Corn Syrup

      104 Comments on Corn Syrup

I’m busy tonight with a hairy data conversion for one of my software clients,  so this is a short post.

I don’t know if this is pathetic, funny, a positive sign, or a combination of all three:  The makers of Karo corn syrup would like you to know that their product doesn’t contain any high fructose corn syrup.

I found this photo while going over my collection from Christmas. My mom had a bottle of this stuff in her kitchen, apparently to put in some kind of Christmas dessert I didn’t eat.  (If memory serves, we used to put dark Karo syrup on our waffles during my sugar-laden childhood.)

In case you’re wondering about the difference, high fructose corn syrup undergoes an extra step in which enzymes convert more of the glucose from the corn into fructose to make it sweeter.

I recommend you avoid corn syrup of either variety.

 


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104 thoughts on “Corn Syrup

  1. LXV

    “I ‘ve never seen such a product in France, i mean a plain bottle of corn syrup. What is its use in the kitchen ?”

    It’s used a great deal in candy making (to prevent unwanted crystallization). It’s also used for some ooey-gooey desserts like pecan pie.

    “Should it bother me that mold won’t even eat it?”

    The sugars suck up all the water, leaving none for the bacteria and mold. Sugar and honey can actually be used as an anti-bacterial on minor wounds. So I’d be far more disturbed if the mold did eat it.

    I’ll admit, I go through about six to eight bottles of corn syrup a year for my Christmastime candymaking. Everyone asks me for homemade marshmallows for Christmas presents (except for my MIL who wants salted caramel) so, eh, it’s not bad as a once a year treat.
    On the other hand…..I have a cousin who’s a Mountain Dew fanatic so I make him a special batch of ‘mallows by reducing a 2 liter of the stuff into 1.25 cups of syrup, coloring, and flavoring. And he drinks 2 liters of that stuff a day……… (eeeeugh!)

  2. Josh

    To answer people’s questions about corn syrup: Yes, normal corn syrup is almost pure glucose. There is a chemical process done that converts a portion of the corn syrup’s glucose into fructose; for HFCS that’s normally 55% fructose and 45% glucose. This supposedly makes the sweetness similar to table sugar (aka cane sugar, beet sugar), which is pure sucrose (sucrose is a glucose and fructose molecule bound together – so a 50/50 split of glucose and fructose). There are two benefits to HFCS: first, that it’s cheaper, as it’s made of corn, and corn is subsidized whereas cane sugar has tariffs; second, HFCS is a liquid at room temperature, as opposed to table sugar, making foods made from HFCS last longer without going stale (i.e. how that cookie in the vending machine stays “moist” longer).

  3. Underground

    At least with blackstrap molasses you get iron and some other minerals. I wouldn’t eat it now, but I always thought it had a much better flavor anyway.

  4. Peggy Holloway

    My mother says that she made baby formula with Karo syrup. She breastfed us, but was encouraged by her doctor (small town family doc) to “supplement” with formula. I can’t help but wonder if the reason my sibs and I are so horribly insulin-resistant has something to do with our bad genetics being “supplemented” with an infanthood of corn syrup.

    That sure didn’t help.

  5. Peggy Cinocki

    @timmah, you don’t need corn syrup to make chocolate covered strawberries! Just melt some bittersweet chocolate and dip your berries in it. If you want to make it a little thinner, add a teeny bit I melted coconut oil to the melted chocolate. If you like it sweeter, a little Stevia does the trick. Made this way, the treats are healthy enough to have more than once a year.

  6. Barbie

    If there was nothing wrong with it, why the Warning?

    I’ve seen this start to pop up on Ketchup and other canned/bottled foods as well…

    The people over at cornsugar.com have some explaining to do eh?? 🙂

    Makes me wonder if the corn refiners are starting to eat their own.

  7. Patricia

    @ Bruce. Hey! me, too! A little dark Kayro on cottage cheese is actually really Yummy! It must be a Northern Illinois thing. (‘Course that was one of the very few sweets we had.) I don’t know if the dark syrup of 60 years ago had more vitamins and minerals in them than now. I do know that it was recommended as a constipation cure for babies.

  8. Craig

    Most southern pecan pie recipes call for outrageous quantities of Karo. The no-HFCS label should go over well with the same people who think they are being healthy drinking Mexican Coke, since it’s made with real sugar instead of HFCS.

  9. john hunter

    Pure cane sugar also contains no hfcs. Nor does antifreeze, cocaine, radial tires, or rat poisoning, so eat all of them you want.

    I prefer eggs with no HFCS.

  10. Underground

    At least with blackstrap molasses you get iron and some other minerals. I wouldn’t eat it now, but I always thought it had a much better flavor anyway.

  11. Peggy Holloway

    My mother says that she made baby formula with Karo syrup. She breastfed us, but was encouraged by her doctor (small town family doc) to “supplement” with formula. I can’t help but wonder if the reason my sibs and I are so horribly insulin-resistant has something to do with our bad genetics being “supplemented” with an infanthood of corn syrup.

    That sure didn’t help.

  12. gallier2

    Peggy’s comment about Karo supplementation reminds me of a discovery I made, at the time of the birth of my son in 2004. It was even before I discovered low-carb (in fact, if I remember correctly it were these baby nutrition searches that triggered the discovery of LCHF) that I found I document on baby nutrition and metabolism that was quite disturbing. It was about the digestive enzymes the babys have or haven’t. It was stated that lactase is present at least until 2 years even if weaned earlier and very frequently lactase production never ceases (obviously). The kicker was that sucrase (the enzyme to split sucrose) and amylase (starch enzyme) do normally not appear before the first year or even later. This was disturbing when looking at what toddler are supplemented with from very low ages, starches and sugar. They can’t digest it, so it will go straight to the colon bacteria. Then I understood why we hadn’t any problem with our son concerning his poop and his night sleep, and all people in my entourage had horror stories to tell about collics, inflamation and restless nights.
    Unfortunately I completely lost the references to this document.

    Jimmy Moore interviewed a woman whose son had all kinds health issues until she stopped feeding cereals, crackers, etc. — the stuff pediatricians tell parents to give to babies as first foods.

  13. Walter B

    Hey, doesn’t this stuff, corn syrup have about the nutritional profile of white rice? Basically a “safe” startch, if you eat it with a (very) little fiber?

    Sure, Karo syrup with sawdust … that’s health food.

  14. Janet

    Along with the low-fat half and half in the dairy case, I noticed that there is also fat-free sour cream. So what is that? Yogurt?

    It’s just really bad sour cream.

  15. Dianne

    I’m surprised that they don’t add the claim “gluten-free”!!

    My mother didn’t breastfeed me and the prescription for the formula back then (and immortalized in my baby book) was Karo syrup, evaporated milk and water. And they wondered why I was such a crabby baby!?! That, along with a very bad reaction to a high dose of penecillin when I was two set me up for some very bad health. Thank goodness the body heals! (Just wish it hadn’t taken decades for that to happen.)

    I believe I received a lot of formula as well. I can’t imagine it was good for me.

  16. AndreaLynnette

    Janet,
    Fat-free sour cream is: Cultured Lowfat Milk, Modified Corn Starch,Whey Protein Concentrate, Propylene Glycol Monoester, Artificial Color, Gelatin, Sodium Phosphate, Agar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Citrate, Locust Bean Gum, Vitamin A Palmitate.

    Propylene Glycol Monester, by the way, is a toxic chemical.

  17. gallier2

    Peggy’s comment about Karo supplementation reminds me of a discovery I made, at the time of the birth of my son in 2004. It was even before I discovered low-carb (in fact, if I remember correctly it were these baby nutrition searches that triggered the discovery of LCHF) that I found I document on baby nutrition and metabolism that was quite disturbing. It was about the digestive enzymes the babys have or haven’t. It was stated that lactase is present at least until 2 years even if weaned earlier and very frequently lactase production never ceases (obviously). The kicker was that sucrase (the enzyme to split sucrose) and amylase (starch enzyme) do normally not appear before the first year or even later. This was disturbing when looking at what toddler are supplemented with from very low ages, starches and sugar. They can’t digest it, so it will go straight to the colon bacteria. Then I understood why we hadn’t any problem with our son concerning his poop and his night sleep, and all people in my entourage had horror stories to tell about collics, inflamation and restless nights.
    Unfortunately I completely lost the references to this document.

    Jimmy Moore interviewed a woman whose son had all kinds health issues until she stopped feeding cereals, crackers, etc. — the stuff pediatricians tell parents to give to babies as first foods.

  18. John

    I saw a bag of Candy Corns near Halloween one year with the bag proudly proclaiming that they were “A Fat Free Food.” I think I shared your pathetic/funny reaction. I was also kinda impressed/horrified at the first four ingredients- Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Honey, and Dextrose. You don’t usually get all four of those in one product!

    No, that takes real creativity.

  19. Robinowitz

    On the subject of baby formula: I watch my eight month old formula-fed nephew as wel as my own 14 month old breastfed and meat and veg eating boy, and there has always been a notable difference in their digestion, weight distribution, and temperament. When my nephew is with me he eats much of what my son eats and I try to go easy on feeding him formula–feel guilty each time I do…knowing all the crap that’s in it. Both love meats and buttered veggies and fruit, but nephew gets hungry so much more often and actually gets hysterical out of nowhere when he decides it’s time to eat again. Did I mention my boy has always been leaner (eats like a horse, though) and my recently crawling nephew weighs the same as him? I know babies come in all shapes and sizes, but I think that if my nephew is always fed sugary formula as well as those awful Gerber crackers he’ll have more health issues than just being chubby. Sorry for the tangent…I just hate to think about all those ingredients I’m feeding my sweet little nephew that I wouldn’t even eat!

    Since babies can apparently become insulin-resistant in the womb, I don’t think it’s stretching things too far to suspect that a lousy diet can affect a newborn.

  20. Derek

    Where do you get syrup from corn? you can’t squeeze corn and make syrup come out of it. you have to chemically extract it. LOL

    Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

  21. Walter B

    Hey, doesn’t this stuff, corn syrup have about the nutritional profile of white rice? Basically a “safe” startch, if you eat it with a (very) little fiber?

    Sure, Karo syrup with sawdust … that’s health food.

  22. Janet

    Along with the low-fat half and half in the dairy case, I noticed that there is also fat-free sour cream. So what is that? Yogurt?

    It’s just really bad sour cream.

  23. Robinowitz

    @Derek: good point! Once we learn these things about how our ‘foods’ are made we can never go back and un-learn it. I try to tell people that very thing about corn syrup and soybean oil, canola oil (which is just disgustingly created) and any other ‘food’ people never stop to wonder about. Once you’ve stopped to think about where all these engineered foods came from you’re better off than most people who’ve never even THOUGHT to wonder. Oh, those innocent days when I had no idea I was destroying my health with low-fat carby junk food…:)

  24. Dianne

    I’m surprised that they don’t add the claim “gluten-free”!!

    My mother didn’t breastfeed me and the prescription for the formula back then (and immortalized in my baby book) was Karo syrup, evaporated milk and water. And they wondered why I was such a crabby baby!?! That, along with a very bad reaction to a high dose of penecillin when I was two set me up for some very bad health. Thank goodness the body heals! (Just wish it hadn’t taken decades for that to happen.)

    I believe I received a lot of formula as well. I can’t imagine it was good for me.

  25. AndreaLynnette

    Janet,
    Fat-free sour cream is: Cultured Lowfat Milk, Modified Corn Starch,Whey Protein Concentrate, Propylene Glycol Monoester, Artificial Color, Gelatin, Sodium Phosphate, Agar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Citrate, Locust Bean Gum, Vitamin A Palmitate.

    Propylene Glycol Monester, by the way, is a toxic chemical.

  26. John

    I saw a bag of Candy Corns near Halloween one year with the bag proudly proclaiming that they were “A Fat Free Food.” I think I shared your pathetic/funny reaction. I was also kinda impressed/horrified at the first four ingredients- Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Honey, and Dextrose. You don’t usually get all four of those in one product!

    No, that takes real creativity.

  27. Robinowitz

    On the subject of baby formula: I watch my eight month old formula-fed nephew as wel as my own 14 month old breastfed and meat and veg eating boy, and there has always been a notable difference in their digestion, weight distribution, and temperament. When my nephew is with me he eats much of what my son eats and I try to go easy on feeding him formula–feel guilty each time I do…knowing all the crap that’s in it. Both love meats and buttered veggies and fruit, but nephew gets hungry so much more often and actually gets hysterical out of nowhere when he decides it’s time to eat again. Did I mention my boy has always been leaner (eats like a horse, though) and my recently crawling nephew weighs the same as him? I know babies come in all shapes and sizes, but I think that if my nephew is always fed sugary formula as well as those awful Gerber crackers he’ll have more health issues than just being chubby. Sorry for the tangent…I just hate to think about all those ingredients I’m feeding my sweet little nephew that I wouldn’t even eat!

    Since babies can apparently become insulin-resistant in the womb, I don’t think it’s stretching things too far to suspect that a lousy diet can affect a newborn.

  28. SmarmySnodsnick

    “Since babies can apparently become insulin-resistant in the womb, I don’t think it’s stretching things too far to suspect that a lousy diet can affect a newborn.”

    Actually you are dead-on. My 1st son was (fortunate to be) supposedly a product of gestational diabetes. I was under the impression they gave me at the doctor’s office and so I ate what they told me to eat and underwent “education” by professional dieticians. My 1st son is lean and muscular.

    My second son I had the same response with a 1 hour glucose test (the most vile concoction they force down your throat) and so they had me take a 3 hour one. With the 3 hour test I was negative, so I ate the way I used to with high sugar high fat dietary consumption. The result was a very chunky baby and, despite that, a slightly lower birth weight.
    Now I say slight because my first was 8lbs 14 oz and my second was 8lbs 10 oz.

    Either which way, I have learned a lot more about my eating by just consuming natural foods.

    A good rule of thumb tends to be shop only on the outter aisle of the grocery store (tends to be veggies, fruits, dairy) and not the inner side. (Processed foods/Human altered)

    Today what bothered me was looking at something called “Honey Sauce.” Honey is one of the world’s most preserved foods and can last for almost forever. So why did they add corn syrup to it?!

    Ugh … to make it cheaper, I guess.

  29. Derek

    Where do you get syrup from corn? you can’t squeeze corn and make syrup come out of it. you have to chemically extract it. LOL

    Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

  30. Beowulf

    Beware of any “food” trying to sell itself by making health claims. Only processed garbage gets labels broadcasting “whole grains!” “vitamin D!,” and “low fat!” The real whole, health food doesn’t [usually] come with any sort of label expounding it’s virtues.

    I believe Michael Pollan called it “The silence of the yams.”

  31. Robinowitz

    @Derek: good point! Once we learn these things about how our ‘foods’ are made we can never go back and un-learn it. I try to tell people that very thing about corn syrup and soybean oil, canola oil (which is just disgustingly created) and any other ‘food’ people never stop to wonder about. Once you’ve stopped to think about where all these engineered foods came from you’re better off than most people who’ve never even THOUGHT to wonder. Oh, those innocent days when I had no idea I was destroying my health with low-fat carby junk food…:)

  32. AndreaLynnette

    Smarmy Snodsnick: “Today what bothered me was looking at something called “Honey Sauce.” Honey is one of the world’s most preserved foods and can last for almost forever. So why did they add corn syrup to it?!”

    The corn syrup also keeps it from crystallizing, which means it looks nicer in those plastic bottles and people don’t seem to know that if it crystallizes, you just dump it in some hot water until it melts. That’s also where the idea that you can’t give honey to babies came from because of bacteria. It’s not the honey, it’s the corn syrup.

  33. SmarmySnodsnick

    “Since babies can apparently become insulin-resistant in the womb, I don’t think it’s stretching things too far to suspect that a lousy diet can affect a newborn.”

    Actually you are dead-on. My 1st son was (fortunate to be) supposedly a product of gestational diabetes. I was under the impression they gave me at the doctor’s office and so I ate what they told me to eat and underwent “education” by professional dieticians. My 1st son is lean and muscular.

    My second son I had the same response with a 1 hour glucose test (the most vile concoction they force down your throat) and so they had me take a 3 hour one. With the 3 hour test I was negative, so I ate the way I used to with high sugar high fat dietary consumption. The result was a very chunky baby and, despite that, a slightly lower birth weight.
    Now I say slight because my first was 8lbs 14 oz and my second was 8lbs 10 oz.

    Either which way, I have learned a lot more about my eating by just consuming natural foods.

    A good rule of thumb tends to be shop only on the outter aisle of the grocery store (tends to be veggies, fruits, dairy) and not the inner side. (Processed foods/Human altered)

    Today what bothered me was looking at something called “Honey Sauce.” Honey is one of the world’s most preserved foods and can last for almost forever. So why did they add corn syrup to it?!

    Ugh … to make it cheaper, I guess.

  34. Beowulf

    Beware of any “food” trying to sell itself by making health claims. Only processed garbage gets labels broadcasting “whole grains!” “vitamin D!,” and “low fat!” The real whole, health food doesn’t [usually] come with any sort of label expounding it’s virtues.

    I believe Michael Pollan called it “The silence of the yams.”

  35. AndreaLynnette

    Smarmy Snodsnick: “Today what bothered me was looking at something called “Honey Sauce.” Honey is one of the world’s most preserved foods and can last for almost forever. So why did they add corn syrup to it?!”

    The corn syrup also keeps it from crystallizing, which means it looks nicer in those plastic bottles and people don’t seem to know that if it crystallizes, you just dump it in some hot water until it melts. That’s also where the idea that you can’t give honey to babies came from because of bacteria. It’s not the honey, it’s the corn syrup.

  36. SmarmySnodsnick

    Give me normal bee spit anyday. 🙂 i’d rather eat the actual sweet potato than the fake fries, I’d rather have real chicken than breaded clumps of prechewed chicken, I’d rather have the real apple than a newly designed fruit puree idea they have been passing off. Give me real and I will give you a non-hormonally clogged me.

    Btw, I lost 40+ lbs doing the 6WBMO which employs the same ideas. After the 3rd week you dont miss the sodium and the sugar half so much.

  37. Glenn

    This is almost as funny as the “healthy breakfast” Nutella hazelnut spread. Go read the ingredients on that sssshhhhstuff.

  38. SmarmySnodsnick

    Give me normal bee spit anyday. 🙂 i’d rather eat the actual sweet potato than the fake fries, I’d rather have real chicken than breaded clumps of prechewed chicken, I’d rather have the real apple than a newly designed fruit puree idea they have been passing off. Give me real and I will give you a non-hormonally clogged me.

    Btw, I lost 40+ lbs doing the 6WBMO which employs the same ideas. After the 3rd week you dont miss the sodium and the sugar half so much.

  39. Glenn

    This is almost as funny as the “healthy breakfast” Nutella hazelnut spread. Go read the ingredients on that sssshhhhstuff.

  40. Nick

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/fried-food-heart-risk-myth-according-researchers-181122532.html

    Between the articles about what Kim Kardashian wore yesterday and Paris Hilton’s hair, I found this gem. THe article doesn’t go into much detail about the study, but it seems that the “experts” are finally starting to get pointed in the right direction.

    Interesting, but they’re pushing olive oil and sunflower oil. I’d like to know if they can actually find a link between heart disease and frying in lard.

  41. Nick

    Oh, I forgot to mention that Victoria Taylor is still suggesting to swap butter for foods with unsaturated fats.

  42. Nick

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/fried-food-heart-risk-myth-according-researchers-181122532.html

    Between the articles about what Kim Kardashian wore yesterday and Paris Hilton’s hair, I found this gem. THe article doesn’t go into much detail about the study, but it seems that the “experts” are finally starting to get pointed in the right direction.

    Interesting, but they’re pushing olive oil and sunflower oil. I’d like to know if they can actually find a link between heart disease and frying in lard.

  43. Nick

    Oh, I forgot to mention that Victoria Taylor is still suggesting to swap butter for foods with unsaturated fats.

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