Senator McCain

I am not a Republican.  I am not a Democrat.  I am non-partisan.  I can make my own choices and do not need a group to tell me how to feel or think.  I can do that fine on my own.

During the 2000’s I discovered that I was having health problems, so I decided since we didn’t have much money for doctor visits and had sporadic healthcare that I would make healthy changes on my own.  One of the things I decided to remove from my diet was High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).  I had to throw away a lot of food items.  I was shocked how this stuff had been added to so many things for no apparent reason.  I also discovered to my dismay that I was actually addicted to the product.  I craved it like I was starving to death.  I had never had any addiction before to anything and this was quite new and very disturbing.  To honestly feel as if one is starving to the point of becoming angry is…..disturbing.  Why would anyone put this into their product?  Did they know what it was doing? How could the FDA approve of such a product?

I started writing to manufacturers of my favorite products such as Pepsi, Dreyer’s Ice Cream, various breakfast cereal companies, and Nabisco Oreo Cookies.  One never got a satisfying reply from any of these companies, but for every person willing to ask or show concern, there about 99 others thinking the same thing but are too lazy to write.  So I did.  I tried to increase the knowledge of others about this product.  I even posted a collected page of pdf articles on my own website that discussed what High Fructose Corn Syrup was.

It is the Internet, and one can say just about anything, so I collected various sources to show the different perspectives of the product.  And during this time I fought with the strange addictive qualities that would pop up from time to time.  (It took over a year to get the stuff out of my body.)  Absolute hunger for no reason and nothing would satiate that feeling……except something with High Fructose Corn Syrup in it.

Then Hurricane Katrina happened.  The stories of the strange desperation and violence that was shed upon the victims of the storm.  Over a 1000 people died from that storm.  And the stories in the news about the violence was disturbing.  It was often said that many of the victims were poor people.  And during that time many poor people would buy fast food such as burgers, french fries, fried chicken, pizza, and so forth because at the time it was pretty affordable.  I know.  My husband and I used to by the $1 Burger King Whoopers during the early 90’s because we didn’t have much money to spend on food.  So we did what we could.  I am sure the food in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina did the same thing.  I also had to give up eating fast food because the High Fructose Corn Syrup was in the ketchup, the fries, the buns,  even the meat sometimes, the sauces, the pickles, and the sodas…..  I actually made the mistake of eating fast food during this time because we were helping a friend move and the only place to eat was McDonalds.   We were in an isolated small town.   I felt strange after about a half hour of eating the food and then my legs and feet swelled and my stomach felt wrong.  I could not go to the doctor because at that time I didn’t have healthcare.  I also don’t think the doctors would have understood what happened.  I stayed in that condition for two whole months.  It was awful.  There was something in the food.  (We now suspect it wasn’t just HFCS but also MSG and high salt content that contributed to this extreme body change.)  But imagine how powerful these chemicals are on one’s body to have that kind of affect.

So back to Hurricane Katrina….I started thinking about how the people behaved angrily and violently as if they had a right to do what they did.  Some complained on TV that they were starving.  Some of these people that complained were very overweight.  An overweight person should have calories to burn in difficult situations unless their stomach and brain was telling them something else.  They were all more than likely addicted to High Fructose Corn Syrup.  It wasn’t that they were fat pigs or stupid poor people….they were suffering from an addiction that they were not even aware of.  The relief workers were probably handing them bottles of fresh clean water that could not satiate their thirst for HFCS.

When this realization came to me, I decided to write to someone in the public service that would understand suffering and have some kind of power to say or do something.  I wrote to Senator John McCain.  He was not my state senator.  He was one of the candidates for President, but he had the right stuff to be able understand my concern.    I knew other people were worried about this stuff as well, but no one was listening.  The High Fructose Corn Syrup lobbyists were obviously very powerful and they actually tried to change the name of their product at one point, which was after I got my letter out and things started to happen.

Now I am not saying that my letter was the only one that mattered or that I know for sure that Senator McCain did something about the problem.  I just know that about six months after I sent that letter I started seeing bread with marketing blurbs on their product saying no HFCS.  It started to grow from there.  I like to think that in some small way I helped to get the word out and that Senator John McCain or someone in his staff helped in some manner to make the citizens of this country a bit more healthy.  Something changed for the better.

High Fructose Corn Syrup is not allowed in Europe.  It is also illegal in Mexico as well.  That is why there is “Mexican Coke” products.  I don’t have the cravings anymore, but I still have problems with my body knowing when I am full and when to stop eating.  Something was damaged by the chemicals in that product, and I am stuck with it….as far as I know.  I just have to consciously monitor how much I eat.

G. Winkler ©2018


Gretchen Winkler is a Writer, Artist, Radio Show Co-Host on User Friendly 2.0, Cosplayer/Designer, and ordered Knight. She is currently working on several Star Wars novel projects and does editing and proof reading for Bill Sikkens & KPAM the Answer Portland radio. For the past 20 years she has authored several informational websites, started several technical companies, and has been an avid student of art, literature, history, technology.

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Posted in Culture, current events, Inspiration
One comment on “Senator McCain
  1. A very nice article on high fructose corn syrup and the health implications it has. I’m proud to hear someone taking a stand on the subject and having the data to go with it.


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