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.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup: Too Sweet To Eat? (Andrew Weil, MD)
- Unhappy Meals (Michael Pollan)
- High Fructose Corn Syrup: Why Is It Bad For Me? (Mayo Clinic)
(By the way, if you start doing your own research and come across a site entitled HFCSFacts.com, 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 sweetsurprise.com) is perhaps even more patronizing.