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Published: Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 10:17 a.m.

Sizing up sugars with science

  • Photo by Jenny Bardsley

  • Photo by Jenny Bardsley

My son's third grade class recently had a Science Fair. It looked like so much fun I decided moms should get to do a science experiment, too. So I headed to Fred Myer and bought two brand new hummingbird feeders. I also purchased Pure Cane C&H sugar, as well as the store brand.

It didn't explicitly say so on the package, but I assumed the uber-cheap store brand was GMO sugar from beets.

I mixed up the hummingbird food with the ratio of 1/3 cup sugar to 1 cup water. I also added a few drops of red food dye, which I normally don't do. Since I was "launching" two new feeders, I wanted to make sure and get the birds' attention.

Then I set the feeders in my tree and waited. The GMO feeder was on the left, and the Pure Cane C&H sugar feeder was on the right. After one week, I was shocked.

The birds didn't like the GMO feeder!

Okay, I know what you're thinking. Maybe the hummingbirds like the GMO sugar, but just not as much as the other one.

Wrong!

Three weeks later I had emptied, bleached out, and refilled the feeders three times. The birds still refused to eat from the feeder they knew to be GMO.

I've tried filling up the "bad" feeder with "good" sugar, and the birds still avoid it like the plague. They won't go near it at all.

That, my friends, really freaks me out. If hummingbirds won't eat the stuff, then why would I feed it to my kids?

Story tags » Parenting

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