Yesterday we wrote about Thanksgiving’s cranberry sauce tradition. Today we’ll take a look inside a turkey – more specifically at the stuffing.
Filling the cavities of poultry dates back to Roman times, and there are many food items that can be used – from grains to vegetables to other pieces of meat. But the U.S. tradition is usually a mixture of bread crumbs, herbs and spices. While there are plenty of great recipes handed down from generation to generation, the supermarket shelves are lined with instant varieties.
We took a look at Kraft’s Stove Top brand to see what store bought turkey stuffing contains.
What you need to know:
The ingredient list is long:
Enriched Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Onions (Dried), Salt, Contains Less than 2% of Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Cooked Turkey and Turkey Broth, Yeast, Celery (Dried), Parsley (Dried), Maltodextrin, Spice, Caramel Color, Sugar, Turmeric, Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate, with BHA, BHT, Citric Acid, and Propyl Gallate as Preservatives.
We’ve highlighted some of the “fun” ingredients for you:
High fructose corn syrup – Note that it’s the second ingredient after the flour. while the debate on whether it’s worse for you than sugar rages on, for us the presence of HFCS is indicative of a low quality product. HFCS is the cheapest way to sweeten a product. In some instances, more than what the recipe calls for.
Partially hydrogenated oil – transfat.
Hydrolyzed soy protein – another name for MSG.
Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate – impart an umami flavor, usually in conjunction with MSG. Help reduce the sodium level of some foods.
BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) – a synthetic antioxidant additive. It is used to extend the shelf life of fats, oils, and oil-containing foods, including cereals, gums, and potato chips. The FDA approves it as safe despite the fact that the Department of Health and Human Services considers BHA to be “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” Alternatives to BHA are vitamin E or tocopherols, different packaging methods, or simply omitting it.
BHT -Butylated hydroxytoluene – an additive used to retard rancidity in oils and foods containing oils and fats. Some studies have shown it to be carcinogenic. Best to avoid.
Propyl Gallate – an artificial food additive, found in meat products, microwaveable popcorn, soup mixes, chewing gum, mayonnaise, and frozen meals. It has antioxidant properties, which means it helps stop oxygen molecules from mixing with the oil in food, causing the food to go rancid. In addition to being a possible carcinogen, it may cause stomach and skin irritability, as well as allergic reactions that impact breathing. It may also cause kidney and liver problems. Although the FDA considers propyl gallate safe, in other countries it is either banned or very limited in use.
So now we’ll ask, why in the world would you not prepare your own stuffing?
If you have a recipe you’d like to suggest please comment below.