- Where does most high fructose corn syrup come from?
- Is high fructose corn syrup nutritious?
- Is high fructose corn syrup alkaline or acidic?
- Is high fructose corn syrup gluten free?
- Is high fructose corn syrup a common food allergen?
- Is high fructose corn syrup low FODMAP?
- Carbon footprint of high fructose corn syrup?
- Is high fructose corn syrup sustainable?
- Is high fructose corn syrup vegan?
- Does high fructose corn syrup have human rights issues?
What are high fructose corn syrup side effects? Is high fructose corn syrup vegan? Gluten free? Acidic or alkaline? Low fodmap? Good for you? Healthy? Sustainable? Here are high fructose corn syrup pros and cons: all the info on high fructose corn syrup that every ethical consumer wants to know…
Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on high fructose corn syrup benefits and side effects.
You are going to learn all about high fructose corn syrup benefits and side effects. This will include high fructose corn syrup benefits for your health and potential risks, high fructose corn syrup water footprint and carbon footprint, sustainability, if high fructose corn syrup is vegan or impacts animals in other ways, and much more.
After learning if high fructose corn syrup is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.
This post is all about high fructose corn syrup benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.
High Fructose Corn Syrup Side Effects
Energy: high fructose corn syrup is bad for / increases the risk of high blood sugar, insulin resistance
Longevity: high fructose corn syrup is bad for / increases the risk of cancer, diabetes, fatty liver disease, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, stroke
Appearance: high fructose corn syrup is bad for / increases the risk of obesity and weight gain
High fructose corn syrup is…
- Acidic pH level once digested
- Gluten Free
- Not a common Food Allergen
- High-FODMAP (may cause gas, bloating & pain for some)
Water footprint: likely low, it takes 1,671 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of corn starch (corn syrup begins as corn starch then is processed into syrup) / 200 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of corn starch
Carbon footprint: low, 0.33 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of processed corn syrup, a car driving equivalent of 0.75 miles or 1.25 kilometers
Destruction: high, high fructose corn syrup is relatively destructive, corn depletes nitrogen and other important nutrients from the soil, more than a third of U.S. corn is used for animal feed, another third grown for ethanol for cars, 92% of corn crops grown in the US in 2016 was genetically modified (GMO), crops are modified to increase yield and improve resistance to insects, disease or chemicals used to kill pests
High fructose corn syrup is…
Kills: none, high fructose corn syrup production does not require any animals to be killed
Harms: none, high fructose corn syrup production does not require any animals to be used
Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from high fructose corn syrup production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat
High fructose corn syrup is…
- Often tested on lab animals (most sweeteners)
Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible
Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation
Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits
High fructose corn syrup…
- May have laborer issues
Where does most high fructose corn syrup come from?
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener derived from corn syrup, which is processed from corn. The world’s leading producer of corn is the USA followed by China, Brazil, India, Argentina, Ukraine, Mexico and Indonesia. Florida, California, Washington, New York and Georgia are the largest producers of sweet corn within the US.
Is high fructose corn syrup nutritious?
No. High fructose corn syrup is high in sugar and contains fructose and glucose.
Is high fructose corn syrup alkaline or acidic?
High fructose corn syrup is acidic. Fructose, processed foods and sugars are all acidic food groups.
When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.
Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List
Is high fructose corn syrup gluten free?
Yes, high fructose corn syrup naturally gluten free.
While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…
Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:
- recurring abdominal pain
- chronic diarrhea
- numbness in hands and feet
- chronic fatigue
- joint pain
- unexplained infertility
- low bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis)
There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.
Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List
Is high fructose corn syrup a common food allergen?
No, high fructose corn syrup is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to high fructose corn syrup but it is relatively rare by comparison.
A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:
- crustacean shellfish
- tree nuts
These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.
Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.
Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.
Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List
Is high fructose corn syrup low FODMAP?
No, high fructose corn syrup is high-FODMAP so you should limit or eliminate it if on a low-FODMAP diet.
A low FODMAP diet may help those with bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
It’s all about knowing your body. Observe what works and what doesn’t. You body might even react negatively to a low-FODMAP food simply due to intolerance. Everyone is different! Be mindful and patient. Take time to get to know what’s best for your physical health and overall wellbeing.
See this High-FODMAP and Low-FODMAP List of Food
Carbon footprint of high fructose corn syrup?
High fructose corn syrup has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.
It takes around 0.33 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of corn syrup, a car driving equivalent of 0.75 miles or 1.25 kilometers.
Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.
When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…
- farm equipment
- animal feed production
- hothouses (greenhouses)
- food processing
- package waste and more
There are a number of steps we can take to reduce energy output. According to Oxford Martin School researchers, if the world went vegan, eliminating animal-derived products, it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds and avoid climate damages of $1.5 trillion.
But that’s not all!
It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:
- shopping locally reduces transportation emissions
- food without packaging reduces waste as well as the carbon footprint
- refrigerated and frozen foods increase carbon emissions
- seasonal foods reduce carbon emissions from hothouses (greenhouses)
- growing plant-based foods at home is the most environmentally sustainable method with zero carbon footprint
Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List
Is high fructose corn syrup sustainable?
High fructose corn syrup production is relatively unsustainable…
- Corn depletes nitrogen and other important nutrients from the soil
- More than a third of U.S. corn is used for animal feed, another third grown for ethanol for cars
- 92% of corn crops grown in the US in 2016 was genetically modified (GMO)
- Crops are modified to increase yield and improve resistance to insects, disease and chemicals used to kill pests
A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.
Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.
A 2010 United Nations report said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world the worst impacts of climate change.
Read more about ‘What Makes Food Sustainable Or Unsustainable?’
Is high fructose corn syrup vegan?
Yes, high fructose corn syrup is vegan. High fructose corn syrup is an artificial sugar made from corn and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food.
Animals of factory farms and the livestock industry are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. They’re also injected with growth hormones to become fatter faster and live short lives, being slaughtered as soon as they finish growing and are killed prematurely, well before their natural lifespan.
Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.
Go vegan for animals!
It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.
Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List
Does high fructose corn syrup have human rights issues?
At this time there have been no major concerns with corn production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening!
It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.
Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized.
Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers. Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death!
Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation.
Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards.
We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade.
Be sure to read up on this list of ‘Foods You Should Always Buy Fair Trade‘
This post was all about high fructose corn syrup side effects for health, environment, animals and laborers.
Syrups, corn, high-fructose – FoodData Central
High Fructose Corn Syrup Questions and Answers | FDA
Domestic use of high fructose corn syrup continues to decline
High fructose corn syrup induces metabolic dysregulation
Sugar & Sweeteners – USDA ERS – Charts of Note
Sugar and Sweeteners Yearbook Tables – USDA ERS