I came across this article summarising a couple of studies done at Princeton University into the effects of High-Fructose Corn Syrup on weight gain.
A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.
I found it interesting because I've been avoiding HFCS for some time now. It all started for me when I realised my Robinson's Golden Shredless marmalade had a new unusual texture. Checking the ingredients I saw they'd switched the HFCS instead of sugar. It's in the cranberry juice I used to drink, the museli bars I used to eat and nearly every jar of jam in the supermarket.
Not long after that I started reading books such as "Not on the Label", "Eat Your Heart Out", and my favourite "In Defense of Food". They convinced me of the benefits of avoiding overly-processed food (or "industrial food" as Pollan calls is), and making as much as possible from scratch.
As far as I'm concerned this Princeton study just adds more weight to that viewpoint.
What are your thoughts on it?
I'm not a fan of Gordon Ramsay, but I did once hear him commenting that if you need to read a lable to know what is in it you shouldn't be eating it. Simple.
Palm Oil is another one to avoid, but usually listed as simply 'vegetable oil' as manufacturers use the cheapest oil they can buy so the source and type of oil can change.
We have been avoiding all sorts of e-numbers since my youngest was little. He used to go completely zappy with E211 which is sodium benzoate or a preservative, common in squashes etc. and when I say zappy, I mean zappy . I used to have to pin him down and let him scream it out, it was quite scary for him. He also looked spaced out on it, so I always knew straight away when he came out from a party if he had had something with it in. . If it can have that much of an effect on a little one it makes you wonder what it would be like in small ways on big people.
I'm with you Shereen, I am not a big fan if corn syrup, and its wonderful to see studies that help back up the dislike. My nephew and my mother are both allergic to corn, and its incredablly frustrating to try to find things that they can eat without corn, corn syrup, corn starch, etc.
Here is an intersting side note, about 6 months ago, the corn farmers in the US started running commercials on tv in defence of corn syrup, how it is fine in moderation, has just as many calories as table sugar...... Hopefully people won't fall for it!
If you can't be a shining example, be a terrible warning!
Reminds me of a guy speaking on healthy living once who said we should put the sugar back on the table because no kid would possibly add as much sugar to their cereal as the sugar loaded cereal producers do. He explained that there is about 10 spoonfuls of sugar per serving in many of them.
I didn't realise this had crossed the Atlantic. I will add it to my list of things to look for on labels.
Joanna, I have been avoiding lots of e-numbers since my second was little. We avoided all colors and preservatives. I thought he was allergic to eggs, he definitely reacted to them. After a year or so I tried organic eggs, which were no problem. He was allergic to the coloring they feed hens to make the egg yolks yellow... He was so allergic to milk he couldn't eat pork, until I found a butcher who had his own source of pigs who were not fed milk. (I have quite a collection of allergy cookbooks. Too many of them use substitutes that are highly processed and full of ingredients that are just as suspect as what I was avoiding.)
For me, organic and local is best, followed by local, then freetrade organic, freetrade, and imported organic, with all else avoided whenever possible. (freetrade takes precedence over organic because they have envionmental standards as well as caring about the workers who produce it, and organic doesn't necessarily mean growers have been treated fairly.)
Organic for me means buying from the locals which is good (even if it is not certified organic, hardly anyone uses chemicals they can't afford it), but fairtrade is not easy as it is too expensive form most folks around here and I prefer to buy from the local shop rather than stocking up at the big supermarket 30 miles away - not everyone has a choice to do that and if I and others like me take my custom away from the little shop then that means less choice for those who have so little choice anyway. Having said that that was how I organised my shopping when I lived in England
You are lucky that buying local and organic are the same! I buy locally, and can get most things within walking distance. The 'extra cost' of buying locally is far less than running a car, and in many cases less than the marginal cost of the trip to buy 'cheaper' food would be. It also supports the local community. Most of the money spent in small, local shops stays local, while the profits from big stores go to their headquarters and are spent goodness knows how and where. I can get fairtrade locally, so I get that whenever possible for imported goods.
I was impressed on holiday that the Co-op stocked so much that was grown in the UK. I look forward to the local tiny Somerfield being fully converted to Co-op and using it occasionally as a back-up to the truly local shops.
We used to have local shops in profusion, but the High Street now belongs - almost entirely- to two commercial landlords. They bought up the properties as the various locals who owned them died , their families, if they had them, not wanting to carry on the business. Rents are now outrageous and the landlords don't care if the shops are empty, they own so much property one shop isn't going to alter their cash flow.The shops get taken up by chains or by very fancy shoe/handbag/clothes/beauty shops that fold after 6 months.
We have a smallish Waitrose, but they took their eye off the ball and Sainsbury's nipped in and got the lease when it was up for renewal, Waitrose being too busy trying to find a larger site in the town. We ended up having a referendum on a larger supermarket and the vote was, overwhelmingly, NO.
Though it is country hereabouts it isn't proper country, it is posh commuter country. Oh for a decent market....
I am suspicious of much that is labelled as Organic ever since a local commercial farmer revealed that the terms and conditions permit certain chemicals to be sprayed on crops.
Still, free range organic pork is probably the single food item that has a discernibly superior flavour to the standard stuff.
The Fenlands of Cambridgeshire produce a vast amount of carrots. The ones we like most are branded simply as East Anglian so not organic. But they taste good probably because the Fenland soil is ideal.
Never knowingly underfed
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