In this blog I summarize my research on corn and why corn yields have increased 6x in the US without planting any more crops and how I feel about the consumption of High Fructose Corn Syrup!
In my valiant effort to learn more about what I am sticking in my mouth, I decided to do some research on CORN. Born and raised in Indiana I have always been a big supporter of corn. Some of my favorite memories are running through the corn fields when I was a kid and attending the annual Popcorn Festival in Valparaiso, IN. I love popcorn and corn on the cob, yum! I learned a lot I didn’t know and thought it would be great to share on a blog. As everyone should be, at a minimum, on CORN alert!
Around 80 million acres of corn is planted and harvested in the US. If you ever fly over the Midwest, you will likely see the majority of it. Corn is the primary US feed grain, accounting for more than 90% of total feed grain production and use. Corn is also used in industrial products including starch, sweeteners, corn oil, beverage and industrial alcohol, and fuel ethanol. (www.ers.usda.gov)
Here is a statistic for you: based on the www.ers.usda.gov website, the US is planting around the same number of acres of corn as we did in 1926; however, we are yielding 6x more corn. Humm…..how can that be? The short answer is: seed varieties, the use of fertilizers and pesticides, and new machinery. This all sounds great, but has anyone thought how these changes might affect us as humans?
I truly believe anything reasonable in moderation can’t possibly kill you. However, how can the American people eat corn in moderation when it is in now in everything you eat? How is the introduction of High Fructose Corn Syrup into our diets affecting us? I found a bunch of arguments to support both sides. Here is one thing I found that has pushed me to believing that high fructose corn syrup might be something I should avoid: corn processing goes through two processing types:
- Wet millers process corn into high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), glucose and dextrose, starch, corn oil, beverage alcohol, industrial alcohol and fuel ethanol.
- Dry millers process corn into flakes for cereal, corn flour, corn grits, corn meal, and brewer’s grits for beer production.
When you read the above two process categories which one sounds safer for you to consume? If you picked Dry Millers process, so did I. I am not sure I want to eat corn that is used in the same process to fuel cars.
The majority of sugared soft drinks are now made primarily with High-Fructose corn syrup (HFCS); most American’s who consume these beverages increase their consumption of HFCS from zero to 60 pounds per person per year. http://drhyman.com/blog/2011/05/13/5-reasons-high-fructose-corn-syrup-will-kill-you/ During the time of introduction of HFCS, obesity rates have more than tripled in the US and diabetes incidence has increases more than 7 fold. Is this just a coincidence? Although, I have not eliminated “corn” from my diet I am making a valiant effort to avoid foods that contain High Fructose Corn Syrup.
Below is a list of foods that I have noticed now contain High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Sugared soda and other sugar beverages
- Your child’s Juice boxes (that are not 100% fruit juice)
- Breakfast cereals and Breakfast Bars
- Salad Dressings and condiments (like Ketchup)
- Breads and Baked Goods
- Nutritional Bars (seriously??)
- Pancake syrup (when it is not true maple syrup)
- And may other processed snacks