Know What’s in Your Green

by in Food & Nutrition March 10, 2014

Cheers, Irish!

shamrockSaint Patrick’s Day is coming up on Monday March 17th! Wear your green so you won’t get pinched by the leprechaun, drink a green beer and possibly even try some new green foods!  Just please don’t make your green “food” of choice be something like this…

Shamrock WHAT?!

What an informative article published by the Huffington Post. Eye opening I would say, as to what you are really consuming when you “enjoy” one of those chemical cocktails.

I love how they list  the definitions of what some of these controversial ingredients actually are on the right hand side.

The thing is when we are out and about, we are taking a risk with our own health. Unless lots of questions are being asked and food labels are being studied in-depth, we have no idea what is in the food that is consumed in restaurants, diners, coffee shops, grocery stores, pizza parlors, delis, etc across the nation.

AND even when we read those labels, how on earth are we supposed to know what sodium benzoate, phenethyl butyrate and xanthan gum are? Truly, if it something you cannot pronounce you shouldn’t be eating it.

Xanthan gum. Check out your kitchen. How many items contain xanthan gum? Cookies, yogurt, balsamic vinaigrette, gluten-free crackers, pretzels, jellies, granola bars…you name it, it’s in there.

So here is what you are consuming when you eat xanthan gum: a gum produced by fermentation of a certain carbohydrate; also called corn sugar gum. The USDA has asked for the use of xanthan gum as a necessary ingredient in packaging meant and poultry products?! It is now used to thicken, suspend, stabilize or emulsify water based food such as dairy products and salad dressings. Added to dressings as a “pseudo-plasticizer” to help them pour well, so they do  not to separate like oil and vinegar.

Good? Bad? It is all based on your opinion and how strict you are with your diet. Regardless, you now may know a little more about xanthan gum, what foods you will find it in and if it is something you want to keep an eye out for.

Oh, and for St. Patrick’s Day try making your own green smoothie and staying away from the drive-thru…..

Kale, Pineapple and Banana Smoothie

Avocado Smoothies