A Natural Belly

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My daughter walks into the kitchen like a drill sergeant as we are getting ready for dinner. “OK everyone!” she yells. “Belly check!” We all look at each other as she approaches my wife. “Shirt UP!” she commands. My wife tentatively raises her shirt to show her belly button. “CLEAR!” she yells. She inspects all of our bellies and then sits down for dinner. “I’m hungry,” she says, now satisfied. We’re all still standing. “And what was that about?” I say. She looks up. “Gotta make sure there’s nothing weird in your belly button,” she says as if I should have known.

Knowing that something is natural and not weird in your belly is important these days. Two recent studies—both about High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)— show us all how important eating natural and whole foods really is. Earlier this month a Duke University Medical Center study found that high consumption of high fructose corn syrup is associated with liver scarring, or fibrosis, similar to the damage caused by heavy alcohol consumption. A pair of studies found mercury in both commercial samples of HFCS and in grocery products containing HFCS. The study published in the online journal Environmental Health found mercury in nearly 50% of commercial HFCS samples. The Corn Refiners Association responded by saying the studies were confusing to consumers. “Fructose, or ”˜fruit sugar,’ is safe and is commonly found in fruits, vegetables, fruit juices, table sugar, honey, high fructose corn syrup, and maple syrup,” said their statement. In regards to the mercury study, the industry trade group refuted the findings. "This study appears to be based on outdated information of dubious significance," said CRA president Audrae Erickson. "Our industry has used mercury-free versions of the two re-agents mentioned in the study, hydrochloric acid and caustic soda, for several years. These mercury-free re-agents perform important functions, including adjusting pH balances." On the one hand, the corn syrup industry wants us to believe that HFCS is the same as fruit sugar, yet it is highly processed with items such as hydrochloric acid and caustic soda. High fructose corn syrup does not grow on trees. It does not occur naturally. Implying that it is the same as naturally occurring sugar in fruit is just plain wrong. More and more studies point to the harm HFCS can do to our bodies. What’s a person to do when HFCS is in so much of the food products today? Read labels. Eat simple. Avoid HFCS and reach for that orange rather than that orange soda in the afternoon.

To see what really grew on a tree and is now in your fruit mix, go to www.fruitguys.com and click on the ladybug icon. Enjoy and be fruitful!

- Chris Mittelstaedt chris@fruitguys.com


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Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.