There’s something very American about turning corn into high fructose corn syrup and then turning that high fructose corn syrup into candy corn, the Hallowe’en treat.
“Candy is part of the field ration and sweets are served generously to our armed forces everywhere. Sweets served in war plants have greatly stepped up human energy and production,” claims the ad.
“There are 120 calories per ounce in Karo — almost twice the energy value of eggs and lean beef, weight for weight . . . Serve plenty of Karo; keep the children strong, healthy and happy.” [Nowadays we would call those “empty calories.” Who knew? Karo would gladly send you free nutritional advice on “The Food of the Infant and Growing Child.”]
In 1937, the Dionne Quintuplets were used to endorse all sorts of products. Surely they owed their healthy appearance to Karo Syrup:
The 1930 Karo ad assured parents that “Karo, doctors have found, does not cause a child to develop an abnormal taste for sweets.” I’m surprised not to have found an ad claiming that 4 out of 5 dentists recommend candy for children.
“Tooth decay and mild-to-severe gum troubles are found in nearly four out of five American children, records show.”
I’m probably just jealous of all those kids whose parents believed the ads saying that candy was good for them; my parents only allowed candy in the house at Christmas, Easter, and Halloween. (I wasn’t happy about it then, but, perhaps coincidentally, I’m now a senior citizen with a full set of healthy teeth. Thanks, Mom.)