Are you buying commercial maple syrup? Have you read the ingredients? We have been trained to read the nutritional label and count calories, sugar, and fat grams. Look down in the ‘fine print’ at the list of ingredients. That is what I want to know. What am I eating? What am I feeding my children?
MRS. BUTTERWORTH’S, LITTLE DUNKERS SYRUP CUPS, ORIGINAL
INGREDIENTS: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Water, Salt, Cellulose Gum, Molasses, Potassium Sorbate, (Preservative) Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Citric Acid, Caramel Color, Natural Flavors, and Artificial Flavors.
AUNT JEMIMA, SYRUP, ORIGINAL
INGREDIENTS: Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Water, Cellulose Gum, Caramel Color, Salt, Sodium Benzoate, and Sorbic Acid. (Preservatives) Artificial Flavors, and Natural Flavors, Sodium Hexametaphosphate.
LOG CABIN, ORIGINAL SYRUP
INGREDIENTS: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Sugar Syrup, Water, Pure Maple Syrup, Salt, Artificial Flavors, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Sodium Benzoate, and Sorbic Acid, (Preservatives) Caramel Color.
I am going to just briefly cover a couple of the ingredients in these common products. What is wrong with High Fructose Corn Syrup?
Prolonged fructose consumption may contribute to the development of metabolic syndrome, a combination of medical disorders that, when occurring together, increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Read more here.
Consuming fructose-sweetened, not glucose-sweetened, beverages increases visceral adiposity and lipids and decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight/obese humans. Read more here.
A recent study has found that adults who consumed high fructose corn syrup for two weeks as 25 percent of their daily calorie requirement had increased blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, which have been shown to be indicators of increased risk for heart disease.
Most of the corn now grown in the USA is GMO. GMO’s are banned in 60 developed countries, they do not consider them safe for consumption.
Did you have too much Sodium Benzoate?
It is used mainly as a food preservative, but is also found in cosmetics, dyes, pharmaceuticals, and in industrial settings. When combined with ascorbic acid — also known as vitamin C or citric acid — the preservative converts to benzene, a carcinogen reported to cause leukemia, DNA damage, damage to mitochondria in cells, cell death and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Since many people consume processed foods on a regular basis and the preservative is usually unnoticed in most diets, benzene levels may be very high.
Or, Potassium Sorbate…
Those who consume large amounts of food containing potassium sorbate may suffer from diarrhea which can cause them to deplete the nutrient value in their system. In lesser cases, the patient may suffer from nausea as your body becomes overwhelmed with the amount of potassium in your system. Those who frequently use cosmetic products that have potassium sorbate as a preservative can experience rashes or irritation if their body becomes overexposed to the drug. It can also cause irritation to the eyes if it comes in contact with them.
Pure Maple Syrup
We love our pure Michigan Maple Syrup. We love the man that joyfully, and precisely, cooks that maple sap until it becomes rich, thick, delicious maple syrup! All summer long, he splits the wood that heats the evaporator to just the right temperature to make medium amber syrup. Syrup season, as I call it, starts when the temperature is above freezing during the day and continues as long as it freezes during the night. It is a very short season. Michigan sap is not a sweet as sap from Vermont. Here it takes approximately 60 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup and several hours of cooking. That should give you a whole new appreciation for a bottle of pure maple syrup.
I use it in the obvious places, pancakes and french toast. We also enjoy it in yogurt, kefir, overnight oatmeal, stovetop oatmeal, smoothies, coffee, ice cream, chocolate chip cookies. Maple syrup makes a wonderful caramel. Depending on how hot I get it, I can make a sauce for ice cream or chewy for turtles. I need to stop! I am making myself hungry for sweets!
What is in pure maple syrup? Well, just maple syrup! And vitamins, minerials, and amino acids which are the building blocks for protein. The majority of the minerals making up pure maple syrup are potassium, calcium, magnesium, and manganese. Minerals provide both specific and nonspecific roles in the body. The vitamins present in pure maple syrup are PP (Niacin), B5 (Pantothenic Acid), B2 (Riboflavin), Folic Acid, B6 (Pyridoxine), Biotin, and Vitamin A. Vitamins are essential, organic nutrients that serve as as helpers in cell functions. More on vitamin and mineral function in maple syrup, here.
When I consider all that we use it for, and the nutrition it offers, it is worth every penny! I am a buyer of what is in season. I buy enough (hopefully) to last us the year. Maple Syrup is the first staple of the year to be re-stocked. The season will be here soon. It’s a good time to set some money aside and plan to buy a couple quarts of pure maple syrup.