Friday, November 11, 2005

Corn syrup: too much of it, especially in kids' food!

Corn syrup. An inexpensive sweetener. But start checking those labels! It's in regular products marketed as healthy for kids, even applesauce! And it isn't helping anyone lose weight.

Applesauce is plenty sweet on its own. Apples are naturally loaded with sugar - the kind our bodies ought to be able to handle. There is *no* reason to add corn syrup to applesauce in those single-packs for kids, and there shouldn't be corn syrup in jars of baby food.

"Natural" applesauce - apples, maybe some water, probably some ascorbic acid (vitamin C) - should be the norm. Add cinnamon, sure. Make applesauce flavored with other fruits, why not. But add sugar to it? Makes no sense.

Check those labels before you buy! The next time you go to a takeout place and they offer applesauce for the kids, take a close look! The innocuously "regular" applesauce most likely has corn syrup in it - or some other sweetener. If you find this at a restaurant you frequent, contact the management or fill out a comment card saying the sweetener is unnecessary!

Market pressures should get manufacturers to return to naturally-sweet applesauce and leave the corn syrup as a dessert additive. If not, then let's make those manufacturers tell the whole truth and require them to put "with corn syrup!" or "with sucralose!" on the label rather than "unsweetened!" or "natural!"

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