Cooking with Corn

A two part video regarding the negative effects of corn subsidies.

With this post we are issuing a challenge. Go to your local convenience store and look at the ingredients of ten randomly selected items both foods and beverages. How many have glucose-fructose or high-fructose corn syrup? Post your number. Ours was 8.

Surprised by the number? Almost all carbonated beverages, fruit drinks, cereals, candy, and snacks contain some form of corn syrup. But why is that? What made manufacturers switch from sugar to corn syrup in their attempts to sweeten their products?

The answers are simple and straight-forward. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is easier, sweeter and cheaper. And so everything is pushing manufacturers towards using HFCS as much as they can, why wouldn’t put it in everything? The real question becomes would manufacturers continue to use HFCS if it was cheaper to use sugar? Simple economics tells us that they wouldn’t.

Easier: Since HFCS is a liquid it is easier to transport from place to place and mix in with other ingredients.

Sweeter: HFCS can be made to be sweeter per unit than sugar.

Cheaper: Due to massive subsidies given to corn growers HFCS is cheaper per unit than sugar.

Bottom Line: The government is keeping corn prices artificially low through subsidies and this is the main cause behind the rapid expansion of HFCS into our manufactured foods.

It costs $3 to create one bushel of corn and farmers can only sell a bushel for $2. However, instead of allowing the market to determine what consumers want, the government gives corn producers massive subsidies ($40 billion since 1990 in the US alone) to allow them to continue to add to the already flooded corn market.

Why does this happen?

Large amounts of corporate lobbying can be thanked for the continued subsidization of corn, but politicians often argue that it is a way to help poor farmers.

However, since subsidies could be switched to other more profitable crops for farmers the real benefactors of corn subsidization are fast food joints and the large companies that manufacture carbonated beverages, snacks and other processed foods.

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