Thursday, September 15, 2011

What's in my food? (Intro)

Okay, after a short summer break, I finally have time to write some more; time for another new topic (don't worry, I have not forgotten about the others, I just want to mix it up a bit).

Topic number 3: What's in my food?

Most pre-packaged foods have a laundry list of ingredients, often starting with water, flour, and some form of sugar or a sugar substitute (something I will address in a future post) before they begin listing the ingredients you expected to find based on the front of the package. But what about all that stuff at the end? Is that stuff really necessary, it is just filler? What am I really putting into my body?

Well, many foods will show you in the Nutrition Facts how much they have of certain vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, C, D, and Calcium, Iron, etc. Typically, this is very helpful and informative; plus, these figures have to be somewhat accurate as required by the FDA. But, in the ingredients list they simply list in order of most to least, i.e. the things first on the list make up more of the food item than the things last on the list. This is helpful, yet ambiguous and many of the items on the list are things you may not recognize. I will be breaking it down for you and hopefully helping you become a more informed and healthier consumer.

We will start by looking at certain vitamins that are often included in your foods ingredient list that you may not recognize. We will look at what acids are used in foods, different preservatives, and anything else I can think of. And of course, if there is something specific you would like me to investigate please leave a comment and I will do my best!

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