Corn syrup, corn sugar, high fructose corn syrup… are you confused yet? Changing the name of high fructose corn syrup to corn sugar seems to me to be a marketing ploy to avoid the bad press that high fructose corn syrup has received. Instead of recognizing the dangers that have been discovered and responding to market demands for healthier products, it seems that the companies that use high fructose corn syrup would rather hide their less expensive (and more dangerous) ingredient under a new name. This may be my soapbox, but it seems that I am not alone.
The New York Times asked a panel of nutrition experts to suggest a more accurate name change. Dr. Andrew Weil suggested maintaining High-Fructose Corn Syrup, which is currently the favorite of the reader poll, with Michael Pollan’s Enzymatically Engineered Corn Glucose in second place. The New York Times also asked readers to make their own suggestions in the comments section and several have done so.
Discover Magazine’s Discoblog compiled their top ten favorite reader suggestions.
#10. Larry B says “How about ‘diabetes enhancer’, ‘Killer Sweets’, ‘Chucky the Sugar’ or ‘Texas Chainsaw Sweetener?’”
#9. Kirk says we should “Just rename it ‘Glutton syrup,’ ‘Over eaters delight’ or ‘American way,’ any would be fitting.”
#8. S.L Marshall suggests the name “Liquid death.”
#7. davehalo has a couple names up his sleeve: “1- corporate welfare sugar . 2- millionaire’s elixir . 3- tax payer subsidized corporate sugar. 4- S.U.G.A.R – corporate ceo saying ’sure u get a refund’ right into my pocket.”
#6 Jg suggests “Pre-fat.”
#5 Craig Maltby: “Maize Glaze”
#4 Alex says “It should be called ‘Corn Glufru.’”
#3 Bruce suggests: “obesitose”
#2 wilwallace says to “call it F-A-T (Fat American Tonic)”
And… #1 comes from Carl, who wisely says, “I think we should call it ‘the sweetener formerly known as high fructose corn syrup.’”
While not all of these suggestions are politically correct, they do illustrate consumer opinion on this product. It appears that consumer opinion of High-Fructose Corn Syrup, and the companies that use it in their products, is pretty low. It will be interesting to see if the market can keep the food industry honest. However, even if the name changes, we all know the truth and the product (and all processed foods) can be avoided.