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Should Chefs Replace High Fructose Corn Syrup with Sugar?

By admin | July 7, 2011

As was recently evidenced by Mark Bittman’s opinion piece, there is a fundamental lack of transparency in commercial food production and agriculture. However, Americans in increasing numbers are growing more concerned about where their food is coming from. Restaurant owners and chefs, too, are changing the way they do business in order to take more conscious eating into account.

In a recent article, The Wall Street Journal profiled the switch back to sugar in the restaurant and packaged food industry. For years, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has been used as a primary sweetener in many foods from Worcestershire sauce to pastries to sodas. But in the wake of growing consumer concerns about HFCS and its effect on our health and the environment, many chefs at both small and large establishments are eliminating HFCS from their menus, sometimes at great financial cost – one restaurant in San Diego spent $15,000 to replace all of the HFCS in their sauces, sodas, and ice cream with sugar.

While most scientists say that HFCS is not necessarily less healthy than sugar, chefs and commercial outlets like Pepsi are moving away from it, primarily for marketing reasons, thought many chefs maintain that they do believe HFCS will prove to have ill effects on health over time. But it’s also important to remember the ethical effects of so heavily relying on HFCS in our food supply-it funds the highly subsidized corn industry that is not kind to farmers, the environment, or the people who consume its processed products.

If you’re looking to eliminate HFCS from your diet, there are more ways to do so than simply replacing it with sugar. There are lots of all-natural sugar alternatives like honey, stevia, and agave. While the American Dietetic Association and the American Medical Association both recommend limiting sweeteners in general, going all-natural is much better for the environment than sticking with heavily-processed corn syrup.

Read the full article here.

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