Know Your Food!
An acquaintance of mine recently posted on Facebook.com a little experiment of his:
Good morning people : ))
I would like to start your day with some “food” for thought.
We know that “Food” is the Fuel for the human body. Would you pour a mixture of Used Cooking Oil in your gas tank the next time you have to fill it up knowing that it is cheaper than gasoline? (( probably not bc in the long run you know it will destroy your car’s engine))
If you have “ANY” doubts that we are eating “cheap chemicals” vs. actual food, (even when it say “natural”) just look at these pictures I took this morning.
This bread has been sitting out since the day I bought it. I’m not going to give you the answer here, but I will give you the missing factor to this equation. ((The bread is soft and void of Mold))
Looking at the pictures and knowing that “natural” bread is made with “yeast”, do the math…
[The pictures showed bread from last year, supposed to have gone stale November 7th, 2013]
I responded to this with: Nature’s Own is a chemical shitstorm. Though the manufacturers claim there’s nothing “artificial” about it, it contains a bunch of GMOs. Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Calcium Stearoyl-2-Lactylate, Monoglycerides, Calcium Iodate, Ethoxylated Mono and Diglycerides, Calcium Peroxide, Datem, Calcium Sulfate, and Soy Lecithin… and most of these are used in the so-called “dough conditioner.” Ew.
I came to this conclusion after doing some research, as I would never blindly respond to something like this without the sources to back me up. First, I took a long look at the “Best If Used By” label on the bread. Note the November 7th dateline. Anything that is truly natural and without preservatives should last maybe a few weeks, not several months.
Curious to the ingredients, I went to the Nature’s Own website. On it was this information:
100% Whole Wheat Bread
Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat is one of our best sellers. It offers the nutritional value of whole wheat in a soft, delicious loaf. Try a slice with fruit jam for breakfast, or with your favorite deli meats and cheeses for lunch or a quick dinner.
No artificial preservatives, colors or flavors
No high fructose corn syrup
100% whole grain
14 grams of whole grain per slice
2 grams of fiber per slice
0 grams of trans fat
Okay. It seems kind of promising when you look at what’s presented here, but you have to ask yourself, why the need for the low fat bullet? Why put ‘no artificial preservatives’ when there should be no preservatives at all (with the implication of being honestly natural)? And why are there no ingredients listed on the company’s website? That deepened my frowning.
So, I continued roving through the articles on the internet. One that I stumbled upon happened to be titled, Scary Ingredients Used in Bread Manufacturing. The original can be found on Natural Savvy (or by clicking HERE). Kind of an attention grabbing title, in my opinion. It is frightening to think that our food, our fuel, is manufactured in a plant somewhere and not baked in an oven. The media uses those buzzwords that we associate with good feelings and health to fool us, but really is just the commercial aspect of businesses trying to get your money. And sadly, the need for wellness is a very, very strong card to play.
Another upsetting aspect is that most “natural” and “healthy” sliced bread alternatives found on the grocery store shelves happen to be featured in the aforementioned article. Nature’s Own has a couple of their products shown due to their usage of rather heinous chemicals, like mono- and diglycerides, datem, and oxidizing agents to bleach flour.
Here is the ingredient list for Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat Bread:
Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour, Water, Brown Sugar, Yeast, Wheat Gluten, Contains 2% or Less of each of the Following: Salt, Vegetable Oil (Soybean Oil or Canola Oil), Dough Conditioners (Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Calcium Stearoyl-2-Lactylate, Monoglycerides, Calcium Iodate, Ethoxylated Mono and Diglycerides, Calcium Peroxide, Datem), Cultured Wheat Flour, Vinegar, Calcium Sulfate, Monocalcium Phosphate, Yeast Food (Ammonium Sulfate), Soy Lecithin.
(courtesy of Fooducate.com)
So, let me get this straight… the claim is that the bread is 100% whole wheat and no trans fats or artificial preservatives. Careful. It’s a trap.
Let’s tackle calcium peroxide first. As a food additive, it has the E number E930 and is used as flour bleaching agent. Right there is proof that the dough has been processed, and though the amount of calcium peroxide may be negligible in one serving, imagine how much of the 100% whole wheat in the entire loaf has been oxidized and striped of nutrients.
Next, let’s look at Ethoxylated Mono- and Diglycerides. To quote from Natural Savvy’s article, “Thanks to the addition of mono- and diglycerides and the dough conditioner DATEM, the ultimate bread-making short-cuts, processed breads don’t go stale as quickly as all-natural breads do, and when they’re added to dough, they make it possible to bake bread and bread products speedily without the usual efforts required in traditional bread making.
These inexpensive man-made fats have replaced the natural (and costlier) ingredients, lard and butter. By and large, they are by-products of fats and oils processing–including partial hydrogenation, a process that produces trans fats. The FDA requires labeling of trans fats, but only if a food contains more than 0.49 g per serving and only if it comes from triglycerides. Because mono- and diglycerides are not triglycerides, food manufacturers use this as a loophole to use – and to hide – trans fats. Although they provide 9 calories per gram, they are not required to be included in the Total Fat or Calories on a Nutrition Facts label, and they are not identified as trans fats either!”
As for DATEM, you can read all about it at Inrfood.com. In short, it is an emulsifier for fats and a softener for breads. It kind of does to fats what hydrogenation does — and we know what hydrogenated fats are, right?
While the trans fatty acids themselves may not be threatening with moderate consumption of such products, like a slice of bread every few days, imagine what could happen with long term exposure. For example as an average American let’s say you use two slices of bread for your Skippy Peanut Butter and HFCS jelly sandwich for lunch. Around three o’ clock you get a little peckish, so you grab your Nabisco Fig Newtons (which have bleaching agents, fat substitutes, and mono- and diglycerides) to take the edge off. For dinner, you pick up some Hamburger Helper and a can of string beans. Your bedtime snack consists of Special K cereal, because you’re trying to eat healthy and lose a few pounds.
Unfortunately for you, you’ve managed to consume nothing but processed food pumped full of additives that supposedly have no harmful effects on you alone. I’m not condoning nixing these things from your life entirely, even though it would be best, it’s not really doable for the Average Joe or Jane. One bad meal won’t hurt you either. Conversely, filling yourself up repeatedly with nutritionally devoid products will.
The moral of this Know Your Food episode is this: read your product labels and be aware of what you’re eating. Remember that natural is best. Try to avoid chemical catastrophes.