Thursday, January 29, 2009


I became aware today of a building debate about mercury being present in some High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). Now, I'm not a fan of HFCS. The main reason is that for a period of several months I attempted to eliminate all corn from my diet. Have you ever thought about that? Next time you go shopping, check out the labels---just about every processed food you buy has corn in it. At the time, this was greatly frustrating. Then, I read Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan and started to educate myself about US agricultural policies, and how they affect our farming. At that point I started to get mad. Then, the Corn Refiner's Association (there's an unbiased source for ya) started this whole campaign to let us all know that HFCS is actually GOOD for us. To me (and a lot of my friends) the whole campaign is creepy, but I'm sure they'll use a large budget to repeat the message enough times so it starts to sink in and people start believing it. Marketing 101.

This all ties into a frugal topic that came up today. We ended up making some pancakes, but were out of high fructose corn syrup....errrr--I mean, pancake syrup. Actually having a forest of maple trees nearby would be the most natural food choice, but since that's not gonna happen, I made pancake syrup from water, brown sugar and butter. It was really easy:

2/3 cup water
1 1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp butter

Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Let cool, serve warm.

This made about a cup. I put the left-over in a half-pint jar and put it in the fridge. I'm assuming I'll be able to heat it later and use it again. I'm thinking it'd be nice to make up a batch and can it. It seems doable, along the lines of jam or fruit in heavy syrup, but I can't find anything definitive about the safety of it, if it'll stay as a syrup, or what processing time should be used. If anyone knows, let me know!

While I'm on the topic of farming practices, there was an interesting article in this issue of Mother Earth News about The Hidden Link Between Factory Farms and Human Illness. On page 5 of the web article, they even mention a study that links a "multi-state outbreak of urinary tract infections among women in 1999 and 2000 to contamination with a single strain of drug-resistant E. coli found in cows".

1 comment:

Cottonpickinfarm said...

Yes in deed, you can use the rest later. I take mine from the fridge, remove the mason jar lid; place it in a saucepan of cold water and then turn the heat to medium. Then I start making my pancakes.

If you check out my blog (, I have a recipe for Buttery Rum Syrup that is heaven on Banana Pancakes!

We are in Washington State, so gardening season isn't even close, but I'm beating my cabin fever, and Snow sickness by reading your blog, and dreaming. Thank you. It really helps.

God Bless

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