Re: Good stuff.
the prevalence of high fructose corn syrup as a sugar substitute in the States
You are not travelling enough - it is not just in the States any more. There has been a concerted effort to "infect" the food industry to use it nearly exclusively as a sugar substitute in the Middle East, third world and Eastern Europe. It is exported in fairly large quantities now.
Just go into a supermarket in let's say Saudi or Romania next time and read the label on a Fanta, Bitter Lemon or Tonic. Compare to German or UK label.