Pollan says: “Ethoxylated diglycerides? Celluose? Xanthan gum? Calcium propionate? Ammonium sulfate? If you wouldn’t cook with them yourself, why let others use these ingredients to cook for you? The food scientists’ chemistry set is designed to extend shelf life, make old food look fresher and more appetizing than it really is, and get you to eat more. Whether or not any of these additives pose a proven hazard to your health, many of them haven’t been eaten by humans for very long, so they are best avoided.”
I’m reminded of Eric Schlosser’s book Fast Food Nation in which he lists the 48 (yes 48!) ingredients found in a typical commercial strawberry flavoring such as that used in a Burger King Strawberry Milkshake. Chemical ingredients like: amyl butyrate, hydroxyphenyl-2-butanone, 4-methylacetophenone, methyl anthranilate, isobutyl butyrate . . . and so on like that. Of the 48 ingredients on that list, I can pronounce maybe four! (Schlosser p.125-6).
Actually a bag of frozen organic strawberries, some organic non-homogenized 1% milk, and raw honey tossed in a blender make a wonderful strawberry milk-shake (and only 3 ingredients!). Add in some toasted wheat germ for extra body and nutrition.
The tips are courtesy of Michael Pollan’s book Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual. New York: Penguin, 2009.
Happy, Healthy Eating!