28 Feb Reading food labels is good for body and mind.
I read, I choose, I eat
“Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food”
Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food, 2009
Let’s consider the label.
Even those who don’t like reading have to give in: at this point, to navigate the purchase of any product, the label must be read. The label explains, more or less clearly, what we are buying, whether it be what we wear, apply on our skin, drink or eat. There’s organic cotton, soap without SLS, nickel-free make-up. Just take a look at portal www.greenme.it to understand the complexity of the topic and to get an idea on how difficult it is to make an informed purchase.
We must say that not everybody cares. If you are among those that live in peace without wondering too much and buy things based on immediate satisfaction, stop reading this post now because it will be boring.
For those who are still reading, I suggest reading a gluten-free, croissant label together to start:
Did you get the end? Good: this is what I call a “long” recipe.
On food labels, the longer the recipe, the higher the probability that there are hidden ingredients unknown to most; they are functional for the production industry, probably less for healthy food. The longer the recipe, the harder it is to understand: in this the case, the consumer gives up consciousness and trusts what the advertisement claims, his curiosity, his attraction of the packaging or economic convenience.
What are all these acronyms?
In the last couple of years, there is a video, on the internet, by Professor Berrino who, when interviewed at the supermarket, reveals how he would do the shopping. You may like it or not, but he does give an idea that makes us think:
“If we see too many ingredients on the label, there’s something wrong. Usually there are chemical substances that both preserve the food, but also stabilize the flavour for commercial reasons. Michael Pollan, in his book In Defense of Food recommends always going shopping with our great-grandmother, in the sense that what our great-grandmother doesn’t recognize as food, mustn’t end up in our shopping cart”.
Let’s go back to the label from before and look at some of these mysterious ingredients:
- E471/E475/E322 are emulsifying agents that help make the dough elastic and supple because they make the water bind with fat.
- E330 is an acidity regulator and is necessary to improve the flavour
- E202 is a preservative, potassium sorbate, which guarantees the shelf life of a product without mould and deterioration
- xanthan gum: is a thickening agent and batter stabilizer which gives greater body given the lack of gluten
For those who want to investigate, take a look at this very informative portal
on which you can insert all the single ingredients in the key-work search to obtain all the information regarding their function and impact on one’s health.
Now we can choose
Naturally all these ingredients conform with the law and within the limits allowed therefore no more fanaticism from those who consider them poison. Understanding them though makes sense: that of allowing us to make the conscious choice of whether to eat them or not.
I can decide not to eat them because I am convinced they are bad, because I’m suspicious, because they are used in industrial processes whose flavour I don’t recognize.
Or I can decide, knowing about them, to eat them anyway because they conform to the law, they are not bad, because I can’t give up the food that contains them, etc.
Personally, I try to avoid them as much as possible. Just like I try to avoid eating other ingredients that are commonly and widely used in industrial products like hydrogenated fat, sorbitol, glucose syrup, artificial flavouring (the magical vanillin).
I do this for various reasons, some more concrete, others even unrealistic.
The first reason is that in all these years of passion for food, reading, courses, I haven’t found confirmation of the fact that they are good. Being doubtful, I avoid them.
The second is that I like the flavour of raw materials, I like to define them when I eat food. The more the ingredients, the more impossible this operation becomes. And for me this is a minus.
The third is almost aesthetic, even if, in the end, it is probably the one in which others recognize themselves… (let’s come out of the closet together): I don’t like the list of ingredients, acronyms and numbers. It makes the recipe more like a pharmaceutical product than a delicious sweet.
The Sincerity&Food label
Hence, I like the “short” recipe. And this is the basis for the choice of Sincerity&Food products.
Few ingredients, the smallest number possible to obtain a good product.
Select ingredients because if you don’t correct the flavour, if the batter isn’t emulsified, if you don’t preserve the product artificially, the raw materials must be good on their own.
The Sincerity&Food products were invented at home, from requests made by my daughters, from experiments that I collected over the years cooking for friends and family. They have an artisanal base, optimized by the expertise of our pastry chefs and artisans who know how to maintain the basics unaltered.
We don’t pretend that our biscuits, breadsticks or jams are good for you. But we can claim that they are sincere. Our commitment is to offer original products, made by 100% Italian, artisanal laboratories with first choice raw materials, without preservatives, colouring or artificial flavouring.
Our commitment is to make good products for everybody.
Oops, hadn’t I said it yet?
By reading the label, you will discover that all the Sincerity&Food products are made with a mix of gluten-free flour in dedicated laboratories so they are safe not only for those who choose to eat gluten-free, but also for those who have to do it because, like me, they are celiac.
By reading the label, you will discover that a lot of the products are also lactose- and egg-free because the beauty of food is sharing it to savour those small daily gestures.
By reading the label, you will surely find “additives”, substances that, like the ones mentioned above, are added to the recipe to improve it.But our commitment is to reduce them as much as possible by substituting the ingredient with an artisanal product process which allows for free choice of the raw materials, long leavening time and manual moulding of the pieces.
This is the label of a Sincerity&Food product.