Junk in Food: Ugh, Not That Too!

Hearty Beef Chili

A pot of Hearty Beef Chili was on the agenda today, the weather cool and rainy.  All the usual ingredients assembled, over five pounds of meat to brown and fill the stock pot. As I opened the cans of beans and tomatoes (yes, I use canned because they are easier to measure and store for when the mood strikes), I noticed ingredients I hadn’t really paid attention to before.  Making chili for years, perfecting it to our family’s preferences, it is one of those recipes I just make on autopilot.

Until today.

Reading the label on the Kuner’s chili beans, I noticed flour (cracker meal) and soybean oil, two things I tend to avoid, but there is was in my chili beans.  This does not work for my daughter trying to avoid gluten either.  It is beans for goodness sake; I assumed it would have a little extra cumin and chili powder, but not white flour and soybean oil. Unfortunately, it was already mixed in. The black beans and kidney beans were a different brand without any additional junk, thankfully.

Then there were the S&W Italian style stewed tomatoes…picked up a case at Costco since the goal was a big pot of chili.  High fructose corn syrup? Really?! Ugh, I don’t know if I was more disappointed in the brand or in myself for not reading the label and just assuming.  I am a label reader if there ever was one and for the life of me, do not know how I missed it.

It looks like I will be adjusting the brands I use for my chili from now on…

What about you, ever been surprised by once trusted brands?


17 responses to “Junk in Food: Ugh, Not That Too!

  1. Yes: for example the brand of peanut butter I used to buy now has sugar added.

  2. Oh no. Could you cook dried beans and freeze them for future use?

    • As a matter of fact, I measured the canned beans so I could see how much in soaked and cooked beans I would use. 1 can of beans is approximately 1 1/2 cups of beans. So, I am now thinking I’ll be cooking and freezing beans in that amount for those recipes I would normally use a can of beans. Honestly, I’ve been wanting to do that for a while now, just hadn’t had the proper motivation until NOW!

  3. Actually I dont read labels a lot specially if I am used to the brand. Which made me think now I should read it, I only read them when its something new to me.

  4. About 5 or 6 years ago, I noticed that the canned tomato products I normally bought contained more than just tomatoes. That’s when I started freezing tomatoes every August & September. That experience taught me to pay more attention to what’s on the labels of what I’m buying. I’m not a fanatic but I have changed a few brands for some with shortened lists of ingredients.

    • I would love to freeze tomatoes, but here in Colorado the cooler summer temps is not conducive to good tomatoes and buying enough gets expensive. This taught me to continue to check labels even on the brands I trust.

  5. I’m all over reading the ingredients than worrying about calorie counts! And in doing so, I am, like you, so surprised to find unwanted (to me) ingredients! I’m always surprised how corn syrup gets into alot of products and those that are “light” almost always contain so many more ingredients than I would like to ingest!!

  6. YUM! Talk about hearty! That looks amazing!! 🙂

  7. Ugh what a bummer to find out things you’ve been eating for years is “contaminated” by junk ingredients! Boo! I’m glad you caught it though. Tons of people don’t even look.

    The chili looks great- and sounds great as the weather gets collddddd. Brr!

  8. Perfect chili for welcoming the fall. Happy Cooking!

  9. My wife and I look at labels so often that we are never surprised by the junk we find in a product. In fact I often simply get annoyed, but sometimes pissed off. Like you said with the tomatoes… High fructose corn syrup? Really?! Next time at Costco look for the S&W Organic diced canned tomatoes.

  10. oh no. I guess I better double check the labels on my next trip to Costco!

    • Oh, no, what I meant is that I usually buy the organic, but this time I didn’t notice they were NOT the organic when I bought them…until I read the label. Sorry, the brain and fingers are not in sync today. 🙂

  11. haha. I think a could have read your response different though too. 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  12. Ah, there are so many incidents where this sort of thing happened, it makes me sad to recall… One of the most memorably shocking discoveries was finding gelatin in Planter’s roasted peanuts. Just plain (supposedly) salted peanuts. Ugh!

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