Corn syrup by any other name....still tastes as icky sweet: Our top five

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

With the advent of processed byproducts, the cheap way to sweeten products has been alchemy: turning American corn into a sugar substitute. But "high fructose corn syrup" has acquired a very bad reputation in the last few years, and now the Corn Refiners Association has petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to rename it "Corn Sugar."

Call me crazy, but how can changing the name of something that is bad for you and keeping that something just as bad for you ease the discomfort of millions of Americans who read labels to see what they are ingesting before it starts digesting?

At the aptly named Cornsugar.com, the feed growers have placed their trust in spin masters and lobbyists to help change the way that Americans are eating -- from good back to bad. Here's what Joan Salge Blake, a clinical associate professor at Boston University's Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, told Redbook magazine (of all places) this past June: "When high-fructose corn syrup and sugar are absorbed into our bloodstream, the two are indistinguishable by the body."

She sounds fat.

But I wonder if the Corn Refiners Board really considered all the other name possibilities? Here are my top five choices:

1) Korn Sweetener. If we change the C to a K, the whole meaning changes and it becomes kid-friendly.

2) Liquid Maize. This combines old-time America and a woman's penchant for buying anything with the word "liquid" on the label.

3) Pop-Up Corn Sweets. The name brings to mind Jiffy Pop -- and who doesn't remember placing that pan on the stove and watching the magic happen. See, you're thinking about it already.

4) Organic High Fructose Corn Syrup. Of course, placing the word "organic" in front of anything will have the masses flocking to Whole Foods like sheep.

5) A-Maizing Sugar. My favorite. Because yes, this enhanced, corn-derived embalming fluid is indeed "amazing."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.