I had been in the US for a couple of days when it struck me: everything tasted sweet. But everything. Salad dressing, bread, cereal, milk, hamburgers, beer. Sweet. A good old english muffin. Sweet. I was playing with a sachet of salt and above my thumb I saw the word ‘Ingredients’. That’s going a bit far, I thought, labelling salt with ingredients. Surely there’s no more than salt in salt. Moved my thumb: Wrong. Apparently this salt also contained dextrose. In case you needed a little sugar with your salt.
This has made me a little obsessive about reading the ingredients label on things. Not strictly true, I was probably already obsessive about ingredients. Now I’m just more curious about sugar. How much sugar is in packaged food we eat here in Australia? Answer: A lot more than there should be.
What part of the mayonnaise recipe calls for sugar? No part. And yet Praise 97% Fat Free Mayonnaise is 20% sugar. Why? Eat the damn fat, people! It’s probably vegetable oil and way better for you than the sugar. Or just don’t eat mayo.
If you put a table-spoon sized dollop of Masterfood seafood sauce on your plate to have with your Christmas prawns, you may as well grab yourself a teaspoon and sprinkle your prawns with some tasty demerara sugar.
Tomato sauce. Sugar. Peanut Butter. Sugar. I’m not talking about the natural sugar that foods contain intrinsically, I’m talking about sugar that is deliberately added by food manufacturers so that we will find their product more tasty and appealing. The sugar that is listed in the ingredients list: the closer to the start of the list, the higher the proportion of sugar in the product.
Well, stupid food manufacturers, I don’t like it. I don’t like your sweet sugary savoury things, and I don’t like that artificial sweet chemical crap stuff you put in things instead of sugar either. I am going to live on vegemite and vinegar, you see if I don’t.
PS: I make my own mayonnaise if I want mayonnaise, and I dress my potato salad with olive oil and an acid – lemon juice or a vinegar of some sort. And I’m secretly worried that Kraft will start putting sugar in vegemite. Hell, they put cheese in it, who knows what else they are capable of!