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revatman's avatar

Why do they put high fructose corn syrup in things don't even require sugar?

Asked by revatman (18points) December 13th, 2007

Find a recipe for saltine crackers. Try wikipedia, “saltine cracker”. Now look at the ingredients on a box of saltines from a store.

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11 Answers

weightless's avatar

I believe the reason high fructose corn syrup is used, is because it’s actually cheaper than real sugar due to government subsidies on corn. Don’t quote me on this, but I’m pretty sure that’s the reason you’ll find high fructose in a myriad of products.

gailcalled's avatar

Sorry to repeat myself, but this bears repeating. Read Michael Pollan’s THE OMINVORE’S DILEMMA; much of what we eat is corn – including all the animals that no longer eat grass but corn. So that steak could really be 90% corn. The huge automated mega-farms grow dramatically more corn than any other grain, if my memory serves. Anyway, revatman, you have stumbled on the micro version of the ugly and scary truth.

bob's avatar

Yes, but: why put sugar OR a sugar substitute (i.e. corn syrup) in something that doesn’t require sugar?

I’m guessing that store-bought saltines made out of cheap (low-cost & low-quality) ingredients taste nasty—but if you add corn syrup, they taste great again!

Store-bought saltines are also meant to sit on the shelf for a long time, and that may also affect the choice of ingredients.

andrew's avatar

In short: if Saltines didn’t have sweeteners, they wouldn’t taste like saltines. A small amount of sugar in baking isn’t abnormal (just like adding a pinch of salt in cookie batter); it can counteract the alkalinity of the baking powder.

I think bob is on to something about counteracting the preservatives as well. But in general, sweeteners do make food “taste” better… there’s a reason why McDonald’s food has so much sugar (corn syrup) in it.

gailcalled's avatar

Remember, also, that the cow from which the Big Mac was made (awkward enough phrase?) was fed on only corn. And remember also that experiment in jr high science – if you can chew on a saltine for long enough w/o swallowing it, it will taste sweet. I never had enough will-power to not swallow way too soon.

Weightless is spot-on; versions of corn syrup are in huge number of supermarket products, unnecessarily.

gailcalled's avatar

Oh, dear. I made the mistake of doing the research. High fructose corn syrup is an artificial additive-really nasty and contributing dramatically to the high % of obesity in this country. Read link at your own peril.

HF corn syrup

revatman's avatar

the reason I ask this, a close friend told me that HFCS prevents the body from producing insulin. Insulin helps produce the feeling of being “full”. Eat a lot of food with HFCS in it, you won’t get the same full sensation. Now having said all that, I haven’t researched this myself, so I don’t know if there’s any truth to that.

But I DO know that beverages with HFCS in them don’t quench my thirst. They taste weird.

I think HFCS is freakin’ evil.

andrew's avatar

Don’t get me wrong, HCFS is the fruit of the devil. I was just explaining why it’s so pervasive.

ideabrian's avatar


Without getting google on you, I was about to say the same thing. I also read / heard that HFCS keeps your body from producing the satiety effect – which is great because it causes us to eat more (consume more, buy more) than we would otherwise.

FREAKING EH!!.. Did you read the ingredients in Fluther?

joli's avatar

Another awful tidbit is that they suggest you OMIT CORN FROM YOUR DIET, for a cancer-free life. How in the hell can one do that in America where almost everything is derived from corn. We’re so damn inventive! As for corn syrup? I won’t buy the product if it’s in there, unless I’m having a sugar-dive with no food in sight. It’s not a good thing. Ask yourself again why you can’t sleep at night. What’s in your late night snack. Coka-cola or just plain ole high fructose corn syrup on it’s own in your “healthy” fruit cocktail.

bob's avatar

Let’s all agree that we should only drink Mexican Coke, made with real cane sugar.

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