Hidden in Plain Sight
Photographs of food are doctored with some amazing things: motor oil makes pancakes glisten, shave cream replaces real whipped cream, glycerin-coating gives fish that glisten of being freshly cooked and glue in place of milk in cereal keeps it from getting soggy. Yes, it is an art and the food needs to look good for a long period under the lights.
What is happening to processed food is not just designed to look processed. It is altered and fiddled with and eaten, and that is not good.
Just what does the word “processed" mean? For most people, a processed food is one that could not be made using the same ingredients in a home kitchen. It has been manipulated and has chemicals for a variety of reasons. As mom used to say, just because it is edible does not mean it’s good for you.
For example, there is a product called, xanthan gum that is used for synthetic fruit flavoring. It’s a slimy coating produced by fermentation of the bacteria Xanthomonas campestris with corn syrup. This bacteria causes disease—black rot—in plants. This is a polysaccharide—like a starch that can be made into white powder—and is an ingredient in products like Kraft French dressing, Weight Watchers food, Wonder Bread products, and more. Pass the fruit tart? Ugh.