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Food Rules, Rule Number Four

February 23, 2010

photo by Zeeshan Qureshi

The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him.

-Jeremiah 18:4 (NRSV)

In the Bible, the idea of being reworked is a good one. It represents possibility and new life. But in food production, being reworked often gets a negative connotation. Pollan notes that High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is not inherently bad. It is sugar. It is likely no better or worse than cane sugar or beet sugar. But as he says, it serves as an indicator that there is “something rotten in Denmark” when you find it in food. Often these foods with HFCS are things that have no business using it, like breads and other things that can be made without additional sweetening. Often these foods are deeply processed.

In truth, if you start reading food labels (and you should) you may find that much of what you eat in any given meal contains HFCS. Let’s say you have certain chips, with just about any regular soda. Both likely contain HFCS. And eventually, eating that much corn, in syrup form or whatever, will catch up with you. Our diets were supposed to be more varied.

Besides, if you really want corn, eat corn. And if you really want sugar, eat sugar. Eat the things that is what it says, in it’s most natural state, and your quality of life will soar.


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  1. Nancy Ross permalink

    We learned at book group yesterday from Food INc. all about the overproductiono of corn and how it drives the food market and ultimately leads to cheap fast food, one source of increasing weight problems. It was pretty shocking to see how a few mega companies control so much of what we eat the quality of what we eat and how we buy products. There goes the Easter ham I was planning…!!!

    • Darrell Oakley permalink

      You can always buy a naturally raised ham!

      We bought some great pork products at Overlook farm last year.

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