It's amazing how much I learn about food while I am driving. From gas station signs to billboards to radio ads.
Just today, I heard a commercial for a fast food establishment with their new tagline: "You know when it's real."
So, I figured I would do a little checking (not while I drove) and see just how "real" the food is at this particular chain. These items are among the ingredients in their sandwich buns, cheese sauce and chili.
Bun: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Yeast, sodium stearoyl lactylate, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide, mono and diglycerides, DATEM, calcium peroxide, calcium sulfate, L-cysteine, enzymes, ammonium sulfate, tricalcium phosphate, ammonium chloride, Modified Food Starch, Artificial Flavors, Gum Arabic, Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Propionate (preservative)
Cheddar Cheese Sauce: disodium phosphate, artificial color [yellow 5 and 6]) Modified Food Starch, Partially Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Lactic Acid, Tricalcium Phosphate, Sodium Alginate, Sodium Caseinate (milk derivative), Calcium Gluconate, Xanthan gum, Disodium Inosinate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Monoglycerides, Soy Lecithin, DATEM, Sodium Silicoaluminate (anti-caking agent), Artificial Color (yellow 5 and 6).
Chili: disodium EDTA [preservative]), disodium inosinate & guanylate, xanthan gum, caramel color, malic acid, red 40, artificial flavor, silicon dioxide [anticaking agent]).
Yeah, I know when it's real. AND WHEN IT'S NOT.
If you are interested in knowing what's in your food, you can usually find the ingredients and nutrition information, including calories, for most chains through their web sites. Just a quick look can let you know what you are eating, real or not.
Of course, some of those ingredients are probably going to require a dictionary of sorts. Center for Science in the Public Interest created this fantastic, helpful guide to Food Additives.