The ramblings of an Eternal Student of Life
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Sunday, December 9, 2012
Food / Drink ... Health / Nutrition ... Photo ...

I sometimes gripe about how big business is ruining food for the sake of profits. I.e., designing and marketing food products that taste good (in a cheap, instant gratification kind of way) but are not very good for you. But, as to be fair, I need to commend CPC for actually improving a product (after previously debasing it).

Given all the recent evidence on how fructose sugar can help to cause diabetes, I have been trying to cut back on sweet things. But I still have occasional need for syrup, for baking or to help sweeten a desert or a breakfast item. What can substitute for honey or fruit juice or maple syrup (or powdered sugar, the ‘cocaine’ of sweeteners)? All of these are high in fructose. Well, I now use Karo Light Corn Syrup. It’s relatively low in fructose and higher in glucose and other kinds of sugar that don’t seem to be as bad for one’s liver, pancreas and insulin metabolism. It says on the bottle, 0 grams high fructose syrup. Karo Syrup is definitely not intensely sweet like honey or maple syrup, but instead delivers a slower, more mellow form of sweetness. Which I’m starting to like.

But that’s not how Karo Syrup always was. Recently, I came across an old bottle of Karo Light Syrup on my shelves. You know that it’s old because it is made of glass! I would guess that I bought it in the early or mid-1990s. Here’s a picture of the old (on the right) and the new Light Corn Syrup bottles. Also, a close up of the dietary values and ingredients on the old bottle. It’s right there in print: Karo Syrup once had high-fructose corn syrup. You can also tell by looking at the sugars: for a 2 tablespoon serving, the old Karo Light Syrup delivered 30 grams of sugar. Today, the same dose has 10 grams. Quite a reduction! (Sodium is also a bit lower now, all to the good.)

So, thank goodness that an enlightened public demanded a more healthy product, and CPC was enlightened enough about their long-term profitability as to respond. Let’s hope this is the start of a trend in processed food production. (Ultimately, however, the best trend would be away from processed food and back towards fresh, simple and raw foods, including the stuff you get from the produce section).

◊   posted by Jim G @ 2:00 pm      

  1. Jim, I wish I could share your concern about food.

    When it comes to the “new and improved” in anything at all, I always think of what my father used to say. I paraphrase: When a company makes something that consumers like and find good, they very gradually make it “less good” in some way or other to save money; until it reaches a point where the consumer won’t buy it any more. Then they “improve it”, advertise it as “new and improved” in hopes that it will sell again at its old rate. Yet, the improvement is never quite up to the levels of the original product.

    I never see anything that says “new and improved” without thinking of what my father said. I’ve passed up many things, to buy something else, just for that very reason.

    Perhaps Karo Syrup is an exception. But, then again, I can’t really remember when I last used Karo Syrup. I guess I should be more careful about what I eat; but….. Never have been able to get all worked up over any food at all, except maybe chocolate. MCS

    Comment by Mary S. — December 10, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

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