Lately there has been some social media discussion about McDonald’s move to be a little more open about the ingredients in their menu items. Some people pointed out that the ingredient list for French fries should be pretty brief: potatoes, oil and maybe salt.
Well I decided to have a look at what one of my meals would look like if it was home cooked. And me being the kind of person who doesn’t make the time to cut my own potato wedges, I grabbed the bag of McCain Potato wedges with sea salt and had a look at the ingredient list:
Potatoes, canola oil, corn starch, rice flour, sea salt, rice starch, potato starch, baking powder, sodium phosphate, rice extractive and dextrose.
Well that is definitely more than potatoes, oil and salt. However, a salad must have healthier ingredients. So along with my potato wedges I chose a green salad of a variety of greens – broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green cabbage, kale, chicory.
Pretty healthy and much as you would expect. And then I decided to add a splash of salad dressing on that salad. These ingredients were a little more eye-opening:
Soybean and canola oil, water, sugar, vinegar, egg yolks, salt, garlic juice, modified milk ingredients, natural flavours, xanthan gum, yeast extract, dried onions, phosphoric acid, sorbic acid, spices, polysorbate 60, dried parsley, lemon juice concentrate, calcium disodium EDTA, silicon dioxide.
To be honest, not being a scientist-type of guy, some of the ingredients on that list are pretty “chemically-looking”.
To finish off my meal I decided to had a slice of bread. I do like to at least feel like making healthy choices so I grabbed a slice from a loaf of Country Harvest 100% Whole Grain bread.
Once again, I have no idea what most of these ingredients are:
Whole grain whole wheat flour including the germ, water, sprouted wheat flour, wheat gluten, sugar/glucose-fructose, yeast, salt, soybean and/or canola oil, calcium propionate, vegetable monodiglycerides, sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate, diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono and diglycerides.
This really was an eye-opening exercise for me. It is obvious to me now that it is not just restaurant food that is loaded with a chemist’s wet dream of ingredients.