Saturday, January 29, 2022

What, Me Read?



By Monte Lazarus

The other day at breakfast we had pancakes. Of course pancakes require syrup. In days of yore that meant maple syrup. Alas, genuine maple syrup scarcely exists these days. If you are lucky enough, say, to be in Vermont or parts of Canada, you can find the real stuff, and you can pay the equivalent of the price of an ounce of gold for a taste. Hence the emergence of Ersatz Maple Syrup.

Naturally no producer of pancake syrup would produce a label reading “Genuine Ersatz (or perhaps Fake) Pancake Syrup.” No, never. At our breakfast, par example, the front label on one container read “Butter Flavored Syrup”, and another read ”Lite Butter Flavored Syrup.” Quite by accident I turned a container around only to find the following “Butter Flavored Syrup Contains No Butter”! [emphasis supplied]. Oops, I thought. No butter in Butter Flavored Syrup! Next the marketing mavens will probably tell us that used cars are merely “pre-driven cars.” What? They already do that? This smacks of misleading information.

I hastily glanced at the other ingredients and only recognized about half of them. My curiosity overwhelmed me and I raced to cupboard and fridge to read some labels – on



the backs of cans and canisters. Here are a few choice ingredients I found (listed among many others) by reading the small print through a magnifying glass:

Baked Beans – sugar, modified corn starch, caramel color, tapioca maltodextrin, autolyzed yeast extract…

ReddiWhip – (“Only 15 calories per serving”) sugar, maltodextrin, cellulose gel, mono and diglycerides, carrageenan..

Worcestershire Sauce – Molasses, corn syrup, caramel coloring, dextrose, polysorbate-80 (Whew, I feared it might be polysorbate-95)…

Blue Cheese Dressing – Goat cheese, potassium sorbate, propylene glycol alginate,(I thought they used that in antifreeze), phosphoric acid, polysorbate 60…

Tuna Salad – Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate-80 (there it is again), sodium benzoate, calcium disodium edta, potassium sorbate, guar gum…

Real Bacon Bits – Sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrate, sugar, dextrose, brown sugar, flavoring…

Healthy Request Cream Of Chicken Soup – Maltodextrin, disodium guanylate, chicken fat, autolyzed yeast extract, chicken flavor…

On my next trip to any supermarket anywhere I’m taking with me a chemistry major with at least two advanced degrees to explain all the labels.

Since every one of my 57 varieties of doctors recommends staying away from sugar, corn syrup, brown sugar and many other forms of sweetener, I am deeply depressed. Fageddaboudit! I’m off to the kitchen for some Real, Natural, Pumpkin Pie. Fie on those doctors!


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