Friday, April 30, 2010

All I Wanted Was Turkey


I was browning some meat today, making lasagna to send to the baby-sitters while I was out of town this weekend, and casually glanced at the packaging that the ground turkey had been in.  That is when I saw it.  There in the ingredient list - NATURAL FLAVORING.  What the heck is that?!?!?  I bought turkey!  All I wanted was turkey!  What was that natural flavoring stuff?

So, like any concerned consumer would do, I looked it up.  I didn't like what I found.

The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations describes a "natural flavorant" as:


the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or any other edible portions of a plant, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose primary function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional
source:Wikipedia

Because I wasn't 100% sure what all of that meant, I did a bit more looking.  I found a website called The Fit Shack, and the author wrote an article that broke things down really well into layman's terms.  Basically, "natural flavoring" is a man-made additive created by people called "flavorists".  The best I can gather, it is added to foods to enhance the flavor.

Ulrimately, what I want to know is, "Is it bad for me?"  The author of The Fit Shack article didn't know, and I can't find any definitive answers on the internet telling yes or no, either.  Much like The Fit Shack author, I question whether this chemical additive is truly necessary.

Have you ever looked at the ingredient panel of your fresh or ground meats?  Is it possible to buy ground meats in the supermarket without these additives?  How can the FDA or the USDA or whoever regulates these products allow companies to put theses additives into our food?

It's difficult enough to encourage our kids to make healthy snack choices because of all of the commercials peddling crap on TV.  Now we have have to monitor what are supposed to be pure, whole, unprocessed foods?

Clearly, I'm disgruntled.  I don't have any answers.  I'm just so incredibly frustrated with the food industry in this country.

10 comments:

blueviolet said...

What the heck are they doing with the turkey during processing to require them to have to put turkey flavor back into it? Sick!

singedwingangel said...

OK think of it like this, when you cook the turkey you get the juices that roll out of it. You then take that juice and use it to resaturate the turkey r mix in stuffing, we callit broth. The only reason it does not taste like JUST turkey is have you EVER made just a turkey with water? ummm yeah everythign you put on it goes into the juice it excretes to make that flavorful broth.therefore because it is not just the turkey juice alone and contains the spices and seasonings you have cooked it with it has now become MAN MADE cause it is not just the turkey juice. Same goes with chicken or beef when cooked..

anya said...

Have you been watching the Food Revolution?

Alicia said...

Goo!! that's nuts!! sometimes its nice to be a vegetarian....i don't have to worry about lettuce flavoring in lettuce :)

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

Yuck!

My dad went through a phase where he only ate foods with 5 or less ingredients. He didn't last long.

Andrea (ace1028) said...

Yeah - I hate that cr@p. Drives me batty. But sometimes it's all you can find. Maybe buying organic would help [I just accidentally typed organize, duh) but it's also so much pricier. Sigh. We can't win for tryin'! Or for losin'? Or for anything! Stupid FDA!

adrienzgirl said...

I am truly disgusted too. I would love to believe that it is as Angel describes above. However, if it were turkey broth, why doesn't it say turkey broth and not "natural flavoring".

Like I said before, um...there are a lot of things that are "natural" that I wouldn't dare put in my mouth, let alone feed my children.

Danielle said...

Shouldn't ground turkey taste like ground turkey without adding ground turkey flavoring? WTF?
You go girl, find this out for all of us!

Erin said...

I am so glad you did your research. I, too, have been obsessing a bit about food and what we are eating. Reading labels, scratching my head, feeling confused and angry and dumb. But the point is that we're taking notice and we're educating ourselves. Good for you!

The Blue Zoo said...

Its really hard to eat healthy when we dont even know the half of what they are putting in our food!

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