Letters to the Editor

Jul 1, 2009 at 12:00 am

Ditch Mitch

In a recent online column, Jason Whitlock wrote that "no one writes unintentional fiction as profitably or award-winningly as Albom." The truth is that he hasn't written a piece of relevant journalism in years, and Lessenberry isn't the first to call him out on it ("Time to honor," May 20). Back about six years ago, a local website called the Detroitsportsrag.com started punching holes in Mitch's side (along with Drew Sharp and the horrendous Rob Parker). So much so that the Free Press threatened legal action against it. 

Albom's days are numbered. One of the letters in response to the May 20 column ("Albom review," June 3) said that Condensending Boggins' couldn't hold Mike Downey's pen. Well, Downey has been out of a job since December, when the Chicago Tribune let him go. And yet, Detroit is stuck with a gaggle of know-nothing columnists who wouldn't know the difference between fact and fiction.

If Albom had any dignity, he'd stick to writing semi-decent schlok and allow someone else to write about sports. Real sports. —Kent Anderson, Sterling Heights

Spinning the corn

In response to a letter from Audrae Erickson, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Corn Refiners Association, who had commented on our May 27 article "Back to basics," "Nicolai1692" posted:

Audrae Erickson is right, the statement that high-fructose corn syrup is an unhealthy ingredient is indeed misleading. It should have been said that it's an industrially produced toxin that has no place in the food chain. Tsk, tsk, MT, you should be more accurate with your descriptions. 

The claim that "high-fructose corn syrup is compositionally similar to sucrose," is complete and utter bollocks spouted by the corn industry. "Compositionally similar" is an interesting phrase: Carbon monoxide is compositionally similar to carbon dioxide. Hydrogen peroxide is compositionally similar to water. "Compositionally similar" doesn't mean "interchangeable." 

Next time you see high-fructose corn syrup on a label (and let's be honest, it will be on that label more likely than not) and are thinking about buying it (given a choice), consider the process used to produce that sweetener: High-fructose corn syrup is produced by milling corn to produce corn starch, then processing the corn starch to yield corn syrup, which is almost entirely glucose, and then adding enzymes which change the glucose into fructose. The resulting syrup (after enzyme conversion) contains approximately 90 percent fructose and is HFCS 90. The 90-percent fructose is then back-blended with 42 percent fructose to achieve a 55-percent fructose final product. Most manufacturers use carbon absorption for impurity removal. Numerous filtration, ion-exchange and evaporation steps are also part of the overall process. Mmmm, tasty!