Thursday, January 19, 2006

kernel of truth

ABC's overnight news program, "World News Now," is like a Cliff Notes version of their other news programs. They give you excerpts from "World News Tonight," "20/20," "Nightline," etc. Early this morning they ran a clip from the previous day's "Good Morning America" which featured Dr. Mehmet Oz, the guy who got Oprah to talk about the sound of her poop.

Dr. Oz offered a few simple tips to help us live longer. One of the tips is to avoid products with high-fructose corn syrup, especially soda. I knew that they put corn syrup in a lot of products like ketchup and BBQ sauce, so I did a little looking around on the Internet. I found a New York Times article from 2003 that makes the connection between our corn fed nation and the obesity epidemic. One paragraph really sums it up:

Cheap corn, the dubious legacy of Earl Butz, is truly the building block of the ''fast-food nation.'' Cheap corn, transformed into high-fructose corn syrup, is what allowed Coca-Cola to move from the svelte 8-ounce bottle of soda ubiquitous in the 70's to the chubby 20-ounce bottle of today. Cheap corn, transformed into cheap beef, is what allowed McDonald's to supersize its burgers and still sell many of them for no more than a dollar. Cheap corn gave us a whole raft of new highly processed foods, including the world-beating chicken nugget, which, if you study its ingredients, you discover is really a most ingenious transubstantiation of corn, from the cornfed chicken it contains to the bulking and binding agents that hold it together.
I heard a brief news story this week that said gasoline prices are expected to rise again. There has to be a way to change our corn fed nation into a corn fueled nation. Ethanol may or may not be the answer. I would think that we have enough corn to make our own but an editorial in the Los Angeles Times suggests we import it from Brazil.

It seems to me that we would solve two problems if we could stop eating and drinking corn syrup and instead use it to power our cars. Imagine pouring a Super Big Gulp into your car just like Doc Brown putting trash into his Mr. Fusion Home Engery Reactor.
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Blogger Frank Strovel III said...

I love "WNN". It's pretty much the only good reason (besides work) to get up at that hour. I miss the Anderson Cooper days. I used to watch Linda Ellerbee on the NBC overnight news program back in the 80s. That show set the mold for ones like "WNN".

NBC Nightly News aired a segment last night about how Iceland is converting its melting icecaps and subsequent flowing waters into hydrogen power. No more gas in Iceland! It's all hydrogen fuel. It costs three times as much as gas but it lasts three times as long as gas so it evens out. Plus, no fumes. Only condensation. Cool.

I drink way too much soda.

Blogger jess said...

you want to read a lot about the HFCS thing? Men's Health / Prevention have done a LOT on it... sadly, it is in ALL sorts of food, including things you wouldn't expect (yogurt, "juice" blends, etc).


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