Friday, March 19, 2010

Weighing the sweeteners

Sugar or high fructose corn syrup? For some it's a matter of health, for others, it's flavorSarah Higgins stocks up on kosher-for- Passover Coke this time of year, and even though she's not Jewish, her shopping habits are a matter of faith.

She believes in sugar.

And the high-fructose corn syrup that sweetens regular soda?

"It is the devil," said Higgins, 30, of Owings Mills. "It's in everything. If you were to go to your fridge right now, it has corn syrup in everything. It's in A-1. It's in salad dressing. I spend so much time in the supermarket - flip it over, if it has high-fructose corn syrup in it, it's not going in the basket."

Books, movies and news articles linking America's obesity epidemic to high-fructose corn syrup have made consumers increasingly wary of the sweetener. Some food manufacturers are responding by switching back to sugar in some products, including Heinz ketchup and Wheat Thins.

The change is most visible in the realm of highly sweetened, highly advertised beverages. From Pepsi Throwback and Heritage Dr Pepper to Gatorade and Snapple, sugar is making a comeback - if only in hype-seeking "limited edition" batches.

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