Monday, July 9, 2012

Chemophobia, Vacation Style

While eating at a neighborhood breakfast nook this weekend, the owner came out to inquire about our food. Tasty, hot enough? The normal grunts and nods of approval followed. The owner then took great pains to mention my better half's egg-white omelette. A direct quote:
"All freshly-made egg whites. I never let Egg Beaters in my kitchen. Too many chemicals."
The 'chemical-free' egg, made
entirely from unicorn horn,
 thought energy, and pixie wings
I sat on my hands, pursed my lips, and fought back the urge to autocorrect. Ahh, the well-worn 'chemicals-in-food' trope, rearing its ugly head over Sunday breakfast.

Later on, I did what any chemist would, and found the Egg Beaters ingredients list online. Surprisingly difficult! The E.B. corporate site dodges and darts, so I went to a "healthy-kitchen" blog! Suffice to say, you know the outcome already: there's chemicals in there, by golly! Just like in flowers, dirt, engine oil, coral, or a humble glass of water. Actually, I was surprised that the ingredients were so innocuous:

Egg Whites, Less than 1%: Natural Flavor, Color (Includes Beta Carotene), Spices, Salt, Onion Powder, Vegetable Gums (Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum), Maltodextrin. Vitamins and Minerals: Calcium Sulfate, Iron (Ferric Phosphate), Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol Acetate), Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamine Mononitrate), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin D3   [credit: Erin Coates, The Healthy Apron]

So, that's two naturally-derived gums, a natural dye, a starch, and a bunch of vitamins and minerals you'd've encountered in the Minute Maid juices the restaurant also served (Nevermind the CoffeeMate creamers, or the artificial sweetener!).

Ignorance is bliss.


  1. Hey, what's that word with the letter V in it up there? I don't really recognize it.

  2. Right, I know. I was being "vacation" was really a glorified 3-day weekend. Sorry for the confusion!

    (Here's to hoping you didn't mean "vitamin")