Friday, January 30, 2009

Yet Another Reason to Examine Processed Food Before You Eat It...Mercury in High Fructose Corn Syrup and Processed Foods

It's time that we as caring parents start to seriously examine the question as to whether or not increasing amounts of processed food that the current generation of children are consuming is playing a role in the increased prevalence of childhood developmental disorders. Evidence is mounting that while not always the case, often times, processed foods contain a number of dangerous substances (often not fully disclosed to consumers). While skeptics will doubt that increased consumption of processed food is playing a role in higher incidences of disorders that range from asthma to autism, one thing that has certainly changed over the past 25 years is the increased amount of processed foods (high fructose corn syrup is an excellent indicator of this) that are now being consumed. The processed food our kids consume which contain many chemicals--and even mercury, according to two recent studies-- may be the elephant in the room playing a huge, unacknowledged role in the increasing health issues that are afflicting our kids today.

Two new studies came out which have found mercury in processed food. One scientific study Not So Sweet Missing Mercury and High Fructose Corn Syrup published in Environmental Health found mercury, a known dangerous neurotoxin, in nine of 20 samples of high fructose corn syrup. The second study Mercury from Chlor-alkali plants: measured concentrations in food product sugar looked at foods which had high fructose corn syrup as the first or second ingredient. It discovered the presence of mercury in one-third of 55 products tested. Here is the list of the foods in which mercury was found:

Product Name
• Total mercury detected (ppt) • Laboratory detection limit (ppt)

Quaker Oatmeal to Go
• 350 • 80
Jack Daniel's Barbecue Sauce (Heinz) • 300 • 100
Hershey's Chocolate Syrup • 257 • 50
Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce • 200 • 100
Nutri‐Grain Strawberry Cereal Bars • 180 • 80
Manwich Bold Sloppy Joe • 150 • 80
Market Pantry Grape Jelly • 130 • 80
Smucker's Strawberry Jelly • 100 • 80
Pop‐Tarts Frosted Blueberry • 100 • 80
Hunt's Tomato Ketchup • 87 • 50
Wish‐Bone Western Sweet & Smooth • 72 • 50
Coca‐Cola Classic • 62 • 50
Yoplait Strawberry Yogurt • 60 • 20
Minute Maid Berry Punch • 40 • 30
Yoo‐hoo Chocolate Drink • 30 • 20
Nesquik Chocolate Milk • 30 • 20
Kemps Fat Free Chocolate Milk • 30 • 20

Dr. David Walligs, Director of food and health at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, who is a co-author of the mercury in high fructose corn syrup study, spoke on Democracy Now saying:
"Really at the core of it is that there are large chemical plants, chlorine alkali plants worldwide, that make a variety of chemicals, and many of them are used commonly in food production, including in the production of high-fructose corn syrup and some other things."
He continues saying:
"The caustic soda, for example, is integral to the production of high-fructose corn syrup. You can make caustic soda using mercury, or you can make it without using mercury. Unfortunately, we still have plants in the US, and even more abroad, that continue to use this outdated mercury technology that can contaminate the caustic soda with mercury. And that's what, in turn, we think, may be contaminating the high-fructose corn syrup. So, then-Senator Obama actually was a co-sponsor of Senate legislation in 2007 that would have phased out the use of mercury in making caustic soda in these plants, but theLink legislation never passed."

Mercury is used in the production of not only high fructose corn syrup but citric acid and sodium benzoate. Link

WHAT TO DO: Avoid products that contain high fructose corn syrup. Especially if high fructose corn syrup is the first or second ingredient. Limit processed foods and try to choose foods that have ingredients that your grandmother would recognize as food and you would use in your kitchen at home. If you do have food that contains chemicals try to have some fresh food with it.

Related posts:
Processed Food Versus Homemade Food
Fresh, Raw Food: An Important source of GLUTATHIONE


Jenny said...

Wow... unbelievable, thank you for posting this!! It's alarming!

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Our Family Is His said...

Yes. I got this article earlier this week and was disgusted. So, I did my research. It is now on my blog as a warning to anyone who reads it. We have pretty much cut HFCS out of our diets, but we had one or two things that we still used every once in a while (Dr. Peppers were our treat). We now don't drink any Mercury drinks (as my husband calls them now). Sigh. You just have to really read labels.

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Lynna Kay said...

Oh my! We eat tons of Kraft bbq sauce and Smucker's strawberry jelly. Now I don't know what to use! We love bbq and strawberry jelly...any suggestions?

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Our Family Is His said...

Check labels. There are lots without any HFCS. We use sugar free fruit spread (aka, jelly but they call it fruit spread and it's much more natural and healthy and... comes in strawberry). You can get this just right next to the plain old jelly on any grocery store aisle. I am looking for another BBQ (we don't use it often so I haven't gotten to taste many) and there are quite a few out there but I don't know which ones taste good.

I know it's not my blog, but I hope my experience helps.

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Neicole Teare said...

Bbq sauce can be made homemade using hfcsgf ketchup(annie's brand uses agave sweetener), brown sugar or agave, and mustard powder. If you can tolerate sugar honey works too.
Jam does come hcfs free but fairly expensive, so I recommend learning how to make freezer jam.

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