Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sour Cream

Here’s yet another example of how important it is to read labels!!! The Great Value Lite brand of sour cream has the following ingredients – cultured milk, cream, nonfat dry milk, modified cornstarch, maltodextrin, sodium phosphate, carrageenan, carob bean gum, potassium sorbate, vitamin A palmitate, with a warning that it may contain eggs. MAY contain eggs? Do they not know if it contains eggs? The Daisy brand of sour cream’s ingredient is grade A cultured cream. That’s it. One ingredient. The consumer has been led to believe that buying Lite brands is a healthier choice when that isn’t true. Package labeling is a powerful marketing tool used by food manufacturers to entice consumers to buy the product.

In Michael Pollan's book "Food Rules," he explains it like this:
"The 40-year-old campaign to create low-fat and nonfat versions of traditional foods have been a failure: We've gotten fat on low-fat products. Why? Because removing the fat from foods doesn't necessarily make them nonfattening. Carbohydrates can also make you fat, and many low- and nonfat foods boost the sugars to make up for the loss of flavor ... You're better off eating the real thing in moderation than bingeing on 'lite' food products packed with sugars and salt."

I looked up the ingredient carrageenan in Wikipedia and found a very long scientific explanation that I didn’t understand completely. In short, it is a red seaweed extract and is used in a gelling nature. My first thought was – well it comes from seaweed so I would think it is a fairly ‘natural’ food. I found it interesting that the uses include ice cream, condensed milks, beer, processed meats (to increase volume and improve sliceability), toothpaste (a stabilizer to prevent separating), fire fighting foam (a thickener to cause foam to become sticky) and air fresheners. It’s a little disturbing to me that it can be used in ice cream and yet be used in fire fighting foam.

*thought for the day*
Mosquitoes remind us that we are not as high up on the food chain as we thought.

No comments:

Post a Comment