Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I'm sweet enough already, thanks

What are all the food producers out there trying to do?

All I wanted to do was buy a loaf of bread. Seemed a simple enough mission to accomplish: I had the money, I was in the bakery section at Safeway, each loaf had the words "healthy" or "whole grains" on the label.

What could possibly be wrong with this picture?

The problem began when I started reading the labels. I rejected loaf after loaf, brand after brand, because each and every one of the dang things had sugar as one of the first ingredients. High-fructose corn syrup, at that. Who the heck puts sugar in their bread? Why would you want to do that?

It's like the frozen pre-made pancakes that I saw in the freezer section. Now I was raised proper, I was. About the only thing my Southern-born daddy taught me how to cook was pancakes, but I learned that good. You do not put sugar into the mix when making pancakes. If you want to add syrup or powdered sugar on top, more power to you. But you don't mess with the pancake itself.

I truly do not understand. I've got a sweet tooth, like everyone else. Doesn't mean that I want everything to be sweet all the time. I like popcorn with salt & butter just as much as caramel popcorn. Even sour foods taste good sometimes. (Pickles, anyone? Argh! No, not sweet pickles!)

Gilroy, California, is famous for their annual Garlic festival. Anyone who's been there has probably tried the garlic beer, or garlic chewing gum, or something similar. But the one food item that the festival is notorious for is the garlic ice cream. Yes, you read that correctly. Not a typo. And people will even admit, reluctantly, that it "isn't all that bad." The problem is not so much the taste as it is the idea of ice cream that's garlic flavored. That's how I feel about high-fructose corn syrup in bread or pancakes.

To me, it's a freedom of taste issue. If I want to go home and put sugar on my toast in the privacy of my own home, well, I'm an adult. It's not against the law (yet). This is not something that should be decided for me by some mindless profit-seeking company trying to corrupt my taste buds, ruin my palate, and restrict my choices all for their own profit. Huh.


Crabby McSlacker said...

I'm so with you on this. Salt too! I need to watch my intake, and there's nothing more frustrating that having something be way too salty when I'm not even enjoying it! I want to save my sodium for Evil Treats.

I think sugar and salt both act as preservatives, and most people don't give a crap what's on the label, so they feel free to dump a bunch in to increase shelf life. Or something.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Sounds like you need to find a good artisinal bakery near your house. I'm lucky to have one nearby; good bread may not keep as long but it sure tastes better!

The Merry said...

Evil treats sound good. I agree, Crabby. If you're going to eat something "bad" for you, you should be able to choose your poison!

Susan, I've never heard of an artisinal bakery. Learn something new every day. Maybe I should put off investigating bread machines and look for the bakery instead.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Actually bread machines are pretty cool--the smell in the morning of fresh baked bread is awesome.

Ours developed some sort of mechanical problem and we kept meaning to do something about it but got too lazy and now I think it's in the basement gathering dust. (It was a cute thing that looked like R2D2 and would try to crawl off the counter when it was kneading so we had to be careful where we put it.) Maybe one day we'll resurrect it again.