JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

David's rant about fat and cornstarch

Reading the labels on industrially processed "food" is the most powerful thing you can do for a healthier life. It's something I often rant about. Here's part of someone else's rant on the same themes ... step forward David Lebovitz!

Please stop using that phrase "Fat is flavor"

Espresso, ground cinnamon, marshmallows, red wine, maple syrup, fresh ginger, Ranch Gordo beans, arugula, soy sauce, cranberries, Château Yquem, Concord grapes and sea salt are delicious and absolutely loaded with flavor. Yet they have zero or just very trace amounts of fat.

Fat is not a hero nor is it a villain.

But if you think fat equals flavor, eat a spatula-full of Crisco vegetable shortening and let me know how it tastes.

If you're worried about eating high-fructose corn syrup, then don't eat it. Simply stop buying processed foods and eating fast-foods

Now...Isn't that easy?

Let's face it; the people making bottled salad dressings with all that junk in it don't really care to change their formula. And if you're interested in healthy eating, don't buy processed foods.

Read the labels. Don't eat items like Hot Pockets, sweetened yogurt and frozen pizzas that contain corn syrup. It's all there on the label.

The big food companies will respond to consumers since their sole goal is to make money: If people stop giving them money and buying that stuff, they will stop making it. If you're worried about corn syrup in foods, read the labels (or visit their website) which list the ingredients. Then put those items back on the shelf if they have products in them that you don't want to eat. Write a letter to the company and let them know why you made that decision.

And yes, no matter what your economic means, you can make your own cornstarch-free foods, like homemade powdered sugar by whizzing regular sugar in a food processor. Or grind it in your mortar and pestle, a tool which the least-affluent people in the world use for cooking.


Anonymous said...

If I ever have time to kill in a place that sells food, one of my favourite pastimes is wandering around marvelling at the vast array of processed food that's available, since I walk straight past it when I'm actually shopping. Even so, I had never heard of a Hot Pocket, so I Googled it. Good heavens.

A great article, and the idea of homemade icing sugar is irresistible!

Joanna said...

Yes, I did the same, and have now added a link for non-US readers. I spent a little time on the site, trying to find a list of ingredients for the various products, and couldn't find one. There's some Weight Watchers information under Lean Pockets, but I couldn't find any information about standard ingredients and additives. I wonder why...

Joanna said...

PS another Google search, and I find that you can buy Hot Pockets in Tesco and Morrisons in the UK ... but still no sign of what's actually in them

Anonymous said...

Here you are, the US ingredients at least - make sure you scroll down after the ads!

Joanna said...

OMG ... my rule is that you shouldn't buy stuff with ingredients you don't or wouldn't keep in the kitchen ... this is more like a chemistry set!

Angela Brooks said...

I love this post. I got tickled at the ones that did not know what a hot pocket was. Trust me..your not missing a thing, it is better you don't know. I have a friend that used to eat one daily. I can not even take it out of the pachage. My husband and I enjoy reading the labels to see what is in "stuff" I poseted on my blog a up close look at some meats and I have not been able to eat them since. Fast is not always the best choice in is easy

Melanie Rimmer said...

"eat a spatula-full of Crisco and let me know how it tastes" Ha ha! Love it.

On the other hand I hate "reduced fat" foods. Usually they just put gluey congealers in instead, and sometimes boatloads of sugar. I prefer to eat foods that are naturally low in fat, or eat natural foods that are high in fat, but don't eat very much of them. A little bit of cream or butter can be delicious, loads better than a generous amount of reduced fat margarine.

Michelle said...

Awesome. I totally agree - thanks for bringing David's rant to my eyes as it's something I love to read about since it's near and dear to my I'm just going to do a search and find all of yours!!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

It seems so elementary but then not. Sort of like when you cook, if you really dislike some ingredient in a recipe, why would you put it in in huge amounts. If I don't want corn syrup in my food why would I buy it in my food.
(smugly) I'm proud to say I've never had a Hot Pocket! but I've probably had other things just as bad.

Toffeeapple said...

Too gross for words. Did you see the line about having them for a family meal? Who would? Nestlé again, I notice...