Blogging the New York Times: The HFCS Debate Continues

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Over the weekend, the New York Times reported that ConAgra is conceding to public pressure and will be eliminating high fructose corn syrup from their Hunt’s ketchup line.

The article, “For Corn Syrup, Sweet Talk Gets Harder,” highlights the role of social media like Facebook and Twitter in spreading public awareness about the issues surrounding HFCS. Also, were any of us surprised when spoof videos mocking those pro-HFCS ads went viral on YouTube?!

This is all great news! But as the article goes on to discuss, the debate about HFCS is far from being over.

Scientific studies like the one released earlier this year from Princeton researchers have also helped move the opposition to HFCS from fringe groups into the mainstream. Even though debates about its healthfulness (or not) are still ongoing, it seems that most people are starting to at least ask questions and raise concerns about the amount of corn syrup in foods.

But will any of this matter? There are concerns that casting HFCS in such a negative light is making regular sugar seem like a healthy choice. Simply replacing one sugar with another isn’t necessarily going to help with the root problem – the fact that Americans as a whole are consuming far more calories than we need.

Also, while sales of products containing HFCS have dropped in the United States, sales elsewhere in the world have increased – particularly Mexico. The NYTimes article says that this increase of sales abroad has offset the domestic sales decline, meaning that there have been no changes in the amount of corn syrup being produced overall.

Still, it’s worth celebrating the small victories.

Read the ArticleFor Corn Syrup, Sweet Talk Gets Harder by Melanie Warner, New York Times

What do you think? How do you see the debate surrounding HFCS developing in the next few years?