Chemically Crafted

There’s a food item out that appears to contain no actual food – a beverage called Orange Cream Soda by a particular manufacturer. I knew it was coming; there is less and less “real” food in purchased food items these days unless one eats organic or all natural.  It’s all modified this (such as modified milk ingredients and modified starch) and additive that (such as caramel color).
I rarely drink soda, but, wanting a change, I ordered this soda the other night at dinner.    Curious, since it was $4, I looked at the ingredients label, expecting to see it was made from all natural, organic ingredients.  What I found was anything but, despite the sales pitch on the label which states:
A rich, Orange Cream Soda, hand-crafted with the freshest and highest quality ingredients, with the complexity and character of lemon, lime, Chinese Ginger, nutmeg and botanicals. We proudly present our Orange Cream Soda, hand-crafted with only the freshest and highest quality ingredients, including a blend of select oranges, mandarins, and real vanilla. This recipe’s added complexity and character comes from a blend of lemon, lime, Chinese Ginger, nutmeg and botanical extracts including lemon grass and angelica root. Enjoy this truly classic Orange Cream Soda recipe, originally crafted by our master brewers.
Here’s the ingredients
Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or Sugar, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (to Protect Taste)Natural and Artificial Flavor, Modified Food Starch, Erythorbic Acid, Yellow 6, Glycerol Ester of Wood Rosin, Brominated Vegetable Oil.
Um, if it contains oranges, mandarins, vanilla, lemon, lime, ginger, nutmeg etc. should it not say that on the ingredient list?
Let’s break this “hand crafted with the finest quality ingredients” beverage down shall we:
High-fructose corn syrup is made from corn. After it’s milled, the resulting starch is processed into a syrup. By adding enzymes, the syrup is converted into fructose. Glucose syrup is then added to the mix to make high-fructose corn syrup. The most common form of the syrup contains 45 per cent glucose and 55 per cent fructose.
There are some studies, listed on the cbc.ca link, that suggest consumption of  HFCS plays a role in elevating triglycerides, as well as contributes to liver disease, diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease.
prepared by treating the native starch to change the properties of the ingredient in order to enhance their performance in different applications (increase stability against heat, acid, to change texture, etc.)
  • Yellow No. 6 is a synthetic (i.e. man-made) food dye.
  • Citric Acid is
manufactured by a submerged fermentation process from a glucose and/or sucrose carbohydrate substrate. http://www.cargillfoods.com/wcm/groups/public/@cseg/@food/@all/documents/document/na3014920.pdf  
Basically it sounds bacteria (like mold) is added to glucose or sucrose  to ferment it.  Yum!
  • I wonder what glycerol ester of wood rosin is and if I will get a splinter drinking or eating something that contains it. Also known as “ester gum” it is
an effective weighting agent for adjusting the density of citrus oils and improves stability in beverages.http://www.ticgums.com/products.html?page=shop.browse&category_id=17
  • Finally there is “brominated vegetable oil” (BVO) which has been
patented by chemical companies as a flame retardant, and banned in food throughout Europe and Japan, BVO has been added to sodas for decades in North America. Now some scientists have a renewed interest in this little-known ingredient, found in 10 percent of sodas in the United States.  For more info: http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2011/brominated-battle-in-sodas
Does that mean by drinking something with this in it, I won’t spontaneously combust?

I’d like to see another label added to commercially prepared foodstuffs:

No real food was harmed in the making of this item. 

At least that label would be an accurate one.

Barbecued Peaches

Take a peach and cut it in half. Remove pits. Place cut side down on the BBQ on medium heat until it begins to carmelise (about 3 – 4 minutes). Turn over and cook for another 1 – 2 minutes.  Remove from BBQ to a plate or bowl. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the center and drizzle with Grand Marnier, if desired.

Crunchy Lemon Shrimp

Super easy makes supper fast.

One package large frozen uncooked shrimp

Seasoned bread crumbs

Lemon Juice mixed with 1 T. melted butter or margarine

Thaw shrimp.  Dip shrimp in lemon juice/butter mixture then roll in bread crumbs.  Place on baking sheet.  Bake at 500 F. for about 10 minutes.  Good as an appetizer or serve with salad and rice or potatoes for a complete meal.

Peachy Chicken

Peaches are at their peak right now.  Here’s a quick recipe. You may use fresh or canned peaches. Since you bake these in the oven, you may want to wait for a cooler day.

This has a short preparation time but takes a bit longer to cook.

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1 pkg. Onion soup mix

1 green or red pepper, chopped

1, 8 oz. bottle Russian dressing

1, 14 oz. can sliced peaches, drained (reserve juice) *2 – 3 fresh peaches can be used in place of the canned.

Place breasts in a 9 x 13 dish.  Combine dressing, onion soup mix, peach juice and pepper.  Pour over chicken breasts.  Arrange peach slices on top and bake, uncovered, at 350 for 45 minutes or until chicken is springy when touched or a meat thermometer declares the chicken done.  While chicken is cooking, make some rice and microwave some frozen vegetables.

Quinoa Salad with Chicken, Apples and Walnuts


This was lunch today as I had leftover quinoa and chicken.
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
1 cooked, chopped chicken breast
1 apple, chopped
¾ c. cup chopped walnuts
3 T. soy sauce (I used Bragg’s seasoning which is gluten free)
3 T. lemon juice
2 T. mayonnaise
3 T. maple syrup
2 T. grainy mustard
Dash of oregano and basil
Salt and pepper

Put quinoa and water in a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook about 15 minutes until grains start to form spirals and most of the liquid is absorbed. Put cooked quinoa in a medium sized bowl, add in the rest of ingredients, stir to combine. Chill for a bit in the fridge. This serves about one.