Anyway! I can't remember exactly when we caught on to the "corn syrup=bad" concept. I know it was sometime in the last 4 years, but what caused the change I can't seem to remember. In any case, as usual, much research was done and we started checking label's and stopped buying products with corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup. Actually, now that I think about it, I'm sure the documentary "Super Size Me" by Morgan Spurlock may have been a catalyst for further research (that's an awesome movie by the way, we have it if you've never seen it... makes you think! Although, I do have to say thanks to that show and the book Fast Food Nation, as well as yet more research, my kids have never been to a McDonald's, and they never will as long as we're paying for food and health care!)
Recently we watched a documentary called "King Corn." If you have Netflix you can watch it instantly... it's worth your time. It starts a little slow, but the information in it is eye opening. These two men follow corn (which is engineered to have more starch so they can make corn syrup, and is inedible by the way!) to see where it goes. Here's a clip for you:
I think one of the most shocking things that has happened in America is how ignorant we've allowed ourselves to become when it comes down to such a vital thing as food. Companies use corn syrup because it's a cheaper sweetener, it's a cheaper sweetener because the government subsidizes it, and because as a nation we're too busy to care, medical problems are on the rise. Hello? I've seen and read about plenty of doctors who will tell you that things like non-genetic diabetes and other degenerative diseases that just "came from nowhere" are related to food and most of those will tell you specifically corn syrup. Why? Because there's a spore in the corn that actually can't be refined, and that your body is allergic to and can't break down.
I'm not asking you to change how you do things around your place, I'm asking you to think. Open your cupboards and your refrigerator and freezer and look at the labels on the products you buy. Just keep a little tally in your head of how many have corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup. If you don't think you have anything check just a couple things for me.... ketchup, yogurt, ice cream/popsicles. What did you find? Are there any products at your house that you were surprised had corn syrup... like tomato sauce, crackers, cereal, bread? Please leave your thoughts, I think this is a fun experiment.
I'm asking you to think about corn syrup, because we usually don't. Corn is everywhere though, and we're not talking sweet corn that you can go out into the field and take a bite out of. We're talking the same corn that's refined for corn syrup that is used for livestock feed.... so therefore it ends up in your meat and pretty much everything else you're eating (by the way, cows can't actually handle corn as part of their diet. Their feed plus hormones make them grow big quick, but they have to be slaughtered within months of being on a corn diet because they'll die otherwise... livestock get 70% of the antibiotics in America because their diet is killing them... makes you think doesn't it?) Anyway! I believe in moderation in all things. If you're being slipped corn all day long, that you can't process and is making you sick without you knowing, there's going to be some fall-out.
If American's demand more from manufacturer's, they'll get it! We budget way more for food then we would have normally, which means we sacrifice in other places, because every time we go through the check out line we're "voting" for what products the stores buy. What good is a "healthy" food like yogurt when it's laden with corn syrup? So, we buy Stoneyfield Farms, or Brown Cow, or Horizon. What fun is having a yummy treat when it's literally taking years off your life? Brands like TLC, Back to Nature, Breyer's Ice Cream (but you have to read label's with them these days, any 'Country Style' or 'Churned' blah, blah, blah, is made with junk), provide some great treats that are made with real sugar. Don't be afraid of real sugar! You'll also find the most AMAZING soda's that are made with real sugar, most of which are still bottled in glass bottles and made like they did in the 1800's. Nathan has actually started a "Finer Soda's Club" here and the members, which are growing every week, are so excited about it that they want to start branches of the club at their new duty stations when we leave here. The only rule is that none of the beverages at their meetings can have corn syrup or artificial sweeteners (like aspartame etc.) We've been lucky to have at least one store everywhere we've been that sell cane soda's, plus we look for them on vacations, and have ordered them online. They're really good!
"Real" foods are really something this generation is missing out on. My parents are the healthiest people alive. Their doctors ask THEM why their bad cholesterol is so low and their good cholesterol is so high. THEY EAT REAL FOODS. They eat butter, and sugar, and mayonnaise, and they use olive oil. All the stuff that scientist engineered to help us because these "real foods" have too much fat, is killing us! I'm sorry, but I will not eat a product that has a list of ingredients full of things I can't pronounce and is as long as a novel. Eat good things and get active!
Again, the moral of the story, think about what you're eating. It's worth doing some research on and "getting scared." There's a reason we're obese, there's a reason our health issues our ballooning out of control, and you NEED to know where you're food is coming from and what's in it. Don't be passive on this one, your health and your children's is at risk. Start good habits now, make small changes, find alternatives.... vote for your health.
Kids can understand what is good for them. If we're filling them up with junky food then that's what they know and love. Our kids LOVE fruits and vegetables and will eat anything we put in front of them. We've never had a "picky eater"... "picky eaters" are taught and encouraged in their behaviors, not born that way. My kids will tell you that corn syrup is bad for your body and that we shouldn't eat it. Are they deprived? Nope! We buy hard candies made with cane sugar and make sweets at home with a mixture of organic cane sugars (sometimes things are a little grainy since some of the sugars are coarser, but it makes things so good!)
I'm not anti-sugar, I'm anti processed junk. :-)