Sunday, August 30, 2009

New Game Show: Natural or Unnatural?

It's time to play that exciting new game show, "Natural or Unnatural?" where contestants try to guess whether a packaged product from the store is natural or not...even though the label says that it is.

Today's product is Stacy's Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips. As you can see, the packaging indicates that the product is "All Natural." In order for contestants to decide whether this product is truly "All Natural," let's take a look at the ingredients list:

Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Sugar, Sunflower Oil (Ascorbic Acid, Rosemary Citric Acid, Canola Oil), Whole Wheat Flour, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Sea Salt, Active Yeast, Oat Fiber, Compressed Yeast, Malted Barley Flour, and Inactive Yeast.

Right you are! You get points for pointing out that Stacy's has not included "natural flavors" (which really aren't natural)!

But let's take a closer look at the ingredients. Enriched Flour is our first ingredient, but doesn't the word enriched actually mean that something has been added? Looking further at the ingredients that make up the enriched flour, we see that iron, folic acid, and some B-vitamins have been added. It doesn't sound natural to me if you have to add vitamins.

Moving on to the Sunflower Oil, we see that this oil does not appear to be sunflower oil at all, but rather is canola oil with ascorbic and rosemary citric acid added to it. Hmm. I thought sunflower oil had to be extracted from sunflower seeds--or some part of the sunflower plant--but apparently I am wrong. And how many of you have jars of ascorbic and rosemary citric acid on your spice racks?

The rest of the ingredients look fairly natur--oh, wait! Apparently some stray Oat Fiber has been added! Not oats, but oat fiber. Where can I buy a jar of Oat Fiber? Anyone?

So the time has come to make your decision, dear contestants. What is your final answer: Stacy's Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips--natural or unnatural?

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