Don’t Be Stupid, Particularly About Food

The mighty El Gray just brought this commercial to my attention. I suppose it was bound to happen, that some huge conglomerate would hire an ad agency to put a better spin on their product, but I have to admit to being a little taken aback by their approach:

Get it? You’re just so gullible, dearest American consumer. You are fed talking-point after talking-point, and sometimes those talking-points are about the food you eat. But my little bundle of want, you are merely a parrot. You don’t think. When you’re asked to support your espousals, well, you have nothing to say. So we’re going to make it easy for you. We’re just going to tell you we love you, that we’d never do anything to hurt you, and do it in such a patronizing, “how-could-you-ever-think-such” way that you’ll just take what you’re given and ask for more.

Look, here’s the deal. High Fructose Corn Syrup might not be the most deadly thing on the planet, but it’s not the safest either. Yes, it is made with corn, but just because something has a vegetable base, that doesn’t mean that it is bountifully nutritious by association. A massive oak tree might shade you kindly from the blazing sun, but what if I break off a limb and whack you across the head with it?

The killer phrase in this insidious little commercial is where the very nice girlfriend says that HFCS is okay “in moderation.” Almost under her breath. Like a secret. That’s because it is almost impossible to consume HFCS in moderation.

Since 1985, an American’s annual consumption of HFCS has gone from forty-five pounds to sixty-six pounds … Read the food labels in your kitchen and you’ll find that HFCS has insinuated itself into every corner of the pantry: not just into our soft drinks and snack foods, where you would expect to find it, but into the ketchup and mustard, the breads and cereals, the relishes and crackers, the hot dogs and hams.*

So educate yourself. Don’t be the dumb-ass that the Corn Refiners Association wants you to be.

(By the way, if you start doing your own research and come across a site entitled, full of all kinds of reassuring facts about how HFCS is no worse than sugar or honey, don’t be fooled. That’s operated by the Corn Refiners Association as well.)

And another thing …

The print ad (from is perhaps even more patronizing.

Nutrition is for elitist food snobs.

Nutrition is for elitist food snobs with shiny hair, obviously.

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  • Gordon

    Wow…I’m offended by that commercial somehow.

  • Yeah, I’m offended because it’s got a woman, telling a dude, that it’s OK to eat HFCS (women are the arbiters of what most people eat, btw), in that voice that seems to be reserved for children.

    Uh, no. HFCS is, when you think about it, really, really gross. No thank you. Keep your nasty popsicle.

  • Also speaking of children, don’t miss the other commercial that assures you that HFCS is perfectly fine for your kids as well.

  • Why do you think “low-fat” salad dressing taste good, people? Filled to the brim with sugar!

  • Urk. Let me finish that guy’s sentence. HFCS has been significantly linked with the rise in the incidence of adult diabetes. There’s more, but it’s late. Would you like research, or would you just like to accept that HFCS is the partially hydrogenated oil of the sugar industry?

  • Janice

    Sadly I think this ad will be effective (to the uneducated) because doesn’t the telly always tell us the truth? People are dumb and they know it.

  • It is all becoming Idiocracy.

  • Wow, what an offensive ad. If it’s extremely difficult for you to make high fructose corn syrup in your home kitchen, it’s probably not a healthy product. Hell, let’s cut back on sugar and honey, too, but let’s definitely cut out the HFCS.

    For me personally, I’ve noticed that HFCS raises and drops my blood sugar like little else. And it’s typically found in food that are otherwise bad for you, anyway.

  • Brittany

    Thank you!

    My boyfriend and I were at the grocery store today and all of the sudden he goes, ‘You know, I was watching the Food Network today and they said High Fructose Corn Syrup isn’t bad for you, they said it is the same as sugar and the same amount is needed as they would need sugar to make food.’ He said this because I was the one who enlightened him about how many products contain HFCS and the dangers it poses.

    I pretty much just stared at him for a moment and said, ‘Really… Well I’m not conditioned to believe everything I hear. Do you know how they MAKE HFCS? There is no way it can be good for you.’ And that was pretty much that… until I hopped on the internet…

    After web surfing for about an hour an ad happened to catch my eye for… so I decided to pay a visit to the bastards I figured were responsible for feeding my boyfriend misinformation. It was no big surprise to me to find that the Corn Refiners Association was behind it. Got me pretty riled up. So I was doing my research and going to go on a little mini rant (And show my boyfriend how they had tried to dupe him) and I found your article on all this.

    I’m going to give it a nod in StumbleUpon and probably link to you in my own little blurb about it ^_^

    Now that I watch that ad, and the others referred to by youtube, I am REALLY offended. Especially how they portray people who try to explain to others why HFCS are bad as being uneducated and looking for something to lord over other people. Honestly, I have never said to someone ‘You must not love me’ or ‘You must not love your kids’ for feeding them HFCS, I might be like ‘Hey, that could be BAD for you/your kids next time you should look for something else.’

    But thank you for the informative and entertaining article ^_^

  • Here are some more SUPER SWEET facts about HFCS: