(Note – to read the label information on the photos below, click on the pictures – you will be shown a larger, readable version.)
Some of the stuff that we habitually eat can easily be classed as “not real food”. Is it highly processed? Does it contain a lot of assorted emulsifiers and preservatives and flavorings and….. Yeah. That kind of stuff. Not food, though not exactly poisonous. But there are different levels –
There I was, innocently shopping for groceries. Now, my husband likes sliced American processed cheese on hamburgers – the standard cheeseburger. And we were nearly out of the stuff.
And then I saw this, in the dairy case, between the sliced American cheese (cheese product, cheese food, and so on) and the regular cheddar. If you were tired or distracted or in a hurry, you could easily grab it assuming it was cheese, or near-cheese.
Let’s look at the nutritional labels:
American processed cheese
“Sandwich slices” (By the way – where did I get these pictures? I was irritated enough to buy a package, one time, to scan the labels to use in this post.)
Notice particularly the protein and calcium values. (Again, click on the pictures to see them in big-enough-to-read size.) Oh, the calcium values. Would you want to feed this to your children assuming it was more or less equivalent to milk? Didn’t think so.
So what the heck is it? Basically, water-and-oil jello, with some cornstarch and potato starch for extra thickening. Remember, the ingredients are listed in order from largest to smallest quantity. It claims to contain “milk”, but the only milk derivative I see in the list of ingredients is “whey”. And what’s whey, anyway? It seems that it’s a by-product of making cheese – a watery liquid that’s drained away while the milk is solidified into cheese.
Clever marketing. Take the leftovers from cheesemaking, add some even cheaper ingredients to thicken the mess until it looks sort of cheese like, put a vague label on it – and then sell it among real or realish cheeses.
True, if you pause to look the label over carefully, you won’t be fooled. So I guess this is legal. It still doesn’t seem very honest.
And that makes me angry.