What is Hummus?
According to Sabra, the leading seller of hummus dips in the US, the FDA needs to weigh in and define hummus so that consumers will be protected from fakes. According to Sabra, a dip should only be called hummus if it is made from chickpeas as the main ingredient, not beans or other pulses. Sabra filed a Citizen’s Petition with the FDA, requesting a strict definition, as is the practice in other countries such as Israel, Jordan, and the European Union.
The hummus market has been growing at a hefty pace in the last 10 years, and it is now a $600 Million a year business. Sabra’s move is an obvious attempt to gain more market share, but it’s not necessarily without merit. Hummus is a food with a proud tradition spanning almost a thousand years.
Our beef with Sabra is that its version of hummus may be even MORE PROBLEMATIC than some of the non-chickpea versions.
Traditional hummus is not made with any oil. When served, a touch of olive oil is often drizzled on top. So why does Sabra add oil as the third ingredient? And if adding oil, why does Sabra use soybean oil? Forget that soybean is GMO for a moment. No self-respecting hummus purveyor would add anything but olive oil to hummus.
Also, don’t get us started with some of the nasty preservatives used by Sabra, such as potassium sorbate, potentially toxic to human DNA, and sodium benzoate, which sometimes transforms into benzene, a known carcinogen and DNA harmer.
Perhaps Sabra should rethink its citizen petition, and work on getting its hummus right. In the meantime, there are plenty of healthy and tasty hummus options out there, made with the right ingredients. Use the free Fooducate mobile app (iPhone, Android) to find them. Or, make your own hummus!
(H/T to Foodnavigator)