Greetings Ninjas in Training!
I’m really sorry about that post title… I think it’s hilarious and that’s kind of a problem. I’m sure you’re all wondering about that label reading contest. Well, let’s get right to it!
Here is the label you were asked to read:
Using the techniques outlined in this post, let’s look for the villains in our ninja hero story:
Any citric acid or citrates?
Nope! Ninjas who only react to synthetic citric acid would be just fine eating this. But the ninjas with reactions to the natural stuff have to look a little further.
Any whole foods above your tolerance level?
Using my tolerance level of zero, here’s what we find:
Palm oil – made from palm fruit #nope
Soybean oil – soy is forever a #no
Cocoa – this one is tricky, because cocoa is magic; however, if we are just looking at “does it contain citric acid or not,” this would be a #no for very low-tolerance ninjas
Any ingredients derived from citric acid-containing sources?
Sugar – can be from cane (safe) or beets (#nope); cane is more likely to be found in “healthy” or organic snacks because it is non-GMO, whereas beets are almost always GMO and common in junk foods like this
Canola oil – another tricky one; expeller expressed canola oil is safe, but typically this will be specified on the label; with no specification, it is likely cold pressed, which means they likely used citric acid as an additive in the extraction process #bye
High fructose corn syrup – made from corn #nothanks
Cornstarch – away with ye! #corn #nope
Soy Lecithin – contains an alarming 0.8% citric acid #rude
Chocolate – careful here – chocolate and cocoa are not the same thing! Cocoa is pure smushed cacao beans, chocolate is cocoa mixed with any number of mystery ingredients. There could be soy, milk, vegetable fat… #nomysterychocolateforyou
So here is what our label looks like after a good read:
What about the other stuff?
Many of you guessed some of the safe ingredients to be unsafe, so let’s go over those:
Enriched flour – all of the vitamins in this particular enriched flour are synthetic, and not derived from or created with anything remotely resembling citric acid. I’d hazard a guess that most enriched flour is just fine, but watch me say that and then die from eating an entire bag of enriched flour to prove my point.
Leavening is almost always unsafe. Typically it’s made with baking POWDER (which contains corn starch) or cream of tartar/tartaric acid (which is made from grapes, bananas, or tamarinds). This particular leavening contains baking SODA (which is safe) and/or calcium phosphate (also safe), which is actually the combination I use in lieu of baking powder when I make delicious baked goods.
Salt – as long as it’s not garlic salt or some sort of weird seasoning, salt is generally your friend (table, Sea, Pink Himalayan, Celtic, etc.)
Vanillin – vanilliN is artificial and not a problem. The real problem is lazy scientists who have only assured us that vanillA “probably” contains citric acid.
So now what?
Now, please go forth and do not eat Oreos if you want to live.
I have contacted the winner of the contest, so expect a new recipe sometime in the next century probably.
Until then, when life gives you lemons, RUN!
The Lemon Ninja