For the past few months I have had a strange obsession with English muffins. Something about them, maybe their perfect size for a snack, the fact that you can put jam on one half and butter on another, and/or their slightly chewy texture and nobbly appearance just call to me. I have been buying packages somewhat guiltily for while Thomas doesn't put transfats in their muffins, they do use high fructose corn syrup,* or so I thought.
At the grocery store last week I saw that siren song sign 'buy one get one free' under the English muffins. I couldn't resist and promptly pulled two plain packages (the sign expressly said 'plain variety only' or else cinnamon raisin and honey oat would have been my choices) off the shelf. I was shocked- but in a really good way- to see "now with no high fructose corn syrup" proclaimed in bold letters next to the Thomas logo! Now I can finally eat English muffins guilt free. It also gives me hope that if a huge company like Thomas can get rid of the high fructose, other companies might follow.
On a sidenote- does anyway have an English muffin recipe? I'm always wanted to try making them myself.
*High fructose corn syrup is a sugar syrup made from corn that has undergone processing to increase its fructose to glucose ratio and has a variety of industrial food uses including in soft drinks, candy and baked goods. It is much more prevalent in the US and Canada than other countries because of sugar prices supports and quotas on the ammount of sugar allowed into these two markets. This results in an increase in the price of cane sugar and as a result many manufacturers have turned to corn syrup because it is cheaper than cane sugar/syrup (because of the sugar quotas and agricultural subsides given to corn farmers in the US-- can you tell I'm taking an econ class this semester?).
What the problem with high fructose corn syrup? Well, according to which source you read maybe none, but it may make your blood sugar rise faster after consumption than sugar and could increase obesity. The research on these potential negative effects has been limited. My feeling- high fructose corn syrup is a heavily modified sweetener. I try to consume things in as close to their natural form as possible so I avoid it. No matter what your feeling on the matter, I think it's important to know the facts about what you're eating. A good place to start if you're more interested in this topic is (and I can't believe I'm citing this- Zach may actually drop dead- but it is actually a decently written article with citations and sourcing that seem legitimate) Wikipedia's article on the subject.