Bookmark and Share December 31, 2010 - Dave Mulder

2010: Best of Eating Real Food

I went back and looked over all the posts on Eating Real Food from 2010. Here are some of the highlights:

Is Mrs. Butterworth a syrup fraud?

Imitation syrup is a cheap alternative to real syrup; basically you take a sweetener (it could be sugar, but high fructose corn syrup is more common) and make it viscous, then add some flavoring. If your bottle of syrup does not explicitly say “maple syrup”, then you are holding imitation syrup (United States laws prohibit imitation syrup from using the maple syrup name).

Mailbag: What about soy?

Personally, I avoid foods that pretend to be other foods. If I’m going to eat a burger, or bacon, or jerky, it’s because I have chosen to eat a burger, or bacon, or jerky. As far as nutrition, vegetarians can get plenty of protein from beans, nuts, and a diverse plate of greens.

Unearthing lettuce plants: First day at the CSA

Though I wasn’t required to volunteer my time for chores, it was something I asked for. Living in an apartment, I don’t have a field or backyard to garden in. After a year of writing about real, natural, and organic food, I was antsy to get my hands dirty.

Xanthan gum: It’s (probably) in your salad dressing

Xanthan gum takes its name from Xanthomonas campestris, the bacteria used in the additive’s fermentation. Take some sugar (glucose or sucrose), mix withXanthomonas, clean it up, and boom! You’ve got xanthan gum.

Velveeta is not cheese

In industry language, Velveeta is packaged as a ‘pasteurized prepared cheese product’. That basically mean it’s processed.

Processing extends shelf life and allows manufacturers to make a uniform, consistent product. It’s also cheaper because you’re mixing inexpensive inputs together rather than relying on milk and enzymes alone.

The rise–and fall–of foodie

Foodie emerged from the ashes of gourmet. Gourmets, traditionally, appreciate foods with fine ingredients. In the early 1980s, gourmet became associated with a snobbish attitude toward food and fell out of favor. Food appreciation was gaining common appeal, and food snobs were exiled. The world needed a new word, and foodie emerged at the right time

Monoglycerides and diglycerides

Monoglycerides and diglycerides allow a food processor to mix oil and water in a process known as emulsification. This very useful property makes monoglycerides and diglycerides a common food additive to extend shelf life. They would be unnecessary if grocery store customers could stomach seeing natural separation in peanut butter and other products. Alas, Americans hate that.

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