Reading Food Labels
 
 

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Reading Food Labels

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        12-15-2013, 11:02 AM
      #1
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    Reading Food Labels

    A hunter dropped off some groceries yesterday he doesn't want to pack on a long trip hom. Packages of fruit cups were part of the loot. China was printed on the label. One was fruit cocktail, another fruit in thick gelatin. The third, from Walmart was Canadian - peach/apple snack. We have strict good processing guidelines here with gov't inspections. What of food imported from China, which includes frozen fish products? Oh, and check the Green Giant frozen veg. Labels. They may be another. Other than frozen veggies I don't buy processed foods. Oh, and I plan on checking the fresh garlic tags, in fact everything before I buy. What my little garden can't produce I can buy from our farmer's market. Instead of hot and steamy canning I learned how to do some veggies in a brine, and am learning to make the best use of a dehydrator. Some veggies are frozen. So far I have dehydrated carrots, celery, cabbage and onions. A great pot of soup took only 15 min last night and at least I know what's in it.
    Lockwood likes this.
         
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        12-15-2013, 11:33 AM
      #2
    Weanling
    Just random thoughts cause I feel like talking today:

    Great campaign by the gulf seafood folks. Having lived my whole life a few hours from the gulf I never thought about it, just assumed that's where the shrimp in stores came from--wrong.

    I wanted to be one of the cool kids and like Mcrib. Of course I knew it was not real ribs, but figured it was basically spam with sauce. (Even spam is made from pork shoulder) wrong again. Mcrib is boiled stomachs and hearts.

    Vienna sausage, potted meat and the like. Boy what you learn from reading. Main ingredient is 'partially defatted fatty tissue' I am no expert, but if you take fat and partially defat it, you still have fat. Very clever.

    Speaking of McDonald's, read they put sugar in the shaker with salt for the fries.

    Organic- what a misleading mess that has turned out to be. If I recall from chemistry class, organic means contains carbon.

    And finally a more serious note, cage free eggs are the fastest growing segment in the grocery store. I am sure alot of folks here may get their own, but if not selcet the cage free. Because of growth/ demand, prices are competitive. I just think battery cages are cruel.
         
        12-15-2013, 11:52 AM
      #3
    Green Broke
    I recently changed industries that I work in, from semi conductor to packaging. Quite the shocker for me to find out most of the fruit concentrate comes from China. So while your fruit drink might say bottled in the USA the ingredients come from overseas.
         
        12-15-2013, 11:56 AM
      #4
    Trained
    Reading labels, simple, if it has more than 3 or 4 ingredients don't buy it.
    boots and Shropshirerosie like this.
         
        12-15-2013, 12:05 PM
      #5
    Yearling
    "Free Range" and "Organic" are two of the biggest sketchy selling points in the food industry, I think. "Free Range" with eggs and chickens just means that the chickens have access to the outdoors for some portion of the day. That's it. You can have 1000 chickens in a small coop... But if there's a tiny run outside open to them for a few hours per day they have access to, it's considered free range. From the Wiki page:

    "The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) requires that chickens raised for their meat have access to the outside in order to receive the free-range certification.[6] There is no requirement for access to pasture, and there may be access to only dirt or gravel . Free-range chicken eggs, however, have no legal definition in the United States. Likewise, free-range egg producers have no common standard on what the term means."

    Cage free simply means no cages. They don't even have to have access to outdoors. They can be crammed into a coop and be called cage free. Still better than cages but not really a step up if you see how crowded they pack those hen buildings. Look up Cage Free eggs on Wiki, they've got a picture of a legal cage free hen setup, and there are so many hens you can't even walk through the building without stepping on one.

    As for Organic, if you've ever heard of the TV Show "Bull****!" They do an episode on organics that goes into it pretty good, and a lot of the misinformation spread about it. To me it's nothing but a hit on my wallet, as there's been no conclusive proof that says organic is better (and in fact most say it's not better OR worse, it's about the same as a regular diet).

    That being said I am ALL for supporting local farmers, and I absolutely love farmers markets. Locally grown produce is the best. Tried a locally grown Black Diamond watermelon last year and I will not go back to store bought watermelon... It's just not as good!

    ETA: Reading the labels is indeed the best thing to do when buying food. Some of it is pretty sketchy.
    kitten_Val and poundinghooves like this.
         
        12-15-2013, 12:26 PM
      #6
    Green Broke
    Want to know how to tell organic, free range, cage free etc is all BS? It can't be done on the national commercial level because it's not economical enough. It can be done on the local level though so support your local farmer.
    deserthorsewoman likes this.
         
        12-15-2013, 12:37 PM
      #7
    Super Moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
    A hunter dropped off some groceries yesterday he doesn't want to pack on a long trip hom. Packages of fruit cups were part of the loot. China was printed on the label. One was fruit cocktail, another fruit in thick gelatin. The third, from Walmart was Canadian - peach/apple snack. We have strict good processing guidelines here with gov't inspections. What of food imported from China, which includes frozen fish products? Oh, and check the Green Giant frozen veg. Labels. They may be another. Other than frozen veggies I don't buy processed foods. Oh, and I plan on checking the fresh garlic tags, in fact everything before I buy. What my little garden can't produce I can buy from our farmer's market. Instead of hot and steamy canning I learned how to do some veggies in a brine, and am learning to make the best use of a dehydrator. Some veggies are frozen. So far I have dehydrated carrots, celery, cabbage and onions. A great pot of soup took only 15 min last night and at least I know what's in it.
    I started having to read labels about 8 years ago and am so glad I did!
    Finding out where things really come, what things are made of, and which country parts are imported from has been very eye opening.
    Like you, I use a dehydrator because I prefer it to canning.There are some great dehydrator books out there and pretty much sky's the limit on what a person can dry in one.
    I Love mine!
         
        12-15-2013, 01:24 PM
      #8
    Started
    I have been an avid label reader all my adult life, and I had a hard time adjusting to the higher level of food processing and additive using when I moved to Canada from the UK. An example is double (whipping) cream. In the UK, the ingredients are "cream", here the ingredients are at least three things, if not 6 including stabilisers and sweeteners and all sorts.

    I am still an avid label reader, and I have after over a year worked out where to go to buy 'peas that are just peas'.

    I had a shock recently when I discovered (what with hindsight is obvious) that some products banned in one country are not banned in another. Tartrazine is a case in point - a food colouring that you won't find in sweets in England but occurs in tons of candy here.
         
        12-15-2013, 01:33 PM
      #9
    Started
    11 Foods Banned Outside the U.S. - ABC News
         
        12-15-2013, 03:55 PM
      #10
    Weanling
    I just started reading labels recently. It scares the crap out of me reading the kind of stuff they put in a lot of foods.
         

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