It's sort of horrifying, first of all, to read the ingredients, but somehow fun to go to the appendix and find out what the mystery product is. Many times I've been able to guess, but there are actually products out there with so many fake "foods" and convoluted-sounding additives that the actual item is really camouflaged. To think, we're eating this stuff!
A better headline to the sidebar might be: Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid!
Recently I was on the road for a few hours with some of my family and we stopped at a popular fried chicken eatery. I just plain won't eat a lot of fast food, but I was hungry, and it smelled good, and we were far from home....you get the idea. I don't eat biscuits, but might have been tempted if they'd had real butter--which, of course, was nowhere to be seen. Instead, there was a "buttery spread," full of hydrogenated oils and lots of other unhealthy things. What really got me, though, was the "honey" sauce. Check out the ingredients to what should be a fully natural and single ingredient item:
(Fried-Chicken Fast Food Place) Honey Sauce
High fructose corn syrup
Honey (hooray! There's some in there)
Natural and Artificial Flavor
From what I've read, "natural and artificial flavor" could mean MSG--by another name, so even this ingredient is suspect.
Notice the first ingredient? I've been on a crusade of sorts to abolish high fructose corn syrup from my home since last year, and it's absolutely amazing how many items in the grocery store contain it. Once you start reading labels, you'll see what I mean. I have one daughter who loves soda, and, even though I've convinced her not to drink diet types, she still asks for the regular type, especially coke. I didn't realize until I started checking labels that not even soda is sweetened with real sugar, however. So, even if you avoid the artificial sweeteners, you can't avoid high fructose corn syrup if you buy most brands, even the big names.
I'm not saying that soda--or sugar--is good for you, mind you, but I'd get her soda with sugar on occasion (if it was readily available. Maybe it's good it isn't!) whereas I won't buy the diet or HFCS ones. Now and then I'd like a soda myself, and guess what--there's a solution! I drink ZEVIA--it's soda sweetened with all-natural, zero calorie stevia. SO glad they came out with this! But it's pricey, so having a can of soda only occasionally works out well. My daughter knows that if she wants a can of soda, she's got to earn it.
Before I go, here's an interesting article I read recently about this subject of what's in our foods. :
Do Healthy Processed Foods Exist?
(If you enjoy this article, click the link to high fructose corn syrup (above) and let Dr. Mercola explain how bad this stuff is.)
All of this reminds me why, when I go to a grocery store, my mantra could be: Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid! (Read labels!)
What about you? Have you taken any steps to put your family on a course towards better eating? I'm working on a free pdf called, "The Top Ten Easiest and Pain-Free Ways to Improve Your Family's Diet and Health."
Watch for it, coming soon. :)
And don't forget to enter this month's free giveaway by leaving a comment!