HFCS Sales Down

From AP:

U.S. use of the sweetener found in most soft drinks, cereals and a range of other products dropped 11 percent between 2003 and 2008, the most recent year figures were available. A number of companies also have stopped using corn syrup in some or all products, including Hunt’s ketchup, Snapple, Gatorade and Starbucks’ baked goods.

Producers blame the decline on a campaign that argues corn syrup is behind rising obesity in the U.S. and that favors sugar over the refined product, although most nutritionists find little difference between the two. They also accuse the sugar industry of pushing a campaign that has helped sugar refining increase about 7 percent from 2003 to 2008.

As of 2008, high fructose corn syrup makers produced an average of 53.1 pounds a year for every American, compared with 65.7 pounds of sugar produced for use in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The agency doesn’t track consumption.

“I think what we’re seeing is a real awakening of public interest and public consciousness of the food we eat,” said activist Curt Ellis, a producer of the 2004 movie “King Corn” about subsidies that helped corn become a dominant U.S. crop.

Ellis added, though, that he wished Americans would stop eating so many sweeteners, whether refined from corn or sugar.


  1. The study that I read an abstract of on eurekalert.org said that the main difference between table sugar and high fructose corn syrup was that, in table sugar, the component sugars are chemically bound, requiring the body to expend energy to break them up, and not so in HFCS.

    Further, HFCS is found in the damnedest things. Recently my wife asked me to pick up Italian dressing in the local market. In the first few salad dressings I examined, HFCS was the third-most-prevalent ingredient! In _salad dressing_. I wound up finding a Newman’s Own dressing which, according to the label, did not have any in it.


      1. It’s used to extend shelf life of things too so it shows up in some strange things. I’ve seen a couple articles that think HFCS consumption could be related to arthritis and joint pain. I have cut it as much as possible and do notice my knees don’t hurt as often (and I haven’t significantly changed any other routines re:exercise, eating)

  2. Regardless of what studies say, my husband and I react very distinctly to HFCS. We can always tell if it’s in a product, because shortly after, we both experience increased heart rate and uncomfortable palpitations.

    One night, we were making our own ice cream sundaes (an occasional treat for us and the kids) and I had made the sauces from scratch because all the pre-made ones had HFCS. After dessert, we started feeling the HFCS reaction. Hubby went to the recycling bin to check the bottle of corn syrup. Second ingredient on the bottle. . .HFCS. They put high fructose corn syrup IN CORN SYRUP!!! I use rice syrup now.

    The other thing I found it in was vanilla extract. There is no earthly reason for HFCS in vanilla extract. It’s vanilla and alcohol (hopefully bourbon. . .) It’s not a sweetener, it doesn’t need thickener, what rocket scientist decided it needed HFCS?

    The good thing about HFCS is that it has really limited the number of packaged food we can buy. The bad thing is that it takes a lot more time to make that stuff from scratch.

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