The rest of Wednesday and most of Thursday went off without a hitch, had lots of delicious meals and started a food diary (which I will be posting on here soon, with recipes!). Thursday evening on my way home from work, I call home and ask my hubby what’s for dinner and what do you need me to get? After we brainstormed a bit, we came up with homemade Ravioli stuffed with leftover chicken, spinach, mushrooms, shallots, red peppers, garlic and ricotta. The only thing we didn’t have in the house was ricotta, so I get to the store, grab the cheese and head home as fast as possible since I was hungry and tired! But in the car I realized I hadn’t read the label…but how bad could it be? Ricotta is a simple cheese made from the whey by product left when making other cheeses. It’s pretty straight forward to make, we once made it ourselves, and so there couldn’t be much in the way of additives in the one I bought from the store right? Well, I got home and read the label and to my surprise, guar gum, mono and diglycerides, locast bean gum and carrageenan! Arrggg! I was starting to get a little angry, why are these even needed in diary? I used to work as a professional food taster for Nestle so I understand gums are put into foods like diary to improve the texture, but I was buying full fat diary, why does the texture need to feel creamier? And preservatives, people expect diary to have a shorter shelf life, it’s dairy for heaven’s sake! We used the ricotta and made the ravioli but I will be finding an alternative to store bought ricotta before I ever buy it again.
Then on Friday I discovered some cottage cheese that was about to expire in the back of my fridge. It was lunch time and I was starving so I pulled it out to eat it (I never waste food!). While munching away I read the side of the package…guar gum, mono and diglycerides, xanthan gum, carob bean gum…this time I wasn’t shocked or mad, just disappointed that my favorite brand of cottage cheese wasn’t as good for me as I thought. Hopefully I can find an alternative, but I am beginning to understand one of the reasons so many people are switching away from all dairy products. And I always thought I was a diligent label reader. But on the bright side, I guess the experiment is truly working, it’s definitely making us more aware of exactly what’s hidden in our food…happy label reading!