So much has been written lately about the difference between white sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Every time I read an article on the subject I can't help wondering why such a pointless argument is being raised. Both are chemically about the same and equally bad. It sure feels to me like the whole issue is just a smoke-screen that deflects and fails to address the real problem which is the percentage of sweetener found in any given recipe.
Manufactured food items such as soda, ketchup, ice cream, bread, soup, and so on all have a master recipe. I have personally worked on such recipes over the years. In these master recipes ingredients are listed by weight and percentage.
I can tell you that over time the percentage of sweeteners in these recipes get pushed up higher and higher. The reasons for this are simple. As peoples tastes grow accustomed and dulled to one level of sweetness, manufacturers just ramp up the percentage. Another reason is that sweeteners are cheaper than other ingredients. An example of this would be decreasing the amount of cocoa in a recipe and increasing the amount of sweetener. The manufacturer saves money and the consumer is just as happy.
I am obviously not the first person to realize this problem as the government is already talking about a "soda tax" to raise money for national health care. I happen to like this idea but wonder why they focus only on soda. I would argue that the tax should be based on the percentage of sweetener in a whole bunch of items. I would also give a tax incentive to items that are manufactured with a lower percentage of natural sweeteners.
If we are ever going to address and take control of the issue I believe that we need to determine and legislate an acceptable level of sweetener that can be allowed in soft drinks and other manufactured food products. Once we establish these levels we can work on slowly decreasing them over the years and eventually drop those percentages to an acceptable level.
In the meantime, over the last few years I have personally stopped eating anything made with any form of processed white sugar. When you decide to make this change you immediately knock many bad food choices out of your daily diet. Just imagine walking into a convenient store and trying to find something to eat.
As one who dislikes people who simply complain without offering real solutions, I have created a number of wonderful recipes that you may want to try. All of the over 200 recipes on this site follow the no white sugar philosophy and many great ideas can be found on the dessert page and also the snack page.