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Understanding Labels

Do you know what you are actually eating? Do you ever look at labels and not recognize some of the ingredients let alone pronounce them?

When we first moved to America we thought it would be easy to adapt because it is a western country and we speak the same language, (or so we thought, but that’s a whole other story) however it did take time to adjust.

America is a country where everything is done by “super size”; personalities are bigger, cars, malls, ovens, even the fridge/freezers are bigger…and of course food portions are BIGGER.  It seems that a lot of food in this country is mass produced making it more about quantity not quality.

We thought moving to another westernized country would be simple and in a lot of ways it was but we noticed a lot of differences with the food and each time we go home for a visit we make sure to save some space in the suitcase to bring back food we know and miss. It seems strange that you can have the same product but yet it tastes completely different depending on what country you are in… why is that? Don’t get me wrong I love living here, the choice of food is incredible and mostly delicious but through the help of the IIN, my ever increasing interest in nutrition and my experience here I have certainly become more aware of what I put into my body.  For instance, one food in particular that I notice is slightly different is bread.  In the UK a loaf of bread usually lasts for no longer than a few days but here a loaf can last up to 2 weeks and still show no signs of molding!  What crazy chemicals are being added to make bread last so long??

I took one loaf of bread from the states and compared it with a loaf of bread from the UK and here is what I discovered;

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1 UK Loaf of Bread

1 US Loaf of Bread

Wholemeal Four, Water, Yeast, Wheat, Protection, Salt, Vinegar, Toasted Wheat, Vegeratable Fat, Malted Wheat, Emulsifier: E472(e), Malt Flour, Sugar, Soya Flour, Autolyszed Yeast, Flour Treatment Agent: E300 Whole Wheat Flour, Unbleached Enriched, Wheat Flour, [Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Reduced Iron, Niacin, Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid], Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Yeast, Wheat Gluten, Brown Rice, Cornmeal, Oats, Wheat Bran, Cellulose Fiber, Soybean Oil, Black & White Sesame Seeds, Salt, Molasses, Pea Fiber, Mono- And Diglycerides, Calcium, Propionate (Preservative), Calcium Carbonate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Monocalcium, Phosphate, Calcium Sulfate, Datem, Poppy Seeds, Sucralose, Soy Lecithin, Whey, Soy Flour, Hazelnut Meal, Walnuts, Nonfat Milk

You will find preservatives in a lot of packaged food, however, the ones to avoid are the artificial preservatives. I’ve highlighted the ones above in bold and you’ll notice that the UK loaf has none.

Learn to recognize what appears on the ingredients list of what you are putting into your body.  You don’t have to become an expert or obsessive about it, just try and stick to more natural wholesome foods and you won’t have a problem at all.  Good things to remember are the smaller the list of ingredients the better and if you can’t pronounce the words don’t eat it.

Obviously not all the bread made in the states contains this many ingredients but I’m using this as an example to make a point.  We have found some delicious bread that we use and we try to keep our food as natural as possible.

One Response

  1. I’ve always wondered that about our bread!! I’m going to pay more attention at the deli now!! X

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