Friday, March 27, 2009

Vegetarians are screwed.

In my previous post, I told you that Twinkies are not vegetarian friendly due to the beef fat that's added. Bleh. There are so many products that you would think are safe for vegetarians but they aren't. One item is McDonald's french fries. This may be one you have heard of before. There was a law suit against McDonald's in 2001 brought on by vegetarians and people of the Hindu faith because of the fact that McDonald's fries contain a beef by-product and the public was not told. People who practice the Hindu faith consider cows sacred and someone had said that eating a cow was like eating their mother.

Prior to 1990, McDonald's cooked their fries in 93% beef tallow (fat) and 7% cottonseed oil for flavor. They switched to cooking their fries in 100% vegetable oil due to society concern over cholesterol. They omitted the fact that when the fries are initially prepared, a beef extract is being added to maintain their beefy flavor. In their disclosures, they put "natural flavoring" as one of the ingredients in their fries. By "natural flavoring", they meant beef fat.

Here was one of McDonald's responses to inquiries about their french fries:

The company uses a miniscule amount of beef flavoring as an ingredient in the raw product and it is not required by law to list it as an ingredient. Instead beef flavoring falls under the term "natural flavors".

According to the FDA, that is perfectly within the guidelines. I'm not going to get started on the FDA but let's just say I trust them as far as I can throw them...and they're a big organization.

So what do the french fry ingredients say now?

Potatoes, vegetable oil (canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor [wheat and milk derivitaves]*), citric acid (preservative), dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain color), salt. Prepared in vegetable oil (may contain one of the following: canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid to preserve freshness), dimethylpolysiloxane added as an anti-foaming agent. *Contains: Wheat and milk (Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients).

The crap that we eat is horrifying. Most of what we taste are chemicals made in a lab. One more thing I want to mention. TBHQ in the ingredients above stands for tert-Butylhydroquinone. Consume enough of it and you'll get stomach tumors, cancer and it can damage your DNA. Read that last sentence again. You know what else alters our DNA? Radiation. So eat enough fries and maybe you'll grow another arm? It's Chernobyl on a smaller scale.

Final note: McDonald's does not use beef products in their french fries in India due to the amount of people that practice the Hindu faith. They also do not use beef products in predominately Muslim areas such as Africa, the Middle East and southeast Asia.


Dreamwriter said...

Oh No! Not my fries! I cannot live without my fries...LOL!! I learn something new everyday...thanks for this update :)

Dracenea said...

The good news is that supposedly Burger King and Wendy's do not use any meat product in their fries. Not sure if you have those fast food joints by you? It's really scary what we eat without knowing!