We’ve all done it. We’ve all resorted to digging through our trash bins to find something we’ve thrown away, only to realize that we acted prematurely in getting rid of something we later need. Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to dumpster dive too deep … I found this needed item in no time. A family member visiting from out of town, let’s call him Lonnie, bought this item. This item is something we usually eat for breakfast with cream cheese, grape jam, or nut butter.
For five days of his visit, Lonnie ate quinoa, lentils, grass fed beef, plain organic yogurt, organic fruits, and vegetables but he had a taste and desire for ‘something different’ to eat. So, he purchased this so called ‘food’ item and ate it for breakfast.
About 30 minutes after consuming it, he experienced heartburn and indigestion. He immediately assigned his stomach ailment to this ‘something different’ that he ate. Once his stomach settled from all the commotion, he immediately threw this item in the trash – the item I retrieved from the trash bin out of curiosity. I was curious as to what could have caused such a reaction so I read the ingredients label.
It took me awhile to read through the items on the ingredients list. This so-called ‘food item’ had over 35 ingredients listed! These included: 1. FD&C BLUE 1 LAKE, 2.FD&C 2 LAKE, 3. COTTONSEED and/or SOYBEAN, 4. PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL, 5. ENZYMES, 6. CITRIC ACID, 7. ASCORBIC ACID, 8. GUAR GUM, 9. MONO and DIGLYCERIDES, 10. SUNFLOWER OIL, 11. BLUEBERRIES, 12. COTTONSEED FIBER, 13. CALCIUM PROPIONATE and SORBIC ACID PRESERVATIVES, 14. CORN CEREAL, 15. MODIFIED CORN STARCH, 16. NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, 17. CORN SYRUP, 18. YEAST, 19. SALT, 20. 2% or less of WHEAT GLUTEN, 21. SUGAR, 22. WATER, 23. FOLIC ACID, 24.RIBOFLAVIN, 25. THIAMINE MONONITRATE, 26. REDUCE IRON, 27. NIACIN, 28. MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, 29. WHEAT FLOUR, 30. UNBLEACHED ENRICHED WHEAT FLOUR.
After reading the package, I thought, wow, this has got to be a world record! I later realized that there are other food items that contain more ingredients than the ones listed here. I returned the package and its contents to its proper place – the trash bin! Lonnie was right to throw it away.
It’s always good to make time to read the ingredients in the packaged food we buy. For me, if I can’t pronounce the ingredients and it doesn’t consist of whole foods, the product stays on the store’s shelf.
For over 11 years, I’ve been very cautious and concerned about the chemical makeup of the foods I eat and the things I put on my body. This vigilance started when I read what was in a very popular brand of lotion. It had over 31 ingredients in it – harmful ingredients, like gluten, that could be absorbed through my skin and invade my bloodstream faster than if I ate them. Ingredients that would have both short-term and long-term negative effects on my body, like sulfates and parabens, for example. Sulfates negatively affect cell membranes and parabens mimic estrogen and have been linked to cancer.
There’s a saying that goes ‘what’s in your wallet’, well I’ve coined new phrases – ‘what’s in your food?’ and ‘what’s on your skin?’ It behooves us to find out!
In thinking about one of Lonnie’s breakfast ingredients, I remember seeing the ingredient called FD&C RED 40 LAKE. My research shows this comes from coal tar. Hmm, we can eat coal tar without the need to light up the grill!
So, what breakfast food has all these ingredients? Guess. Here’s a clue! It is round!