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Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Problem With Ketchup

A bottle of Heinz Ketchup.Image via Wikipedia
The UAE has been flooded recently with unwelcome little red guests and I'm not talking redback spiders here.

I'm talking Heinz ketchup from Pittsburgh.

I can almost see you doing the Scooby Doo 'HuuuUH'? at this point. Who cares where ketchup comes from, after all?

Well, me for a start. Because the Heinz Ketchup from Pittsburgh packs a whack of a processed food ingredient that really gets my goat - high fructose corn syrup, or HFCS to its friends. In fact, HFCS is the third largest ingredient by weight in the US version of the plate-side treat that we all know and love. It's why the ketchup is pleasingly gloopy, and yet its a highly processed, vile foodstuff that is 98% likely refined from genetically modified corn.

You'd not get away with this in Europe. And the 'standard' ketchup in the Middle East, made by Heinz' Egyptian subsidiary (it used to be a joint venture, but Heinz bought its partner out in 2009) actually uses sugar as a sweetener rather than the more controversial and dishonest HFCS. Why we're suddenly getting our ketchup in the UAE from Pittsburgh rather than Cairo is a mystery to me.

High Fructose Corn Syrup is nasty stuff. I've talked about it before over at the Fake Plastic blog - take a look, it's linked here and not pleasant reading.

So take a look at that ketchup bottle in your fridge. Just so's you know what you're eating. Or giving your kids to eat...
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4 comments:

Mme Cyn said...

I think we should ban HFCS from our food and use all that corn to power our cars instead. So there.

Slimseun said...

Interesting to note that big food makes version of their products without HFCS for certain jewish holidays. For example Coca cola makes a certain amount annually with sugar as a sweetener. They are sold out very quickly. If you see coke (2 litres) with a yellow cap or Pepsi with a white cap, it is kosher for passover. Doubt if you could find any of these anywhere in the gulf, though.

chefandsteward said...

I am with you 100% Please make it known that HCFS is poison! It is worse than sugar and in this country that has the 2nd highest diabetes rate worldwide, it is even more alarming. I may post a recipe for homemade low-carb ketchup for you!

Shereen said...

Just checked and we have the Philly version in our fridge! Doesn't mention HFCS as such but says 'natural flovoring'. Devious.