Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Scary Stuff

I was just reading around and I was reading Robbyn's post about Mercury being found in High Fructose Corn Syrup.  She was citing this article from the Washington Post. It talks about a study where Mercury was found in a frighteningly large percentage of products containing HFCS (something like 1 of 3 products randomly pulled from shelves).   Evidently there is something about the process of making it that contaminates it with Mercury.  I'm not entirely up on the process of making HFCS but I know it is a multi step process.  
This makes me even more determined to eliminate processed foods from our diet. I just need to find a good substitute for granola bars (or learn to make my own).  They are one of the few processed foods that we still buy since they are handy, portable snacks for the children.  I need to look around at ingredient labels and see where else it is hiding (I know it's in the syrup they eat on waffles).  At least I know we eat FAR less HFCS than the average American consumer


  1. So scary what is in processed foods. Don't you wonder if sometimes someone is trying to "dumb us down"? It's bad enough that mercury fillings have been sold to us as perfectly fine. We eat what I call a "clean" diet. Whole & raw foods & all organic ingredients when possible. Eating out, no one has control except to only go to restaurants that serve organic food. Not so easy to find. Let's hop those companies using the mercury containing ingredients are made to change.
    Love your blog. Keep up the great posts!

  2. Yipes, that is scary. And to think that it is so deep-seeded (i.e. in most processed companies) is even more scary.
    The couple things you mentioned, you could definitely sub out for:
    I'm not sure about availability where you live, but we get great maple syrup here during sugaring time. A big jug (they even come in gallons) is not that expensive when you consider the use out of it, and often a smaller amount is more flavorful than grocery syrup. Some of the sugaring farms sell online too.
    With the granola bars - go for it! It really isn't hard at all to make at home. What I do isn't really a recipe, but rather a method. Pretty much just toast up the oats in the oven for a bit until, and in the meantime soften the dried fruit (if using) in apple juice. Then you'd get the binder ready - you could use jam or honey here. Mix the binder, dried fruit/nuts, and the oats together in a big bowl, adding more fruit juice slowly as needed to get the mixture to come together(fun for kids too). Pat into a sheet pan with some edge to it. Some people will cook it for about 3-5 minutes, but I don't bother. Then let it harden, and cut into bar shapes. Good stuff :-)

  3. Whoops, that should say toast the oats until *golden*

  4. This is worse than the hydrogenated fats they put into everything. There are so many issues surrounding mercury.
    It's so much easier eating natural foods, no need to worry about all this weird stuff.

  5. I have a great recipe for granola bars - and the good thing is you can modify it to whatever you have on hand. I'll post it here in the next couple of days....

  6. Barb- I wonder sometimes as well about industries 'dumbing us down'. We still have a ways to go on our diet but I know we're MUCH better off than many in the US.
    Localzone- It IS scary! HFCS sneaks into so many things. I know I can make granola bars- it is just one of those things that I have never managed to 'get around to'. As for maple syrup- I'll have to look into that- It is pretty expensive here in the midwest. I do have some apple syrup that the kids like- it is actually a batch of apple jelly that my Mom made that didn't set properly. But, boy is it tasty!!
    Mon- It is so much easier to eat natural foods. We used to be so good at it- them we had young children and were both working and the processed stuff started to creep back in. But we're getting back on track- This is definitely another incentive
    Kris- Thanks. I was looking at recipes last night- I'd be glad to have one that I know works for someone I 'Know'.

  7. "They" are trying to sell HFCS as ok too. At least in our TV market there are lots of ads where one person is telling another person they shouldn't eat a particular thing due to HFCS and the HFCS eater makes the other person look dumb.

    If I could put myself in that commercial I'd cite quite a few studies! Mercury is a very good reason to avoid it.


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