December 18, 2008 Holy High Fructose Corn Syrup
Holy High Fructose Corn Syrup Batman! According to Michael Pollen in The Omnivore’s Dilemma, High Fructose Corn Sryrup has become holy to the food industry. Since 1980 it has found its way into everything from Soda Pop to Ketchup. It is a cheap substitute for sugar and other sweeteners. Capitalists have created an addiction to high processed foods and high fructose Corn Syrup in particular. Living in Ohio this is easy to see.
Corn fields dominate the landscape here in Ohio. The drive from Mansfield down to Columbus is incredibly long and boring because the scenery consists solely of cornfields. Cornfields surrounded Shelby. Ohio was once filled with lush forests, but most of it has been cleared for farm land. And, increasingly, that farmland is owned by corporations or farmers with huge amounts of land. The small farmer with a variety of animals and crops is fast disappearing.
I had plenty of time to contemplate agriculture and all of the problems our current culture has caused on my drive to Columbus on Wednesday to take the GRE.As much as I’d like to ban the consumption of High Fructose Corn Syrup, I don’t think it would be possible. I’d need to break my addiction to Mountain Dew. Then I would need to get creative in how I shop and cook. Until I can have both more time and more money, this lifestyle change will have to wait. Fresh fruits and veggies are expensive and often spoil before I can use them all.
How we eat is constantly changing even if minimally. Before we lost our food stamps, I was buying a lot of frozen bag meals. Chicken Alfredo with veggies, Homestyle Beef, Broccoli and Beef, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Shrimp Primavera and the like. These are quick meals that are fairly healthy. Granted, there is still plenty of processing involved, but the frozen meals provide a middle of the road approach to meals. We also eat Spaghetti, Lasagna and Tuna Helper some. The less money we have, the more we tend to fall back on those High Carbohydrate Low Priced meals. We continue to substitute ground turkey for ground beef. Jason enjoys cooking chicken breasts, pork chops and steaks on his days off. We really don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, but I do try to supply some at least. I buy frozen peas and broccoli. Those, I know the kids will eat. I keep lettuce on hand for my BLTs and the occasional salad. We’ve been trying to buy provolone cheese for sandwiches and snacks. It is lighter than American Cheese. I eat Paninis for lunch. I must say microwavable foods have come a long way since I sampled them as a teenager. While we were without food stamps Grandma gave us a bunch of soup. We do eat soup sometimes, but not often. Occasionally in the winter I crave them. Sea food is something we like to have at least once a week, but it is expensive. Crab stuffed sole or Tilapia and Calamari mostly. Lobster and Shrimp are good, but a rare treat.
Truthfully, we eat less corn than many Americans. I fix it as a side dish maybe once a month if that. We don’t eat tortillas, salsa or corn chips or Frito-lays or corn bread. Taco Bell is something we eat less than once a month as well. Jason isn’t big on Mexican food and I can’t eat anything too spicy. Our main source of corn is High Fructose Corn Syrup.
This is where Batman comes in. No, not to save us from the evils of High Fructose Corn Syrup—although that would be nice. Nor is he going to take my GRE for me. No, the only reason Batman comes up at all is because Jason was trying to watch The Dark Knight off the internet this past weekend. Ana and Sebastian made it damn near impossible, so he gave up for now. For some reasons I connected to my readings on the Industrialization of Agriculture and High Fructose Corn Syrup to Batman.