From the "There's a Sucker Born Every Minute" Files

Oh, good Lord. I was just at a local health food store, buying dried mustard and xanthan gum, when I spotted it on the shelf: Organic Light Corn Syrup. Yes, there is now an organic corn syrup on the market. I looked at the label; it's a blend, actually, of corn syrup -- oops, I'm sorry, organic corn syrup and organic glucose syrup, plus some organic vanilla and some salt. Not organic salt, but then, salt is inorganic by definition, not containing carbon. I suspect that glucose syrup is in there so that the Wholesome Sweeteners company can proudly boast on their website that this is not a high fructose corn syrup.

Of course, all corn syrup is processed. Ever squeeze an ear of corn and get syrup? I didn't think so. Corn syrup is made by mixing corn starch with an enzyme that breaks the starch down into the component sugar molecules, and if you ever needed proof that starch is just a lot of sugar holding hands, I'd think that would be it right there. FYI, agave nectar is made exactly the same way, only it starts with fructooligosaccharides from agave instead of with starch from corn.

The claim to being "organic" apparently comes from the from the corn not being genetically modified, nor sprayed with Roundup or other nasty chemicals. That's all well and good, but the bottom line is: This is sugar, and refined, processed sugar at that. The fact that it's sugar from "organic" sources makes no difference. It's still nutritionally void garbage that will spike blood sugar, trigger fat storage, raise triglycerides, and otherwise play havoc with your body. This is no more health food than organic tobacco, or organic cocaine.

Amazingly, there are people who honestly believe that this refined sugar is somehow a more healthful choice than Splenda, because, after all, it's "natural!" and "organic!". They also seem to believe that this is somehow metabolically different from, you know, sugar. Different enough that Wholesome Sweeteners is charging five-and-a-half bucks for a cup of their politically correct corn syrup.

Somewhere, Dr. Atkins is weeping -- and P.T. Barnum is laughing.

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Um, some of us totally and

Um, some of us totally and utterly understand that it's sugar, but would rather avoid GMO corn. My daughter wants to learn how to make lollipops, so I looked up organic corn syrup just to make sure I could find some - which is how I found your site, come to think of it. The mere fact that people buy this does not mean that they're too stupid to understand that sugar is sugar.

Politically correct corn syrup

Politically correct corn syrup - tee hee hee.

On a slightly related note, my doctor has recently reduced my levothyroxine to 175mcg, which means I have to take a 100mcg, a 50mcg and a 25mcg. Now, as you can imagine, the 25mcg is a teeny, tiny tablet, but strangely sweet. Hmmm. Oh! The 25mcg tablet contains sucrose. Why? Grrrrrr.

Likewise evaporated cane juice and "agave nectar"

I know that evaporated cane juice (and its siblings, turbinado and "raw" sugar) is just sucrose in different clothing, but don't say that out loud at Whole Foods!

"Agave nectar" is not any healthier than any other sugar even if it says "nectar" instead of syrup. It's as highly refined as corn syrup, but the advertising makes you imagine it flows freely from cactuses like maple sap. Plus that whole desert-Santa Fe-Native American vibe they've got going over it.

Likewise "palm jaggeree," which is just sugar that comes from palm trees. It's still sugar. If it tastes sweet, it's sugar. You'd think people would know that.

Organic "Light" Corn Syrup

Another term of art in the product name is "light." Who knows what it means in this context? Color? Weight? I think with syrup it is usually color, isn't it? In other contexts it means "low-calorie" or "low-fat," and most of the time, "high-carb"!

Organic Corn Syrup Post

Dana you continually amaze me with your knowledge and ability too 'see behind the curtain'. Thank you for helping keep all of us on our toes.

Light corn syrup

A friend of mine who is a diabetic was boasting that Hunt's now has a ketchup that is free of high fructose corn syrup. I asked if I could see the bottle. Guess what???? The second ingredient is sugar! Surprise, surprise, surprise!!!! She then realized that she falls in the category of one is born every minute.


Whenever I go to the blog on "Hold the Toast", I get a big pink box listing errors. It goes on for what looks like more than an 8.5 X 11 sheet of paper. Then the article seems to be all there as normal. I don't know if this is just on my laptop or on your site, so I thought you should know about it.

re: error

It sounds like your web browser is not rendering the page correctly. Try a different browser or upgrade the one you have. If it is Internet Explorer, upgrade to IE9. My web browser of choice is Google Chrome.

No, it's on our side.

It's not your browser. Every once in a while, for a short period, the content management system that we use "gets the hiccups". Those are database errors/warnings in our system that don't get caught and filtered out of what you see when you view the page. I have never known them to crash the site permanently (knock on wood... er, formica), or to last longer than maybe an hour or so. I have not been able to determine what causes (or fixes) them, so far.

However, I DO appreciate you guys letting me know about it when it does happen. If it decides to persist, I'll need to get in and untangle things!