The Fuss Over HFCS
I was very excited to see your article on high-fructose corn syrup [“The Sweet & The Sour,” May/June 2009], but was quite disappointed that you did not mention the history and nature of corn syrup and other corn by-products. Starting in the 1980s, large government subsidies made corn a highly profitable crop to the extent that many farms began to grow only corn, ended crop rotation, needed more petroleum-based fertilizers and chemicals, polluted our water, soil and air, and ended up with excessive crops that led to the invention of all sorts of corn by-products including HFCS. I wish you had used a wider lens when you answered the question “What’s so bad about corn syrup?”
—Rachel Siegel, Burlington, VT
Many of your readers are expressing their ideas on the overall problem of high-fructose corn syrup and its harm to our bodies. Remember that big tobacco hid evidence from the public so that they might make money. For these death mongers, health of the consumer was a nonissue, but the health of your readers should not be superceded by the perceived payoff from big corn. Supporting reduction of intake, as you do, is good, yet delve further into this important issue.
—Michael Hughes, Austin, TX
Editor’s reply: For a review of the current science on HFCS, see eatingwell.com/hfcs.
I received my first issue of EatingWell today and mostly enjoyed it very much, but I was distressed to see the article “Safer Greens” [Nutrition, March/April 2009], which touted the irradiation of greens as beneficial. If E. coli is the problem, and E. coli comes from human-waste contamination, then the solution lies with enforcing regulations to ensure safe, sanitary working conditions for the workers who produce, harvest and handle our food, as well as regulating the safety of water used to process and wash our food. There is no cheap quick fix for our current failure to provide health care and sanitary facilities to our farm workers. They must be treated with dignity or we will all suffer the consequences, including food contamination.
Kate Dwyer, Takilma, OR
Editor’s reply: Irradiation is one method of making some foods safer, but you’re right, it’s not the only solution. Stay tuned for our upcoming special report on food safety.
Planning to Lose
I’ve been enjoying EatingWell for almost five years now and consistently try at least a third of the recipes in each issue. I was thrilled when you moved the recipe index to the front! Every Sunday I sit down with my blank meal plan and use the index to make my plan each week. And thanks to EatingWell in general, you’ve played a large part in my successful weight loss (30 pounds) last year!
—Nicole French, Gorham, ME