Name That Food 101

April 28, 2011

in Name That Food

By Riki Shore

A mother recently commented to me about the poor quality of the snacks offered at her daughter’s after school day care program. When I asked for an example, this is what she told me. Do you know what snack this is? Do you know what TBHQ is? Check below for answers to both questions.

Whole Wheat Flour
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Enriched Flour
Soybean and Palm Oil (with TBHQ for Freshness)
Corn Syrup Solids
Corn Syrup
Whole Grain Barley Flour
Wheat Starch
Dried Strawberries
Dried Pears
Dried Apples
Natural and Artificial Strawberry Flavor
Citric Acid
Caramel Color
Soy Lecithin
Xanthan Gum
Modified Wheat Starch
Vitamin A Palmitate
Red #40
Reduced Iron
Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
Yellow #6
Thiamin Hydrochloride
Folic Acid

THBQ stands for┬átertiary butylhydroquinone. It’s a type of phenol that’s used an a preservative. It extends shelf life without effecting the color, odor or flavor of the food to which it’s added. In small doses it’s safe to eat, but some scientists believe that in very high doses it can be carcinogenic, especially leading to stomach tumors. The question is, why eat it at all? As Michael Pollan states in Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual:

“Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry….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.”

This snack is: Strawberry Frosted Pop Tarts

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