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Monday, April 28, 2008


Mayonnaise is the root of all evil.

Well, not really. Though I'm horrified to see that Steven purchased some and brought it into our home.

It is slimy! It has eggs in it! What more proof of its... incompatibility with civilization do you need?


posted by Arlene (Beth)10:00 PM

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Scary non-dairy.

There comes a time in each near-vegan's life when she asks herself, "should I choose non-organic, kind of freaky 'half and half' to go into my coffee, or should I go for the non-dairy mystery-pile-o-chemicals instead?" Last weekend, I was faced with this question, while visiting relatives who shop and normal grocery stores and buy "normal" American grocery products. Out of morbid curiosity, I opted for the chemicals.

The chemicals in question purported to be a vanilla and caramel flavored "non-dairy creamer." Which I suspected means "corn" in a wide range of unrecognizable forms that are much harder to spell. It tasted odd, but I had some anyway, and wrote down the ingredients to look up later. Here's what they were:

-water. I'm okay with this.

-sugar. 'Same. I like this, actually.

-partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil. This is a little weird, but at least I recognize it. 'Honey, can I have some hydrogenated cottonseed oil for this coffee? It's too... non-oily. Thanks, hon.'

Less than 2 percent of:

-sodium caseinate. This is casein, a milk protein. So, it's a non-dairy product with dairy proteins. Is that legal?

-natural and artificial flavors. This could be anything. And probably is.

-dipotassium phosphate. This is a salt. It is sometimes used in fertilizer. I can't tell what it does in this drink.

-color added. This makes me wonder what they make "shoe white" shoe polish out of. I used to use that stuff on my ballet slippers when I was a kid. It never made the shoes look very white. I think the product was a scam to make kinds go out and buy more white ballet slippers. It would probably be able to make coffee lighter, though. Also, in an ingredient list, I would be inclined to call this "added color" rather than "color added." The former is a noun, the latter is a noun-verb combo.

-sodium stearoyl lactylate. An emulsifier. Because your non-dairy mystery whiting substance requires a texture that will not do scary things when poured into coffee. Like make clouds that look like Richard Nixon's face.

-mono and diglycerides. Let me quote Wikipedia:
Mono- and diacylglycerols are common food additives used to blend together certain ingredients, such as oil and water, which would not otherwise blend well.

The commercial source may be either animal (cow- or hog-derived) or vegetable, derived primarily from soy bean and canola oil.
@#$%^. This reminds me of why I never buy chemical concoctions like this.

-polysorbate 60. This is an emulsifier. Actually, this is only a few numbers off from a chemical we use in photography when we're having a hard time getting an emulsion to spread evenly on paper.

-carrageenan. This is a seaweed derived thickener.

-beta carotene color. Somewhere, there is a field of white carrots being grown just for this product.

Conclusion: not all corn. Corn would have been preferable, actually. I will stick with soymilk to make my coffee less dark when left to my own devices. By which I mean, I will PACK soymilk in my weekend bag henceforth.


posted by Arlene (Beth)10:00 PM

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