Monday, June 15, 2015

What's in your food Part 6. Ranch Dressing

Did you know there really is a Hidden Valley? Well it's true, Steve and Gayle Henson opened a dude ranch up by Santa Barbara CA back in the early fifties. And they named it Hidden Valley Ranch. They served their own concoction of buttermilk and herbs to guests and a dynasty was born. In 72 they sold the company to Clorox for 8 million. And the stuff has not been the same ever since. Big companies want big profits for their outlay of cash and so like so many big companies, the old concept of the cheat is used. Cheaper ingredients and crap to make consumers think they are getting something good. First ingredient on the list is a choice, the company uses whatever is cheapest and so they don't actually know which one is in the bottle. Soy or canola. Both are very bad for you, high in Omega 6 low in Omega 3 and both long chain fatty acids. And as we all know, in this instance longer is not better. Plus the big one, they are pretty much all GMO and although we have no real idea if GMOs are in fact bad for us, what we do know is that they are drenched with glyphosate weed killer. And the residues are much higher than what some studies show to be harmful. Yeah, that old thing again, the Feds raised the limits of residues at the behest of the agrochemical industry  because weeds are becoming resistant to the effects and so they spray more and more of the stuff on the crops. Good news for the industry selling the stuff,but not so good for humans that have to eat the residues in products that are made from GMO crops. Let's not forget that the WHO just two months ago decreed that glyphosate weedkiller is indeed a probable carcinogen and are requesting more study. Well, long term studies take time and cost money and since it is the WHO I'm pretty sure it will be done, but we won't know for a while. But they both are cheap. So it's a personal choice to eat slow chronic cumulative toxins, or not. I don't. 

Next we see that this dressing that once was a buttermilk based dressing now contains more sugar than buttermilk. And not only that, two tablespoons of the stuff has over 11% of your daily sodium needs. And of course there is MSG, good old MonoSodium Glutamate. That along with the Disodium twins, Inosinate and guanylate; the three improve the flavor characteristics of the stuff and give consumers the false sense of good taste where none actually exists. We call that a cheat. The three ingredients that cause flavor addiction are used throughout the manufacturing of processed foods everywhere. Salt, sugar and MSG. And along with the Disodium twins, Inosinate and guanylate; they increase mouthfeel and increase flavor desirability at very very low cost.

So what we have so far is some nasty oil, lots of salt and sugar, some spices and buttermilk, and of course MSG and related cheats to make it taste better. And then, well actually the EDTA as a preservative is not the worst choice, it's relatively harmless. Well, relatively. The one concern though is the Disodium Phosphate. You would think this is a pretty simple compound and pretty innocuous. The thing is though that it isn't. In itself, it isn't toxic but if someone with heart conditions, high blood pressure or on certain medications, this compound breaks down into free phosphorous pretty readily. And too much phosphorous is a very bad thing for certain people. I don't understand the reasoning behind the use of this chemical. Well, other than it is a whole lot cheaper than other less dangerous ones. Lecithin pretty much does the same job, but at a far higher cost. Would you die from eating a couple tablespoons of the stuff if you had heart trouble? Well, actually you very well could. The reason is that there is another source of free phosphorous there. Plain old (and very cheap) phosphoric acid. This is used to lower the pH of the product to help retard bacterial growth. Again, much cheaper than even white vinegar which does an adequate job. But at higher costs. Both have free phosphorous and I don't know the exact amount, they aren't required to list it. Has any one ever died from eating the stuff? I don't think the families nor any medical examiners would equate high phosphorous levels taken at autopsy after a meal where the deceased ate a crap load of healthy vegetables all dipped in ranch dressing. I mean really, the dead guy ate healthy stuff. Well, except the ranch. If you have ever watched TV cop shows at some time ALL of them tell you about the perfect murder, high doses, either oral or injected, of either one or both potassium or phosphates. Both can stop a heart and are especially deadly to those with heart problems. Except a "high dose" is about a 100 milligrams. For a healthy adult. How much is in 2 tablespoons of Ranch? Well, hard to say. And how often do you only eat 2 tablespoons.

These are some of the things that the food industry does to cheat us. They are cheats. Addictive responses come from the high salt, sugar and MSG. And cheaper ingredients are used as well, as manufacturing cheats. And all with no thought or concern as to what the stuff might do to certain people in the pool of consumers that are targeted as viable marks for the slick advertising. Wouldn't it be nice if the food manufacturers had to add an announcer to all their food ads that would tell you all the possible side effects and how if you had heart problems eating the stuff could result in death. The reality though is that Americans would see the happy people eating the tasty ranch dressing on healthy food and not even hear the lists of side effects. Does anyone think that the announcers listing all the horrific side effects of advertised drugs ever really deters anyone from taking the stuff if a doctor tells them it might help. But it would be a triumph for those of us that care. Yeah, though for now we just have to suffer through the realities of corporate controlled food production that pretty much funds all of the elections and thus we have our true masters having free reign to do as they please as they instruct the governing agencies to do what they require. Animal Farm is a reality.

Well I received an email from someone that didn't quite understand the Animal Farm reference. So for those that did not have an English or Literature class in school that required you to read George Orwell's masterpiece of parody and satire, Animal Farm, the reference is to that particular book.

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