Free Email Newsletter

Monday, September 18, 2017

What Happened to High-Fructose Corn Syrup?

By Andrea Donsky

What happens when you have a product that gets a lot of bad press, and is associated with significant health issues? You change its name so people are “fooled” into thinking the old product is gone. That is what happened with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

It should be avoided at all costs because it can lead to insulin resistance, obesity, and heart disease. In fact, a recent report from an international team of experts noted that “fructose-containing added sugars, such as sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup, have been experimentally, epidemiologically, and clinically shown to be involved in the current epidemics of obesity and diabetes.” So what I’m about to tell you makes HFCS a bit scarier.

The Food and Drug Administration is allowing food makers to change the name of HFCS to something that sounds safe: “natural sweetener.” So now when you read a food label and no longer see "high-fructose corn syrup" listed in the ingredients, you might think you’re home free...but keep reading...because you're now likely to see the words “natural sweetener” instead. That’s the NEW name for HFCS, which contains about 42 to 55 percent fructose and 58 to 45 percent glucose.

Read about 6 surprising places you’ll find high fructose corn syrup
You also may see the word “fructose” on the label. This is the term now being used to describe a product that was known previously as HFCS-90 (90% fructose). Since fructose is found naturally in fresh fruits, use of this term makes the food item sound much healthier, which it is not! The fructose in fruits is accompanied by vitamins, minerals, fiber, and enzymes; the fructose that’s added to processed foods (that is really HFCS) is not.

So if you see a product with the words “fructose” or “natural sweetener” on the ingredient panel, it could be high-fructose corn syrup in disguise. If you find this in your favourite products, you have a few choices: you can contact the food manufacturer and ask whether high-fructose corn syrup is still being used in their product, you can buy products only from makers you trust are not using high-fructose corn syrup in disguise, or you can choose to not buy the product at all (personally, I'd opt for the third choice).

Now here is the Label Loophole: Since HFCS underwent a legal name change, food producers can legitimately say a product with HFCS-90, for example, is “high-fructose corn syrup-free.”

To add more drama to the situation, you also should be aware that HFCS may appear in foods under other names as well, including crystalline fructose, fruit fructose, glucose/fructose (syrup), glucose syrup, maize syrup, and tapioca syrup.

How high-fructose corn syrup affects health

High-fructose corn syrup has been associated with a number of significant health risks. Mark Hyman, MD, explains that when we consume fructose, it travels directly to the liver and sets off the production of cholesterol and triglycerides, which are involved in liver damage and the development of fatty liver. The glucose is absorbed rapidly and leads to significant spikes in insulin. The body’s responses to both fructose and glucose are associated with metabolic issues that result in weight gain, diabetes, cancer, dementia, heart disease, and more.

Read about if high fructose corn syrup is connected to autism?
Hyman also notes that free fructose from HFCS has an impact on the body that can result in a compromised intestinal membrane, sometimes known as a leaky gut. This situation can result in an immune response and chronic inflammation, which are also associated with the health problems listed above.

High-fructose corn syrup also may contain toxic substances, such as mercury. These factors may be the result of the use of chlor-alkali products during the manufacturing process.

Foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup are typically processed, of low quality and nutritional value, and full of empty calories. Eliminating such foods from your diet and turning to whole, natural foods instead can provide a nutritional boost and improve overall health.


Dmitry B. High fructose corn syrup has been quietly, deceitfully renamed. News Punch 2017 May 22
Goodrich A. Food companies hiding harmful high fructose corn syrup under new name. Natural News 2016 Dec 12.
Hyman M MD. 5 reasons high fructose corn syrup will kill you.
Johnson RJ et al. Perspective: a historical and scientific perspective of sugar and its relation with obesity and diabetes. Advances in Nutrition 2017 May 15; 8(3): 412-22

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Austin is Pioneering a Mobility Revolution

Every city has this issue, but Austin’s is certainly among the top among surveys that measure congestion and related issues. They’re among the worst. Not only do they have a problem; they knew their problem was growing faster than they could keep up with.

With an estimated 450,000 people using city roads daily, transit is an enormous challenge. Austin officials, understandably, have been working on solutions. 

Things started coming together when Rocky Mountain Institute, a Colo.-based think tank on energy and transportation, began looking for a place to put its vision for transformational mobility change into practice. After a search that began in 2014 with 1,000 potential cities, RMI choose Austin as its proving ground.

RMI’s legion of out-of-the-box thinkers are at the helm of a mobility revolution in a city where individual vehicles have ruled the road. By shifting from transportation based on fossil-fueled personal vehicles to a system with options — shared, electrified and autonomous — the aim is for Austin to be a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions city by 2050 as it gets a handle on traffic congestion. 

To read the full story and to follow their progress. Click HERE.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

No Fuel or Recharging Stations. Completely Solar Powered

The cross-country road trip is as American as apple pie. Which is why it’s so ironic that the latest motorhome innovation comes from overseas in Germany, where a new, electric motorhome has been unveiled by RV company Dethleffs. This motorhome is built for the open road, with a sleek design and head-to-toe solar panels so you never have to worry about finding the next charging station.

That's right: The open road is officially calling.

Where we’re going, we don’t need charging stations.

The transportation industry is being flipped on its head by taking two of the most basic essentials—the driving experience and fuel—out of the equation entirely.

Self-driving vehicles and rechargeable technology is changing the landscape of driving. That market has been expanding beyond everyday vehicles with advances in things like electric-powered semi trucks. And we’ve seen the rise (and possible peak) of the tiny home market, where solar panels and other green technology is often utilized.

But motorhomes have been largely left out of this discussion. That’s for understandable reasons. A vehicle synonymous with the wide-open road (and, inherently at odds with the idea of frequent EV charging stations) has no obvious place in the electric market. Until now.

This is not just any electric vehicle.

Keeping a motorhome and all its components powered up requires an extensive amount of energy. To meet that requirement, Dethleffs has covered virtually every inch of the e.home with solar panels, similar to the European school with solar panels slathered on all its exterior walls. The RV is built on the company’s Iveco Daily Electric chassis with a 107-horsepower electric motor. The motorhome would have a range just shy of 100 miles if it wasn’t covered in solar panels, but it is. Those babies can make up to 3,000 watts of electricity for its 228-Ah battery. In other words, you’re all good to just keep on going.

The e.home is covered in solar panels and stars.

The e.home utilizes Victron Energy products for the solar kit, including solar charge controllers, an inverter/charger for AC electricity and to charge the lithium batteries, ancillaries, and a DC-DC converter to supply charge stations for phones, laptops and the like.

The motorhome also features a sleek and modern design; circular wireless charging station; infrared heating panels on interior floors, furniture and walls; windows with darkening film between the panes; and a heating system that captures outside air on days warmer then 79 degrees, then sends it into the main cabin when the evening’s cooler air sets in.

Oh yeah—and a starlight projection system over the alcove bed.

“Dethleffs know this means a lot more than just putting bodywork on an electrically driven chassis,” Dethleffs Managing Director, Alexander Leopold, said in a Victron Energy release. “By implementing a fully electric powertrain there are many challenges and equally opportunities for the entire vehicle. One significant opportunity is to do without any additional type of energy sources for the vehicle. This means that a motorhome with electric drive will also supply all the onboard services with electricity for the living area instead of gas, for example – and that is why solar power production becomes very important.”

No word yet on pre-orders or estimated cost, but this is absolutely an exciting step in the right direction.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Why You Should Live in a Van

 . . . . live in a what?I know that sounds little tongue in cheekish, but most people live their lives in the same place their entire life -- same town, same neighborhood, same house. Once in while they take the typical "2 week" vacation, but hurry back to tell their friends what a great time had they had -- at DisneyLand and to mow the grass. They never really break away, or do anything completely off the chart.

This lifestyle is obviously not for everybody. And some have already quit reading. But many are breaking away from their so-called "normal" life, downsizing and finding out what it's really like to be free. And it's not just young people with a trust fund waiting, but older, retired people who aren't ready to be wired up for oxygen. But why a Van? READ >>

Some people spend 14 years of their lives like this. Some life.

The Basics of Life

  By Willard “Woody” Michels Guest Blogger A couple years ago a man named Gabriel Sherman wrote a book, “The Loudest Voice in the Room.” Th...