Wednesday, February 13, 2008

It's Everywhere

I'm very cautious about the foods I feed to my children. On the whole, I would say they eat a nutritious diet and I provide lots of whole, organic foods whenever possible.

There has been a lot of research about the devastating effects of high fructose corn syrup and trans fats. As a matter of fact, there is a direct correlation between the introduction of HFCS and trans fats into our diets and obesity in America. I know correlation doesn't imply causation, but it is something that makes you stop and think.

I would have told you that those two nasty "ingredients" were almost absent from my children's diets. But yesterday, for no particular reason, I noticed that the 3rd ingredient in rice krispies cereal is HFCS. The second ingredient was sugar. WTF? In my mind, I don't feed my children sugar cereals. So then I started to look at other package items in my pantry:

All Natural Peanut Butter - HFCS and trans fats
Organic Yogurt - HFCS
Organic crackers - trans fats (in a clever but maddening marketing gimic, the box says "no trans fats per serving" on the front. Apparently, if your product has less than .5g of trans fats, you can call it "trans fat free." But a serving size is 3 crackers and I can't think of a time my children have eaten only 3 crackers at a sitting. Give me a break.)
Strawberry jelly - HFCS
Cheerios - HFCS
Ketchup - HFCS

Food (if you can call it that) manufacturers use HFCS and trans fats because they are very cheap and prolong the shelf life of their products. Too bad they decrease the shelf life of their consumers.


Anonymous said...

Obesity rates have also increased in other countries like Australia that don't have HFCS. I don't know if HFCS is to blame for the obesity rates in America, there are also a lot of other factors at play IMO.

Laurel said...

I haven't read the new book talking about how something is not really "food" unless your great-grandmother would have recognized it as such. But I think about it (with guilt) every time I pack the mini pizza bagels from the freezer section into Quincy's lunch...

PeeKay said...

OMG- organic yogurt has HFCS???? I am shocked, i kinda went on blind faith that organic just would generally rule out HFCS! man, now I gotta recheck those labels.

im TRRRRYING TO be a organic mom but its hard!