Everything is sweet, these days. And that's not a good thing.
Breads. Sauces. Beans. Pizzas. Any pre-packaged food you look at, these days, it seems to have corn sweetener in it. Sometimes it's just stupid-- who the hell wants corn syrup in their picante salsa?!?
Part of the issue is that sugar is a preservative. It's a joke how many foods have "No Preservatives" on the packaging, but the top ten ingredients will note corn syrups, salt, and modified fats, the likes of which Mother Nature never heard of.
The other part seems to be that, in small doses, sweeter foods seem to taste better. "Well what's wrong with that?" you might ask. Hear me out.
As a poor kid in college, I used to occasionally run down to the food labs at the local university, where they would give you three slightly different versions of chips, crackers, juice, or whatnot, and I would taste them and rate different qualities about them ("Crispiness?" "Tangyness?") from 1 to 10. The samples were usually about the size of a souffle cup, such as what you would get some ketchup in to dunk your french fries when dining in at a fast food joint. They were mighty small. And here's the thing-- food tastes different in smaller servings. Think about the old "Pepsi Challenge." Ever take it? I did, several times. I consistently picked the PepsiCola, even though I personally preferred Coca Cola as a drink. The secret was in the serving size-- it was about 1 oz. The Pepsi was sweeter. In a tiny dose, it was better.
But who eats that way? A quarter ounce of Cheetos. A jigger of cola. I don't, and I don't care if you're Kate frickin' Moss-- you don't either.
As I get older, food just plain tastes too sweet, anyway. I don't need more sweetening in it. Not to mention, why are we packing my food full of simple sugars that don't do my waistline or my friends and family with diabetes any damned good?
So when I read Tamara's jeer on how government subsidies on corn may be messing up the market, my first thought was "at least if they're putting it in my gas tank, they're not putting it in my food." (Or my beer. Do you have any idea how few American beers actually use barley malt, these days?)