November 1, 2011

Mmm, Mmm Good, or NOT Good?

Here's some food for thought.

The folks at TIME just did an eye-openig piece on the infamous McRib sandwich. Infamous because they only appear on the menu sporadically. And infamous now for what the Time writers reveal are some surprising ingredients that they discovered on McDonalds' website.

True, these are only present in very small amounts, but do you really want to ingest:

1) Azodicarbonamide, a " flour-bleaching agent that is most commonly used in the manufacture of foamed plastics like gym mats and the soles of shoes, that is found in the McRib bun. The compound is banned in Europe and Australia as a food additive. (England's Health and Safety Executive classified it as a "respiratory sensitizer" that potentially contributes to asthma through occupational exposure.) The U.S. limits azodicarbonamide to 45 parts per million in commercial flour products, based on analysis of lab testing."

2) Ammonium sulfate, which the EPA website tells us is "used as a nitrogen source in fertilizers." Hmm.

3) Polysorbate 80, a yellow liquid in LOTS of foods as an emulsifier, particularly ice cream.

Perhaps we need to check out other fast food restaurant websites too. As Gomer Pyle used to say, "Surprise, surprise."