Food With Chemical Additives - What's in it For You?
A vision of Future Food
For a moment, let's imagine that a fictional yet ever-intrusive government seeking to protect everyone from themselves, passed a law forbidding people to use words like "cereal " or "bologna", by extending the truth in packaging and nutrition labeling to our everyday conversations.
We might, one day, be required by law to begin listing ingredients when we spoke about processed foods. We could begin to hear conversations like the following:
Chat With a Next Door Neighbor
"Hi, Bobbette! Haven't seen you for awhile . . .
"Come on over and have a hot cup of sugar, corn syrup solids, hydrogenated vegetable fat, sodium caseinate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium silico-aluminate, emulsifiers, artificial color, instant coffee, ....
. . . and . . .(breathing deeply) . . .
. . . cocoa processed with alkalai, ammonium carragenen, salt, and vanillin --an artificial flavoring-- with me, I shouted cheerily to my neighbor as she stepped out of her car and began unloading groceries.
"Oh, thanks," she said, " I''ll come over in a bit for the . . . what you said, but I was first just going to fix myself a quick sectioned and formed beef and pork, water, salt, corn syrup dextrose, flavorings, Hydrolized vegetable protein, Monosodium glutamate, ascorbic acid, oleoresin paprika, sodium nitrate . . . sandwich on . . . something.
"I was in such a rush this morning," she explained,
" I didn't even have time for a bowl of oat flour, wheat starch, sugar, salt, calcium carbonate, . . . sodium phosphate . . . sodium ascorbate, artificial color, . . . niacin, iron, gum acacia, . . .Vitamin A, palmitate, pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamin and, of course, BHT to preserve freshness!"
She was almost out of breath with reciting the legally required list of ingredients so well and so completely, that I didn't ask for any more details.
Cereal with yummy additives?
"Well," I said as she pulled another bag out of the car, "I know Monday mornings can be hectic.
"If I hadn't seen to it that my kids had a decent breakfast this morning they would have been off to school with no more than a glass of sugar, nonfat dry milk, cocoa, corn syrup, solids, vegetable fat, sodium silico Aluminate, Carboxmethyl 1, cellulose, soy protein isolate, sodium caseinate, salt and artificial flavor.
"Heaven knows they wouldn't get far on that."
"Right, on," she agreed, " If mine get up five minutes late they think they can just rush off with only a toasted slice of wheat flour, water, select wheat bran, whole wheat, rye, defatted flaxseed meal, sugar, vital wheat gluten, molasses, shortening, yeast, soy flour, honey, salt, whey solids, yeast nutrients, dough conditioners, calcium propitianate, calcium sulfate, ferric phosphate, , niacin, thiamine and riboflavin
"-- and then they spread it with a little partially hardened soybean and cottenseed oils, nonfat dry milk, and water, salt vegetable lecithin, vegetable mono and diglicerides, sodium benzoate, citric acid, artificial flavor and color with vitamin A palmitate and Beta carotine added.
"They think they can get through a busy morning on that."
On your next visit to the supermarket, compare similar products to get a better picture of ingredients. Chose your usual brand, and another one labeled as "organic" or "all natural". If you compare boxed macaroni and cheese brands, you might consider making the recipe from scratch.
"It's not exactly what I'd call a square meal," I agreed.
"How did you have time to fix breakfast for your kids this morning," she asked.
"Oh, simple," I said, "I just squeezed some oranges for juice and scrambled a few eggs."
She looked at me quizzically and disappeared inside her front door with the groceries.
I haven't seen Bobbette since the last time she came over to borrow a cup of monosodium glutamate.
I think she's avoiding me. Maybe I neglected to mention an important artificial ingredient?
If you ever make a homemade loaf or bread , or if you have ever thought of doing so, would you include a bunch of chemical ingredients, emulsifiers and preservatives?
Then why do we buy processed food products that sound like they have been formulated by mad scientists?