Monday, May 17, 2010

Allow me to complain about food

So I went grocery shopping last week, and was in need of some Tastykakes for William's lunch. William likes to pack lunch rather than buying at school, in direct contrast to Evie. This sweet boy actually said to me one morning, 'I'll buy lunch, Mom, so you don't have to make one for me'. I don't recall ever complaining about making lunches for the kids, so I was really surprised by this, and reassured William that I am perfectly happy to make him a lunch if that's what he would prefer - but I digress.

So I'm at the store, cart full of food, and come to the Hostess/Lil' Debbie/Tastykake section. Mind you, I was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and there really is no option for me other than Tastykakes. I prefer the Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes or Butterscotch Krimpets myself (again, I digress). So, I'm scanning the shelves, scanning, scanning, and I can't believe what I'm seeing.

The tiny little Tastykake section amidst all the other desserts only has SUGAR FREE Tastykakes.

Now. I am all for choices in the marketplace, and understand that there is a percentage of the population that has a need for sugar-free foods. However, I'm starting to feel a little -I don't know what - not persecuted, I really don't have a word for it - let's just say that sucralose (Splenda) is showing up in more and more and more packaged food products.

Evie had gone shopping with me a few weeks ago & asked for pickles. Sure, I said, grab some pickles. It wasn't until I was rinsing the empty jar (because it never occurred to me to check) that I noticed SUGAR FREE!!!! on the label. Turn the jar around, and there's sucralose on the ingredient list. Sugar free pickles, who'd have thunk?

I realize that some of you may enjoy artificial sweeteners in your beverages and food products, but I choose not to, and I prefer my kids not eat it either. Remember back 30 years ago when margarine was so much better for you? Today - or at least until they removed all the trans-fat from it - it's actually WORSE than butter. I choose to consume and feed my family real butter and real sugar, hopefully in moderation. Pretty much anything that says 'light' on it you can bet has a lot of artificial crap in it to make it *seem* like the real thing.

Big Red gum was a lifesaver for me (ok this is an exageration) when I was pregnant with Sarah. I'd chew Big Red in between meals so I wouldn't nosh on food & with her I only (only!) gained 35 lbs as opposed to the 40 I gained with Evie and William.

Last year Wrigley's decided to change the formula - New and Improved! Well guess what - it has a funky texture now, and leaves an aftertaste. I read the label, and guess what - sucralose. I bought up all the old stuff I could find at the store in bulk and have been hording it ever since.

I'm also a little funny about soy flour. Well, soy in general, but soy flour in particular. I'm just not convinced that it's good for you. Anyway - try finding a bread product on the shelves that doesn't have soy flour in it. Mass bakers add it because it 'improves the texture' of the product while also amping up the protein. I've actually started buying hot dog and hamburger buns from the fresh bakery section of the store - they don't have soy flour in them, they taste great, and they aren't loaded with preservatives to keep them fresh for 3 weeks either!

So enough complaining - I actually have found some things that I like, & would like to share with you!

Costco was demo-ing these salmon burgers a few weeks ago, and they were really really good! We don't usually cook out much, mainly because I don't want to eat a 300 calorie meat patty and, while I love a hot dog or 3, I don't really want to eat them. So I'm very happy to say that I love these salmon burgers - each patty only has 170 calories, and they taste terrific on my soy-free bun with a little bit of mayo (the real kind, thank you!) some tomato, and spinach. Yum! Much to my surprise, the kids were all clamoring for one. Never expected that in a million years. Maybe next time - they had to eat the hot dogs we'd cooked them :)

Another recommendation, if you're going to have a cookout with hot dogs, Oscar Mayer is making an angus beef hot dog that doesn't have any artificial preservatives in them. They use celery juice & some other stuff. I was really excited to see that I could buy a hot dog that didn't have any sodium nitrates or nitrites in it. Yay!
Thanks for letting me vent, this has been on my mind for a while. I haven't watched Food, Inc. mainly because I'm afraid. I'm looking at what I see happening now in the grocery store, and projecting ahead to a time when I have to make all of our food from scratch out of things I've grown in our garden, or had to butcher myself and wondering if we're all going to starve? But then, I could stand to lose a few pounds - as you all know ;)
One more recommendation - I tend not to wear eye shadow on a regular basis as it always seems to end up under my eyes, making me look like a raccoon - but I saw this at the store the other day & gave it a shot:

I wore it today for most of the day, and I have to say I LOVED it! I used the 'wet' application and was really happy with how it held up for the day. It comes in a couple different color variations, so hunt one down for yourself and give it a go!


  1. Concise as always, Jen-glad to see a parent on top of dietary concerns. Re: gum, it was tough with Wrigley's for a while-they had aspartame in every gum, including sugared about a plot....for all it's faults sucralose is the worst of two evils in my opinion, and being type II diabetic now (joy), I try to use almost no sugar. Literally picking my poisons, I am!

  2. My hubby just came home from the store with sugar free jello for the kids, that he didn't realize was sugar free. And recently I bought fat free cheese by accident. Yuck!!! I feel the same way about you with fake sweeteners - I would rather my kids eat real sugar and real fat in moderation. I am super excited about those hot dogs and salmon burgers!!

  3. PB Kandy Kakes are my FAVE!!! I am a splenda junkie. I admit it :(

    I do try and stay as close to "natural" as possible... I buy organic where possible, use butter, fresh veggies ALWAYS...

  4. They keep messing with the food and it's driving me bonkers...I am not a fan of artificial sweetener and never ever drink diet drinks for that very reason.

  5. First of all, it sounds like I am totally missing out on Tastykakes. I have never heard of them . . . what is *up* with the west coast??? Anyway, I agree with ya. Give me plain ol' sugar any day :)

  6. I completely agree! My kids know we do not do diet drinks and sometimes I accidentally bring home yogurt or something with that fake sugar and me no likey.
    Good point about the buns--I will check that out.
    I will look for those hot dogs. I have always (well I mean in the summer only) picked up Hebrew National brand.
    I make my kids' and Hubs' lunch and have discovered Hormel's lunch meat that is nitrate-free.

  7. Those have always been my rules as well. No diet, sugar free or even "lite" crap for my boys. And since my Other Half is allergic to nuts I have always had to read labels very carefully and it is amazing what you find out when you do. How crazy is it to live in a world where the real thing (and I don't mean Coke) is getting harder and harder to find?

  8. One of the many reasons the Land of Pink has gone green...and I don't mean eco-friendly. We have been eating mostly raw/whole foods for the last few weeks and are amazed at how GREAT we feel! I used to say I'd rather be fat than have cancer (sugar vs. artificial sweeteners). But now that we are hitting the big four-oh, we've decided we'd rather not be either! Fresh, mostly raw, fruits and veggies all day; cooked veggies, a SMALL portion of lean meat for dinner. No more white anything (flour, rice, sugar).

    Check back with me in a few months to see if I can stick to it! ;)

  9. Sugar free Tastykakes?? That's just wrong.
    I want to try the physicians formula eyeshadow, they have really pretty colors.
    Okay. Also.
    So, I've recently been having this argument with my mom. I'm maintaining that eating a real, natural, organic egg is healthier than an egg beater egg.
    She disagrees.
    I say real cheese is better than fake. Nope, she says.
    Real beef hotdogs are better than fake hotdogs. Nope, she says.
    She thinks that it doesn't matter how genetically and chemically altered a food is, if it's fat free it's better for you.
    I disagree. I digress.
    I got a coupon for Costco's salmon burgers the other day and I really wanted to try em, NOW I WILL!! :)

  10. I bought some Big Red not too long ago... you know to make me all nasolgic about high school & it totally tasted weird. I thought it was just me, but I bet it was the new "improved" one & it was different. Grrrrr! Also, we all could stand to lose some weight but Geez Louise it should be our choice in how we do it & not the food makers... leave stuff alone already, people have been buying it for years for a reason. I could put on quite the rant as well!!!

  11. One thing I don't think I'll ever be able to substitute is butter ;) I just don't think I can bake any other way

  12. I am totally going to try those salmon burgers...we have several non-meat eaters in my family.
    I wish I had never become hooked on artificial sweetners. It's not like it's kept the weight off or anything.

  13. I feel like a loser.
    I eat "lite" and fake sugar.
    I am a sugar free whore.
    And when I read tastykakes..I read it as i it were a Japanese tasta kayakey...I thought it was some rare asian vegetable...that would be the LA influence on me, I suppose...or maybe I am just stupid. Could be that.

    I am also a dirty pig, because I laughed like a teenager when I read the words "angus" and "wet application"...

    I am wrong, in every direction...

  14. I hate all that sugar free shit! It never tastes as good as the full sugar stuff.
    And why the hell are they changing Big Red?!

  15. 完成一個小目標,會把自己推向一個大目標.............................................

  16. Hi! Im new to your blog and I love it!!!!! I am a mother of 4 and life is crazy! Im very into health and wellness and have completely switched stores so that the products in our home are healthier and less damaging to the environment! I have a website if you would like some more information!! Way to go on the half marathon! 5 miles almost killse me...I cant imagine 13!!!!


Comments are awesome :) Leave one!

Popular Posts