Can you identify these foods from their list of ingredients? This should be an easy test, but the ingredients below make it much more challenging. Take the test and see if you can guess the food item. Many nutritionists would argue these are not really food. If we follow Michael Pollan’s advice In Defense of Food, the processed items below would not meet the criteria for “food”.
- WHEAT FLOUR, BARLEY MALT, NIACIN, IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID, WATER, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SOYBEAN OIL, SALT, YEAST, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, SODIUM STEAROYL LACTYLATE, CALCIUM PROPIONATE, MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE, AMMONIUM SULFATE, CALCIUM SULFATE, SOY LECITHIN.
- CHICKEN STOCK, WATER, COOKED RICE, COOKED CHICKEN MEAT, CARROTS, SALT, CHICKEN FAT, POTATO STARCH, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE, CELERY, COOKED MECHANICALLY SEPARATED CHICKEN, CHICKEN FLAVOR, ONION POWDER, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, FLAVORING, DISODIUM INOSINATE, DISODIUM GUANYLATE, BETA CAROTENE, SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, SODIUM PHOSPHATES, LACTIC ACID, DEHYDRATED GARLIC, CHICKEN POWDER, CHICKEN FAT.
- WHOLE GRAIN OAT FLOUR, SUGAR, CORN FLOUR, WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, RICE FLOUR, SALT, CALCIUM CARBONATE, DISODIUM PHOSPHATE, REDUCED IRON, NIACINAMIDE, ZINC OXIDE, BHT, YELLOW 5, YELLOW 6, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID.
Were you able to identify the “food” here? Check out the list below to see if you guessed correctly, and to determine why each food item has a boldfaced ingredient.
- SUPERMARKET WHITE BREAD (STOP & SHOP WHITE BREAD)
- CAMPBELL’S CLASSIC CHICKEN WITH RICE SOUP (GUESS HOW MUCH SALT IS IN THIS PRODUCT)
- LIFE CEREAL FROM QUAKER OATS (HEALTHY LIFE CEREAL SEEMS LIKE AN OXYMORON)
The boldfaced ingredients are common on the top 10 lists of important food additives to avoid.
Campbell’s classic chicken with rice soup has 820mg of sodium for a ½ cup serving, though many people would likely consume a cup. 1,640mg of sodium is all or most of the daily recommended sodium intake, which ranges from 1,500 to 2,300mg.
As consumers become more aware of the benefits of single ingredient foods, and the issues with fast food and the western diet, it’s important to take a look at what many adults and children ingest on a daily basis. Processed foods like the examples above can commonly include 20 ingredients or more.