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Tag: shortening

The check arrived after a decent Chinese dinner of Egg Foo Young and Stir Fry Vegetables. As is customary these days, the paper check was buried under a pile of individually wrapped fortune cookies.  My 3-year old’s eyes greatly enlarged as she realized the noisy packages were filled with dessert. I let her select her cookie and explained why there was an itty bitty piece of paper inside. This was my fortune:

You will take a chance in something in the near future.
Daily Numbers 0, 3, 9.  Lotto Six #’s 22, 43, 11, 13, 4, 27

As I crumbled up the wrapper, I noticed that the ingredients were listed in small red lettering.

INGREDIENTS: Flour, Sugar, Water, Hydrogenated Vegetable Shortening, Margarine, Corn Starch, FD&C Yellow 5 & 6, FD&C Red #40, Citric Acid and Preserved with Sodium Benzoate.

I know it’s dessert, but this cookie barely has one redeeming ingredient to it’s name. It’s really just refined white flour mixed with sugar, trans fats, colors and preservatives. It’s funny to me that they have to add 3 different types of artificial colorings to achieve that “baked brown” look. I wonder what color the cookie would be without it.

My fortune is quite amusing and accurate. I’m taking a chance with my health just by eating the cookie! In fairness, one fortune cookie is not going to kill you, but understand you’re eating crap, even if it does come in a decorative package with lotto number suggestions.

Image: Ksayer1 via Flickr

This Ingredient Spotlight is a regular feature from Be Food Smart. Check back daily to see the ingredient of the day.

ANY CHARACTER HERE

Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)

E Number: E320

Uses: Antioxidant, Preservative

Found In: lard, instant mashed potatoes, ice cream, baked goods, dry dessert mixes, shortening, cereal, potato flakes

Description: Petroleum-derived preservative which helps to prevent spoilage due to oxidation. The US National Institutes of Health states that BHA is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen based on evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals.” Banned in Japan.

Possible Health Effects: Evidence of causing cancer in experimental…Read more on BHA.

Related Ingredients: BHT, TBHQ

Copyright May 20, 2010 Be Food Smart

Be Food Smart was created to educate and inform the public about what’s really in the foods we eat every day. The site has a huge database of food additives, chemicals, food colorings, sweeteners, and preservatives and allows one to search for over 400 ingredient names. Our unique ingredient reports contain simple and easy to understand descriptions, alternate names, possible health effects, and allergy information. The site is completely free and is a wonderful resource for parents, teachers, health care professionals, dietitians, and concerned consumers.