor. This is useful for creating experiments to find out if the correlation is true, or if another event is influencing the outcome, but it is not definitive. Continuing with this example: “The orphanage wouldn’t have burned down if Suzy wasn’t a little cocktease.” This is implying that if Suzy just gave Billy a little somethin’ somethin’, the orphanage would have been spared. This may be true, but it can’t be said with certainty. We can correlate an association with Suzy’s dick dodging and the orphanage burning, but other factors could be (and probably are) at play.
With that aside, let’s take a look at HFCS again. Did an increase in obesity occur parallel with an increase in use of HFCS? Yes. Did anything else occur? Yes. Portion sizes grew bigger. Certain recreational drugs became more popular (the munchies are deadly man…). Bill Cosby advertised New Coke…
Any, or all, of these events could be valid reasons for the increase in obesity. Yet the blame is placed on HFCS. Why? More than likely because it suddenly showed up everywhere.
“Ha! See?!? It shows up and people become fatter! Explain that away!”
Various sweeteners have always been used. Yes, even in stuff like bread, salad dressing, and cereal. Whether it was HFCS, cane sugar, or something else, there are A LOT of items you would never think of that have some kind of sugar added to it.It’s about balancing out flavor. Ever have chocolate without sugar it in? It tastes like dirt. Do you like dirt? I don’t like dirt. It tastes like fucking dirt! So, unlike those weirdo Aztecs who ate chocolate as is (and ripped the hearts out of willing volunteers…most likely after they couldn’t get the taste out of their mouths), we sweeten it.
“So what’s wrong with using NATURAL sugar?!?”
There’s that natural fallacy again. It’s like Jesus, it just won’t stay dead. If you think that sugar from sugar cane is not processed, then you must be a slave of Willy-fuckin’-Wonka. THIS is what sugar cane looks like:
Guess what needs to happen in order for this to become that shit that comes in little packets? A WHOLE LOT. We’re just used to how this form of sugar looks. Any different variety will seem foreign to us. Even scary. As a species, we don’t like to ‘rock the boat’. Don’t fuck with what we know. It works, so don’t touch it. Don’t! Stop it! Put it down!
There’s only one problem. Sugar cane doesn’t grow well here. We have to import all of our sugar. As you can imagine, that can get pretty fucking expensive. If only there was something that’s easy to grow in America that can be developed into some kind of sweetener. Isn’t there some agricultural product that we can grow in mass amounts that will produce what we need so that it can used in cooking with ease AND be affordable?
“Sure! Save a few bucks…FATTY!”
No matter what form it comes in, if you eat too much sugar, you’re going to get fat. Sugar is a carbohydrate. It’s energy. Cane sugar, HFCS, or any other kind of sugar contains a lot of energy in a small package. If you don’t burn off that energy, guess what it turns into? Let’s take a look at a couple of products. Why not Pepsi? You can find the nutritional information online for both their regular formula and their throwback formula. First up, regular Pepsi:
Surely, if regular, good old fashioned cane sugar is better for you, then it must be healthier than this.
Wow. Almost no difference right? Though not significant, if you were to say anything about the difference, it’s that cane sugar has more energy per gram of sugar. It to more HFCS to equal 150 calories than it does for cane sugar. Again, 1 gram isn’t statistically significant as far as the nutrition value goes. Not in this case at lease.
“It’s HOW it’s digested dummy! HFCS isn’t broken down in our bodies the same way as regular sugar!”
It isn’t? That’s news to me. If only someone tested to see if this was true. Maybe a whole group of people who test the same thing to ensure that the results aren’t a varied mess. Blah, blah, blah. Joke, Joke, Joke. Stupid, stupid, stupid. You know I’m going to say ‘scientist’. Let’s just look at the fucking chemistry.
Table sugar is 50% fructose and 50% glucose, chemically bonded together. It’s not until it’s metabolized that they’re separated, but that’s not what’s important. HFCS is 55% fructose and 45% glucose (depending on the form used, there could be less fructose). That’s a whopping 5% more fructose. Horrifying, right? Or it could be as significant as that 1g of sugar I mentioned previously. Science says!
In lab test after lab test, there has been no problems reported in the digestion of the additional fructose. Just like every other sugar, HFCS, even though fructose and glucose are combined rather than chemically bonded, is digested the same way, with the same results. It’s just another sugar.
“But our bodies CAN’T digest the additional fructose the same way!”
The fuck did I just say?!? It was tested to show otherwise! By this logic, if you consume a packet of sugar, then eat an apple, you should be stone dead. Fruit, like many other things we eat, contains naturally occurring, motherfucking, fructose. We digest that just fine.