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Friday, October 13, 2006

Happy Friday the 13th! A great time for a few scary facts about the food chain and our participation in it (all from The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan). Read them if you dare, moohahaha...

1. McNuggets (and other chicken nuggets created by Tyson foods)are made up of 38 ingredients. Thirteen are derived from corn, some are derived from petroleum, others are unpronouncable. One ingredient, TBHQ, is added to help preserve freshness; it's a form of butane (lighter fluid) that the FDA allows on our food in small quantities. Unfortunate fact: one gram of TBHQ (less than an ounce) can make you sick; five grams of it (a few ounces) can kill.

2. When you eat corn directly, without processing it first, you consume all the energy in the corn. But when you feed that corn to a steer or a chicken, 90% of its energy is lost. The amount of food energy lost in the making of a chicken mcnugget could feed a great many people. For every edible pound a steer gains in its short life (about 14 months), he eats 14 pounds of corn. At slaughter, steers weigh hundreds of pounds.

3. A mcgrilled chicken breast is injected with a flavor solution that contains maltodextrin, dextrose, and MSG.

4. Why so many food products based on corn? Our tax dollars subsidize the farmers who grow corn (most of which goes to feed steers, chickens, and pigs), but not the farmers who grow other vegetables, organic or not. Clever food scientists have come up with ways to use up all the surplus corn by making it into high fructose corn syrup (look for it in almost all processed foods) and other products your body doesn't need.

5. These days, 19% of all meals are eaten in the car.

Hungry? Me too. I'm going to stop eating processed foods...right after I make that Duncan Hines cake for my son's birthday.


  • Hey we've had great success with Trader Joe's cake mixes; their ingredients are legible and even sound reasonable.

    By Blogger Natalie, at 9:16 AM  

  • You could have scared us even more describing how high fructose corn syrup is concocted: Where's the corn?!!

    By Blogger Natalie, at 7:22 AM  

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