You’re in for a sweet surprise

Last week Janie and I were minding our own business, watching Russell Brand host the VMA’s and call the president a retarded cowboy. During a commercial break we quietly watched the following ad:

Janie was leaned up against me, as she is wont to do all the time so get off me already, woman! and she sat straight up, looking incredulously at the screen and said: “Did that commercial just say that high fructose corn syrup was good for you!? Did that commercial just say that high fructose corn syrup was good for you!? Did that commercial just say that high fructose corn syrup was good for you!?” That is not a duplication error, she really did say it over and over again, each time with more panic. I nodded my head, quickly flashing in my mind to that mini medical school seminar that I attended two years ago when the nephrologist stepped up to present on how we can take good care of our kidneys and the severe danger in damaging or disabling them. He spent a significant amount of time on the hazards of high fructose corn syrup and I came away knowing that the sweet surprise this commercial promises is a rotting kidney that will lessen my life-span by a significant number of years.

From the Mayo Clinic: “Animal studies have shown a link between increased consumption of high-fructose corn syrup and adverse health effects, such as diabetes and high cholesterol.”

There are many studies being done on HFCS and the potential damage it does to the body. I know there is little concrete scientific data to tell me that if I put this into my body, it’ll affect my health negatively. I know the Corn Refiners Association wants me to believe that their product is natural and pretty like butterflies and rainbows, but when a nephrologist spends 20 minutes telling an audience that it is a danger to your kidneys and that your kidney function has a serious effect on your lifespan, well, I’m more inclined to believe the doctor than big business.

The bad news is that HFCS is everywhere these days. When Janie was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease, she was also told she had a corn intolerance and this made it very difficult for me to hold my shit together because corn is, in some form, in everything: adhesives (glues, pastes, mucilages, gums, etc.), Antibiotics (penicillin), Aspirin, baby food,B breakfast cereals, candies, canned vegetables, carbonated beverages, chewing gum, Dextrose (intravenous solutions, icing sugar), oils, fructose, Instant coffee and tea, instant coffee and tea, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, peanut butter, potato chips, salad dressings, soft drinks, starches, syrups, toothpaste, whiskey, yogurts, etc. You can’t escape it unless you eat all fresh and natural products, or shop at stores like PCC which has banned high fructose corn syrup from its shelves.

I’m sure that this alarmist view is on par with how saccharin will give you cancer if you eat a dump truck load each week. It seems like the best way to go is to eat a dump truck of sugar, the more natural choice. But even sugar is refined out of its mind until it’s nothing but a bunch of naked little calories running amok in your body, trying to find a home where it will suck you dry, like an episode of the Tyra Banks Show.

In conclusion, that commercial was total bullshit.


  1. September 10, 2008

    he did NOT say that…. yikes… I have started looking at allt he lables of things that we buy. Trying to weed out HFCS.

  2. heathen
    September 10, 2008

    He DID – and I can say that never before have I known how important it is to having two well-functioning kidneys. He said that people with one well-functioning kidney have a shorter lifespan than those with two. So I’m keeping my kidneys no matter how many people are begging for that extra one I have lying around. Sorry. I need them both.

  3. September 10, 2008

    Fortunately for me, my diet cola contains nothing but natural ingredients.

    (no, I couldn’t type that with a straight face… why?)

  4. September 10, 2008

    I hate those commercials with a passion. Seriously, right now the list of things that piss me off to no end begins with Sarah Palin and those damned HFCS commercials (I’ve seen 2 or 3 different versions).

    Although maybe I should look on the bright side: if we are to believe that HFCS is good for us because it is made from corn, then perhaps we should also be serving vodka at every meal. After all, it is made from potatoes, corn, wheat, or rye, so it MUST be good for us. Bottoms up, kids!

  5. heathen
    September 10, 2008

    Good point, fairygodmother! Cheers!

  6. Valeria
    September 10, 2008

    I also have been noticing that HFCS is in just about everything except in natural products. I scour the bread aisle looking for bread without HFCS. While I have found a couple of brands (sorry, I can’t remember which ones they are right now), I have decided to learn to make my own.

    I have also started to believe that there must be a correlation between HFCS and the obesity and diabetes issues we are having in this country, particularly with young children. To see these ads touting the “sweet surprise” of corn syrup had me in disbelief!

    We need research soon on the negative effects of HFCS on the human body. We also should better support our local farmers who try to grow animals, fruits and vegetables naturally so we have better products to eat on our dinner tables.

  7. September 10, 2008

    i just saw that commercial last night, and got all uppity with the television, exclaiming loudly “THAT IS TOTAL BULLSHIT”.

    i wish big corporate evil-doers would just get the fuck over themselves. they think if you take something away it won’t be replaced with something else. it’s the way of the universe, you have to let something go in order to move forward. i think some people call it evolution.

  8. September 11, 2008

    Once again, you’ve saved countless lives by throwing yourself and your blog selflessly between us and those who mean us harm. When you get right down to it, most of the food we eat is doing us more harm than good, unless you’re growing and preparing it all yourself and/or having grown/prepared by a trusted source.

  9. Mike
    February 9, 2009

    Hmm, this commercial is just like Eve in the garden of Eden offering Adam the apple. Except this time she’s offering him a mercury-laden stick of death.

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