Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Great HFCS Debate

Slate's Green Lantern has been examining the impacts of sugar and HFCS and most recently responded to a question regarding the environmental effects of each in May Cause Earth Decay. The bottom line is that while a large percentage of farm acreage in our country is devoted to corn, and "According to anti-corn crusader Michael Pollan, modern corn hybrids require more pesticides and more fertilizers than any other food crop [which] this not only requires major inputs of fossil fuels but also causes significant groundwater pollution," - only 5%-7% of America's total grain corn production ends up as corn sweetener. The largest percentage (around 50%) ends up as animal feed. No surprise there.

So as always, moderation is the key for any sweetener and according to the Lantern's research: sugar cane seems to be the most efficient producer although there is a heavy water usage component there.

Is it just me, or do most of my posts here on justsaying end in a suggestion to cut back on soda and red meat consumption? Hmmm... "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants"


Niko said...

You can try your best to stay away from sweetners and HFCS; however like you say its in almost all pre-packaged foods (i.e peanut M&M's :)I would have to agree with MP and yourself that unless you can afford to eat out at fancy restaurants or own livestock the best alternative is to "eat plants". With that said the best thing to do is to grow your own meals!

Deborah said...

I prefer to think of peanut mnms as the exception to all rules. haha.