Food recalls

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I truly believe that as we industrialize the production of food, you will see an increasing number of food recalls. A massive recall of "snack foods" is expected because an ingredient produced by a Las Vegas company may contain salmonella. That ingredient is called hydrolized vegetable protein or HVP.  Let's take a moment to examine what the heck that is (for those who care, it definitely falls into the category of "if your grandmother wouldn't recognize it as food, you may choose not to eat it").

Let's have a week peek at what Wikipedia says about HVP:

"Acid-hydrolyzed vegetable protein, or HVP,[1] is produced by boiling cereals or legumes, such as soy, corn, or wheat, in hydrochloric acid and then neutralizing the solution with sodium hydroxide. The acid hydrolyzes, or breaks down, the protein in vegetables into their component amino acids. The resulting dark coloured liquid contains, among other amino acids, glutamic acid, which consumers are more familiar with in the form of its sodium salt, monosodium glutamate, or MSG. It is used as a flavor enhancer in many processed foods."

Huh. This would really be a case of not knowing what is in our foods, huh? I had no idea that MSG could sneak into my foods in the form of hydrolyzed vegetable protein. Sound innocuous enough, no? If I were scanning over a list of ingredients and saw that, I'd think "well, vegetable, protein, must be okay".

Wiki also says:
"Because of the high levels of MSG in hydrolyzed vegetable protein, people sensitive to MSG should avoid hydrolyzed vegetable protein.[2]

In the case of soy sauce, a residual of the soy protein hydrolyzation process creates the carcinogen 3-MCPD."

Nice. REEEEALLY great. MMMMmmmmm carcinogen (à la Homer Simpson). This is what happens when we are so removed from the source of our food, that we turn a blind eye to how it was created, what went into it, and what we are doing to ourselves by eating it.

I've said this before, and I'll say it again: read the ingredients. If there's something on there that you don't recognize, or that a grade-three student couldn't pronounce, don't eat it. It's not worth it.


Anonymous said...

Holy shnikeys! Like the articles; Keep em coming!


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