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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Drinks and Food » » The fight against High Fructose Corn Syrup
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The fight against High Fructose Corn Syrup
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 23, 2010
Posts: 1319
Posted: 2010-12-24 08:40 am   Permalink

Depending on who you believe, high fructose corn syrup is some nasty stuff. At least one recent study showed a link between HFCS and diabetes. Either way, it's nasty stuff. I try and avoid it as much as possible, although many bar mixers contain it. The HFCS lobby is working to get the name changed so that uninformed people won't know if the products they are buying contain it (sigh).

What are some products to look for (or avoid)? I know that Trader Tiki doesn't use HFCS, but that pretty much every Vic's mixer does. The Fee Brothers stuff I checked looked like some products had it and some didn't. HFCS is always an indicator that a manufacturer is cutting costs and not willing to use premium ingredients, so it's often a good indicator to me that it'll likely taste like crap anyway.

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The Gnomon
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 01, 2007
Posts: 1293
From: MD-DC-VA
Posted: 2010-12-25 07:52 am   Permalink

It's been a long war against HFCS, which we have been losing for several decades. I "officially" complained about it in the '60s when Coke dropped sugar. I basically stopped drinking Coke back then except occasionally. Whenever I was tempted to try it again, I was immediately reminded why I stopped buying it in the first place. Pepsi followed suit as did all the others. Their rationale was that Coke had made the switch and people were still buying it and it was very much cheaper to use HFCS, so everyone did. That's when I basically gave up any kind of soda/pop drinks. Writing letters back then meant something, but had no effect on the soda/pop manyfacturers.

New throwback beverages with sugar also suck, I'm guessing so they can show the public that the use of sugar is not an improvement, so the "sugar theory" must be a myth and there must be nothing really wrong with HFCS. Of course, the throwbacks never used the same formulae as before, so the manufacturers' throwback campaigns are, obviously, not designed to be appealing to customers but rather to make them glad they now have HFCS.

When the soda/pop companies got away with the change, everyone else who was manufacturing products with sugar began to switch to HFCS to boost profits. Probably the only way to stop them now is to conduct a nationwide/worldwide boycott campaign by consumers to stop buying products with HFCS, which is a huge task and one that seems very unlikely that we can accomplish unless sugar becomes dirt cheap and HFCS becomes expensive, in which case the companies would switch back on their own.

Customers have been pissed since the '60s about it and have had no success in trying to get the matter rectified. I suppose shoving whatever they want up our asses could be called, "rectifying" (probably should be spelled "rectalfying".
The throwback drinks are just a ploy to show us why our desire for the old formulae is "unfounded" and we should be happy with whatever they feed us. If you come up with a viable plan, I'm in.

I guess it's common knowledge that my native English has gone down the tubes.

[ This Message was edited by: The Gnomon 2010-12-26 17:36 ]

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Chip and Andy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2277
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2010-12-26 06:29 am   Permalink

Combine all that with the fact that government subsidies make HCFS cheaper than sugar and you have a corporate recipe for using more HCFS and less sugar. Sorry, it is now called Corn Sugar. Which I can buy, I loves me some sweet corn!

The effects and benefits and risks and all that other jazz about HCFS being good or bad for you are all entertaining to watch and make for entertaining conversation.... but! No one I have ever talked to can answer this question: If the government subsidies on corn were removed, would HCFS still be cheaper than sugar?

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Trader Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 06, 2003
Posts: 385
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2010-12-26 3:22 pm   Permalink

thanks for the mention TikiTacky, and no, I would never use the stuff.

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Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 9061
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2010-12-26 9:05 pm   Permalink

The whole HFCS argument IS very entertaining, but aside from taste there really isn't much difference to your body. The designation of HIGH FRUCTOSE Corn Syrup came about to differentiate it from regular corn syrup (like Karo). Karo is mostly glucose, while HFCS55 used in soft drinks is 55% fructose and 45% glucose. Fructose HAS been shown in some studies to increase obesity when compared to glucose.

Now here's the rub - soft drinks never were made from regular corn syrup (glucose), they were made from cane and beet sugar (sucrose) which is 50% fructose and 50% glucose. By changing from "real sugar" to the "evil HFCS", they have increased your fructose intake by a whopping 5 percent! Unless you are drinking a buttload of soda, it's not gonna make any difference. To further complicate matters, baked goods are made with HFCS42 (42% fructose) which actually has less fructose than sugar.

And yes, HFCS is less expensive because of corn subsidies and tariffs on imported sugar.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 13, 2008
Posts: 264
From: Denver, CO
Posted: 2010-12-27 07:58 am   Permalink

I know some people are down on Torani for whatever reason... but I think they're fine. Torani uses cane sugar in all their syrups. If you don't feel like making your own orgeat or cinnamon or vanilla or whatever, Torani's a damn good way to go without the HFCS.

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Mar 13, 2010
Posts: 31
From: MA USA
Posted: 2010-12-27 12:10 pm   Permalink


On 2010-12-27 07:58, CucamongaChango wrote:
I know some people are down on Torani for whatever reason... but I think they're fine.

They are expensive, some of them start to lose their flavor intensity after being opened for a few months (orgeat I'm looking at you), but Trader Tiki syrups > all IMO. And it's not even close...

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Mr. NoNaMe
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 10, 2006
Posts: 1919
Posted: 2010-12-27 2:00 pm   Permalink

I think my truck will run on Trader Vic's mai tais. The right amount of alcohol & corn sugar mixture and presto! Biodiesel.


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Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 20, 2010
Posts: 14
Posted: 2010-12-27 2:52 pm   Permalink

My wife used to make HFCS. Now she makes polymers. Anyway, there's some research going on about the balance between fructose and glucose and that effect on human metabolism.

And really, the soft drink problem is one of concentration -- you'd never find that high a level of sugar in fruit juice, just as you'd never fnd a juice concentration in the whole fruit.

The other problem is that not every food should have sugar added to it, which is what most of the commotion is about.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 23, 2010
Posts: 1319
Posted: 2010-12-27 8:43 pm   Permalink

There's a lot of controversy over the whole "no worse than sugar" argument. Even if you don't agree with the evidence possibly linking HFCS to things like diabetes and obesity, there's little doubt that it doesn't taste the same as sugar, and imparts what almost everyone I know identifies as a "chemical" taste.

Here's my favorite product of late: [url=http://www.worldpantry.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/ProductDisplay?prmenbr=207315&prrfnbr=2776937]Tillen All Natural Maraschino Cherries[\url]. They're really yummy, and although they don't have that other worldly maraschino color, they look good and they taste good too.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 13, 2008
Posts: 264
From: Denver, CO
Posted: 2010-12-28 06:44 am   Permalink

A 750ml bottle of Torani Orgeat is about 7 bucks.
While I won't disagree that Trader Tiki is a better product, I will disagree that Torani is expensive.
Cause it ain't.

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Limbo Lizard
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 778
From: Aboard the 'Leaky Tiki', Dallas
Posted: 2010-12-29 5:54 pm   Permalink

I try to avoid HFCS when I reasonably can. It's become so ubiquitous, I now wonder if it is being used in any (or all!) of the liqueurs we typically buy. You don't get a list of ingredients on a bottle of orange curacao. Anyone know anything, or have the 'inside scoop', about this?
"The rum's the thing..."

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2009
Posts: 417
From: Cincinnati, Ohio USA
Posted: 2011-01-01 03:19 am   Permalink

I will not bring any product containing HFCS into my home. Period.

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Club Nouméa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2010
Posts: 454
From: Wanganui
Posted: 2011-01-01 1:16 pm   Permalink

One of the joys of living in New Zealand is not having to consume that muck - it's sugar all the way here (either from Queensland or Fiji). Always has been, and probably always will be, as corn is not a major crop in this part of the world.


Toto, j'ai l'impression que nous ne sommes plus au Kansas !

[ This Message was edited by: Club Nouméa 2011-01-01 13:17 ]

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Site Administrator

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 3434
From: Redondo Beach, CA
Posted: 2011-01-01 1:50 pm   Permalink

Since nobody has yet mentioned the Princeton University Study from March 2010, I guess I will...

A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.

In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States.

Full article here:

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