This always does amuse

Larragoiti says that sugary diets are a real problem in Coca-Cola-loving Mexico, which has the world’s second-highest rate of obesity and has successfully taxed sugary drinks to try to combat a main source of the issue.

Paradoxically, another corn byproduct – fructose – is part of the problem, used to make corn syrup that has been linked to increasing obesity in the US.

“It’s kind of ironic,” Larragoiti says. “High fructose corn syrup is just a bomb of carbs and concentrated sugar that makes a high peak of insulin. It’s many times sweeter than regular glucose. Companies use and pay less and that’s the issue.”

Let’s take them at their word. HFCS is indeed part of the problem. Mexico and coke, obesity etc etc.

Mexican coke doesn’t use HFCS, US does……largely true here in Europe too, sugar, not HFCS. It’s one of those little signs of people not doing their homework, both insisting that HFCS is the problem and also that Europe uses it as the US does. To argue that it is is fine, but we need another explanation for places which don’t use it.

25 comments on “This always does amuse

  1. has successfully taxed sugary drinks to try to combat a main source of the issue.

    Unless Mexico used to have the highest rate of obesity, it hasn’t been successful, unless the aim was to raise shitloads of cash

  2. It’s the Guardian shaking the ju-ju stick at their favourite devils: HFCS, Coke. Surprised chlorinated chicken isn’t in there.

  3. Talk about HFCS is just preying on ignorance. Journalists bring these new threats out all the time and because the public have no idea what they really mean, it’s scary.

    I suspect the time gap from “ooh scary” to “oh, not really a threat to humanity” is shortening as there’s so much more access to information.

    The problem with HFCS is basically that it’s sugar, like any other sugar. Go to Egypt and pull some cane sugar out of the ground and it’s just as bad.

  4. “It’s kind of ironic,” Larragoiti says. “High fructose corn syrup is just a bomb of carbs and concentrated sugar that makes a high peak of insulin. It’s many times sweeter than regular glucose. Companies use and pay less and that’s the issue.”

    Dunno about ironic. Illogical, more like it. If high fructose corn syrup is many times sweeter than glucose & companies are using less of it, than they would regular “sugar”, then they’re reducing the carbs in food products & alleviating a supposed obesity problem.

  5. I was alays told that fructose was a problem, because it didn’t require insulin to be processed.
    Insulin effectively prevents the body from overdosing on sugar ( glucose) and tells the brain when it has had enough.
    Fructose goes straight through the stomach lining, skipping the pancreas and into the bloodstream.It is the uncontrolled flow of sugar in this way that makes one fat, but avoids diabetes.

    Is that true ?

  6. The never ending saga of Magic Food.

    The Left can’t deal with human behavior. So they blame objects.

  7. “sugar” – by which the writer presumably means sucrose – consists of one glucose molecule and one fructose molecule joined by a little bridge which is destroyed fairly swiftly in your stomach by virtue of enzyme and acid. So sucrose is near enough 50:50 fructose and glucose. HFCS is a simple mixture of sucrose and glucose (no linking bridge) most commonly in the ratios 42:58 or 55:45.

    Unfortunately as it crosses your palate sucrose takes no advantage of the fact that fructose on its own tastes far sweeter, per gram, than does sucrose. So HFCS tastes much sweeter than sucrose – meaning that for someone who likes a particular level of sweetness it would take much less HFCS to satisfy him than sucrose. In other words he would be expected to consume fewer grams of HFCS than of sucrose.

    Maybe there are subtleties still unknown to me, but on the basis of these first order effects I’d say that the HFCSphobia is irrational. Though, to be fair, “phobia” means an irrational fear anyway. So maybe I should just say it’s crap.

  8. But what about the honey beloved by “healthy eaters”? WKPD:

    “A 2013 NMR spectroscopy study of 20 different honeys from Germany found that their sugar contents comprised: …
    The average ratio was 56% fructose to 44% glucose …”

    So pretty close to the 55:45 HFCS then.
    Ha, if I may say so, ha!

  9. Mexican coke doesn’t use HFCS, US does

    Which is why it’s better and, despite being a good bit more expensive than domestic Coke, sells very well in the US as imported soda. Perhaps Trump’s Wall will keep out this threat to good, homegrown Coke-making jobs.

  10. “It’s kind of ironic,” Larragoiti says. “High fructose corn syrup is just a bomb of carbs and concentrated sugar that makes a high peak of insulin. It’s many times sweeter than regular glucose. Companies use and pay less and that’s the issue.”

    What’s worse is that he doesn’t even know why we use HFCS in the US.

    Its not because its sweeter – its not. Its because we have massive tariffs on imported sugar to ‘protect’ (read: funnel taxpayer money to people who will funnel it back to your campaign account) what little native sugar industry we have. So we can’t get cheap sugar from imported sources. So HFCS is used, not because its sweeter, but because ITS CHEAPER!

    FFS, if it was sweeter – and you could save money by using less of it, *every country’s* soda formulations would be using it. They use sugar outside the US because they can get cheap sugar.

  11. “Bloke no Longer in Austria
    May 29, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    I was alays told that fructose was a problem, because it didn’t require insulin to be processed.
    Insulin effectively prevents the body from overdosing on sugar ( glucose) and tells the brain when it has had enough.
    Fructose goes straight through the stomach lining, skipping the pancreas and into the bloodstream.It is the uncontrolled flow of sugar in this way that makes one fat, but avoids diabetes.

    Is that true ?”

    Not ‘through the stomach lining’ anyway. Its lined with a nice mucus layer to prevent stomach acids from eating it away. Not much of anything is getting absorbed in the stomach. Its all happening in the small intestine.

    And no, all sugars are processed with insulin. Insulin attaches to sugars and is what tells cells to absorb them. Without it sugars won’t pass through cell walls.

  12. @ Agammamon
    HFCS is cheaper in the USA thanks to the US government BUT it is also sweeter so Coca-Cola can use HFCS to replace sugar with less calories per bottle.

  13. I don’t agree that its sweeter. I’m not buying that the difference between 50/50 sucrose/glucose and 55/45 sucrose/glucose is significant to the human taste sense.

    But even if it is, the author’s assertion that its used in the US *because its sweeter* – therefore you can use less, reducing the cost of production – fails on its face when you see it being made with sugar everywhere else.

    If HFCS were inherently cheaper (in a sweetness/dollar ratio) than sugar, sodas would be made with it everywhere. And the US is basically the only country in the world that routinely uses HFCS in anything.

    They’re made with it in the US specifically because price supports for sugar and subsidies for corn make HFCS cheaper to use – irregardless of its relative sweetness.

    And that destroys the author’s other assertion – that HFCS has a causal link (or even correlation) to obesity. If everyone is getting fat but the US is the only user of HFCS, then its not HFCS specifically that is causing obesity.

  14. “I’m not buying that the difference between 50/50 sucrose/glucose and 55/45 sucrose/glucose is significant to the human taste sense.”

    Well done, you’ve completely missed the point. The 50:50 becomes 50% fructose only in your guts – in your mouth it’s merely sucrose. Whereas the 55:45 is a physical mixture – the sweetness is available in your mouth.

    Christ, you must have studied the difference between a compound and a mixture at school.

  15. “dearieme
    May 29, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    Well done, you’ve completely missed the point. The 50:50 becomes 50% fructose only in your guts – in your mouth it’s merely sucrose. Whereas the 55:45 is a physical mixture – the sweetness is available in your mouth.

    Christ, you must have studied the difference between a compound and a mixture at school.”
    It doesn’t become ’50/50′ in the gut. I can’t become ’50/50′ in the gut because its not going in 50/50. Otherwise, what? Are you claiming that 5% of one becomes 5% of the other magically in the gut?

    It goes in 55/45. Its broken up in the gut 55/45. It goes into the bloodstream 55/45.

    BECAUSE ITS A MIXTURE OF COMPOUNDS. A mixture of 55% of the sucrose compound and 45% of the glucose compound.

    So, well done to you.

  16. When comparing relative sweetness you have to make sure that you are taking about the same thing. “Glucose syrup” manufactured from maize or wheat, is generally a mixture of dextrose (the glucose in sucrose) and higher sugars- longer chains of connected dextrose molecule. Maltose is a chain of two. Maltotriose is three. And different ratios of these, along with different solids levels, will give you different perceptions of sweetness.

  17. “A mixture of 55% of the sucrose compound and 45% of the glucose compound.”. No, you fucking moron, you seem to be incapable of grasping the simplest point.

  18. Dang, you guys made me check:

    My gin contains: gin.

    My grenadine contains: HFCS

    My sweet & source contains: pure cane sugar

    My club soda contains: pretty much nothing

    Same for my ice cubes

    My cherry liquor contains: “only natural ingredients”

    They play nicely together when properly mixed.

    They are part of a well managed diet.

  19. @ Agammamon
    There is a very simple reason why HFCS is used much less outside the USA – it costs a lot more!!
    Without the US government subsidy it would cost more inside the USA, but it doesn’t.
    It’s more than 25 years since I had to do the sums on this, but is is very very simple. HFCS is made from maize (called “corn” in the USA), The USA is the world’s largest producer of maize: it produces a smaller %age of the world production of sugar cane and a much, much smaller %age of sugar beet. So Washington DC provides incentives to use maize products in mpreference to sugar cane.
    In the USA the subsidy makes HFCS cheaper than cane sugar, outside it does not because to obtain HFCS you need to process maize and cost money..
    HFCS is sweeter than cane sugar but not by enough to justify the extra cost without the subsidy. That suggests the guy in FDA who did the sums got it right (it must happen sometimes!)

  20. HFCS can be and is made using wheat as well as maize. Hell, you can make it from anything that has starch in it. Potatoes. Peas. But it depends what else you can do with those crops in your factory. If you make a better margin on native or modified starch or polyols or maltodextrin or whatever, you’re gonna do that instead. Lots of other markets in play here. But generally if you’ve splashed out £100m on an isomerisation tower you probably want to get some use out of it. And a busy factory is better than a quiet one. So HFCS price in Europe just chases the sugar price. Until a few years ago there were European quotas on fructose bearing syrups and when they were dropped the usage increased and the sugar price fell. When the subsidies on sugar were dropped recently the price plummeted, so it was more attractive to use sugar. Some sugar companies really suffered. Price is going up now but still they aren’t making a fat lot of profit. But some sugar companies make HFCS too, so the accountants are going to figure out which they would rather put the effort into. And switching sugar to HFCS and back again means a lot of work on packaging and labels and paperwork so you don’t do it short term.
    I’ve have a splendid lunch and that’s all a bit rambly. But my point is, there’s a massively complex web of economic and practical reasons why this is not a simple choice between which one is sweeter or healthier. But it pays for my splendid lunches, so long may the confusion reign.

  21. Oh and don’t forget the co-product values. They can make a difference between profit and loss. Margins are tight in this game. You can link the price of fishmeal from South America to the price of glucose in Europe very easily.

  22. No alchemy required. Wheat is corn. Maize is corn. Oat is corn. Generic term for cereal crops. The Septics tend to call only maize “corn”, agreed, but I’m writing in British English.

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