My Intro to Food Additives

As I said in my last post I want to start eating healthier and cut some of the processed foods and chemicals out of my diet.  This post starts the first part of that journey.

My daughter was reading the ingredient label of one of those ready-to-drink chocolate milk-type drinks and asked me what cellulose gel was.  I rattled off some odd answer but I really didn’t know what it was and had to look it up.  Thank God for Google huh?

Cellulose Gel is derived from the walls of plants but is not digestible by human beings.  It is used as a thickener and helps make foods creamy.  It is sometimes listed as a dietary fiber, tricking the consumer into thinking it is a healthy option, after all we are told all the time to add more fiber to our diets.

So I guess my question is, if this particular additive has no benefit to the human body, why is it added to our food?  I for one could live with my ice cream or yogurt being a little less creamy.  And as far as the fiber content, any fiber in cellulose gel exits the body without being absorbed, so again, there is no benefit.  We can get all the fiber we need by eating vegetables, beans and fruits like apples and bananas.

I want to address a question that I got regarding stick butter.  I buy two types of butter for my home, stick and tub.  The tub is only when I need a spreadable butter.  I buy stick butter (both salted and unsalted) for any baking.

Making butter is actually a really easy process.  I am looking for a good recipe for tub butter but for stick butter I use a stand mixer, put the bowl into the freezer for a few minutes to get as cold as possible and, using the whisking attachment, mix whipping cream until it turns into butter.  Sometimes there will be some left over liquid, just pour it off and store the butter in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.  It should last at least a week, but I have had it last up to three weeks.  Just use your own judgement.

I have looked into the ingredient list for some of the more popular stick butters, most use just cream and salt so for me, that isn’t a deal breaker.  I don’t see a difference in the cost either.  I think it is just personal preference, if you have the time and the inclination, make your own.  If not, just take a couple of minutes in the store to check your butter and make sure there are no added ingredients, again there should only be cream and salt.

Next week I will be posting the recipe and pictures for a crusty bread that is a favorite of my family.  I wanted something good and easy but that wouldn’t take two days to make.  I think you will like it as much as we do and can’t wait to share it with you.




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