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Taking guesswork out of eating

June 19, 2012
By ANDREW POTTER , Times-Republican

Do we really know what we are eating these days? Ever look at the laundry list of ingredients on a food wrapper? It can be a tad mind boggling.

After polishing off a granola bar recently I must have been really bored as I decided to look at the wrapper. Under the ingredients it said in bold. "May Contain Peanuts and Tree Nuts."

I guess they have to put that there for allergic reasons but the biggest problem I have with that phrase is the with the word "may."

Like maybe this piece of food which you are putting in your body is this, but on the other hand it could be that. Aren't they the ones that put that stuff in there so they should be pretty well versed on its contents?

Anyone else a little concerned with me on that one?

I tend to not like uncertainty with what I'm eating. Guesswork and ingredients of food I'm putting in my body don't seem to go together in my book.

Does this work in other professions?

Imagine if the doctor leaves you a note after surgery that reads. "I may have taken out your spleen or one of your lungs. Sorry, not sure. - Doc"

As you can see this "may" does not translate too well in other fields, so it shouldn't in food.

If I wanted to be surprised at what I ate I would wear a blindfold into the supermarket or let my 3-year-old daughter whip something up - that might be dangerous.

OK, so maybe I'm taking this "may" thing a little too far. After all, look at all the other ingredients that I have no clue about but yet I still chomp away.

Of course, I am contradicting myself from my teen years when I would just about toss anything back without remorse.

I can remember needing a few extra bucks to got to the ice cream shop and taking on a bet to swallow a raw egg. Yep, I can still imagine that thing slithering down my throat. Hey, at least I knew all the ingredients that time.

Of course, that was decades ago and I'm a bit more pickier of what i ingest. Aren't we all walking contradictions of who we were in our teenage years anyway?

Well, since my granola bar awakening I tend to look a little closer at ingredients now. Though I still am scared to look at what Twizzlers are actually made of. Some things are better left not being known. At one point in my life, my body was 20 percent Twizzlers. I guess now it's 5 percent granola, and 5 percent unknown - if you believe a wrapper.

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Reporter Andrew Potter is a Tuesday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or apotter@timesrepublican.com

 
 

 

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