Wednesday, December 8, 2010

An Oil Slick on Top of my Tea

I admit, I have become an obsessive compulsive label reader, to the point that I can recite to you how many calories are in something, how much sugar, and what weird ingredients that seem non-food to me are contained within.

I love to drink hot things, especially when it is cold.  I like my hot beverages particularly hot.  That is why the McDonald's lawsuit has particularly taken away from the pleasures of a cup of coffee from McDonalds (one of my favorite kinds of coffee I do have to admit, but it has been less than steaming hot the past few times I've purchased a cup).  I like my coffee black and my tea with milk, and sometimes milk and a couple good heaping teaspons of sugar (not the fake stuff, but that's another post).  The other day I decided that instead of swiping little dashes of someone's organic creamer or soy milk in the work fridge, I'd have a one of those single shot vanilla flavored creamers in my hot tea.  I was extremely grossed out when, after I dumped the creamer in, a film of oily substance floated to the top of my tea.  GROSS.  (I dont like to waste, so I drank it anyway).  I investigated the ingredient label and found out that my CREAMER has palm oil in it (whatever THAT is).  Today, in lieu of the nasty oil slick inducing creamer, I chose instead the "mini moos" (single shot creamers that did not have oil as a weird ingredient, but did contain carrageenan).  So I fixed my tea and then back at my desk proceeded to determine just what carrageenan and palm oil were and the nutritional components of both, so that in the future I would know what I was consuming (or could go back to stealing splashes of soymilk from my colleagues).

Turns out that (according to anyway, Carrageenan is basically a seaweed extract and is used as a thickener.  Its termed a vegetarian alternative to gelatin (and if you dont know how gelatin is made, ask me, I'll post about it, you'll be amazed at just where gelatin comes from if you dont know, but you may also never eat it again).  So I am pretty OK with consuming that.

Palm oil is bad and I'm on not going to drink any more of it.  Saturated fats and all that stuff.  I am sure in the two teaspoon quantities that it comes in those single shot creamers I have nothing to worry about, but considering I could consume an entire jar of peanut butter with a spoon in one sitting (which I dont do but could do, I'm just trying to convey my love of peanut butter), I think I'll stick to that as my source of saturated fats.

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