As a college student, I find myself looking forward to the weekends for more than a few reasons: football, no classes, and brunch. But what if the syrup you drizzled on your warm Belgium waffles could actually kill you? Would you eat it anyway and suffer the consequences later?
Fortunately, the kind of syrup I’m talking about isn’t the kind you have for breakfast. I’m referring to High Fructose Corn Syrup, or HFCS. By definition, HFCS is made up “of a group of corn syrups that have undergone enzymatic processing to convert some of its glucose into fructose to produce a desired sweetness” (wikipedia). In other words, the term high fructose corn syrup come from any kind of corn-produced product that has been engineered to taste sweeter than nature intended it to.
Personally, I’ve been raised to avoid overly processed foods, but I wondered what kind of health problems could result if someone were to indulge on snacks rich in HFCS, such as corn flakes, soda, flavored sports drinks, ketchup and pop-tarts. Some of the health risks I found associated with HFCS we alarming. “When used in moderation it is a major cause of heart disease, obesity, cancer, dementia, liver failure [and] tooth decay” (“Five Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Can Kill You”). With all these risks, why hasn’t the FDC done more to protect the American people?
In asking myself this, I thought back to what we had discussed in earlier classes about whether or not smoking is harmful to our health. We came to the conclusion that because smoking was such a large and prosperous part of the economy, taking all products containing HFCS could prove disastrous to the American economy. Although measures are being put into place to regulate the amount of corn syrup included in the production of snacks, not enough can be done without resulting in an unstable economy.
In my opinion, more should be done to ban HFCS from all consumer goods. We as buyers have seen the damage products like smoking and over-processed food have done throughout the past few hundred years. To ensure the well being of our generation and those to come, I believe that it is imperative to find an alternative to enhancing corn byproducts.