The FDA has expanded its list of foods affected by the recent recall of Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP) manufactured by Basic Food Flavors of Las Vegas. The recall is due to a possible salmonella contamination. HVP is a common flavoring additive used in many commercially processed foods.
This recall affects an estimated 10,000 food products. Check the FDA for a list of products at http://FoodSafety.gov or at the below website.
One thing is apparent when perusing this list: all the products are processed foods. While salmonella contamination can occur with produce and raw animal products, a consumer does have some opportunity to control their food safety. With fresh produce, it is advised to wash and scrub produce with a vegetable brush; friction can help get rid of some bacteria. Cooking foods thoroughly at an appropriate temperature can also destroy the bacteria.
Many of these foods affected by the recall are eaten as snacks, dips, and dressings. Certain brands of potato chips, pretzels, dips, prepared salads and salad dressings – all processed foods. With processed foods, the consumer has absolutely no control over what is going into the food – from both a caloric and health viewpoint.
Here is the definition, courtesy of Wikipedia, of hydrolyzed vegetable protein (http://tinyurl.com/yzlcwup). This is not something that I want to voluntarily ingest:
“Hydrolyzed vegetable protein, or HVP, is produced by boiling cereals or legumes, such as soy, corn, or wheat, in hydrochloric acid and then neutralizing the solution with sodium hydroxide. The acid hydrolyzes, or breaks down, the protein in vegetables into their component amino acids. The resulting brown powder contains, among other amino acids, glutamic acid, which consumers are more familiar with in the form of its sodium salt, monosodium glutamate, or MSG. It is used as a flavor enhancer in many processed foods.”
Homemade is best for a person wishing to live a healthy and fit lifestyle! We need to get back to the days of our grandparents who made everything from scratch. Each product listed on the affected food list is a food that we can easily prepare at home with just a bit of effort. Yes, it takes a bit longer to do, but the extra time is well worth it. It’s the only way you can have control over what you are putting into your body.
Is it any wonder that obesity and disease is rampant in our country? Not only are we putting manufactured junk into our bodies, but we don’t even take the time to prepare healthy, home-cooked meals anymore. We’d rather eat processed, prepared quick foods and sit in front of the tv and watch “The Biggest Loser”.
Even though we are busy, here are ways to integrate fresh, homemade food into your life:
- Have a cooking party and make several large batches of soups, stews, and salad dressings. Let everyone take portions home with them.
- Prepare large batches of homemade food and snacks on the weekend and freeze half in individual portions for future usage.
- Shop organically as much as possible. Support your local farmer thru CSAs and farmer’s markets. Chicago, for example, has a wonderful Green Market in the city, and many of its suburbs have wonderful local market.s
- Buy food that is close to the earth – if it has been processed or has any more than 5 ingredients stay away!
Read my newsletter, The Daily Apple, for more information on integrating homemade foods into your diet. http://tinyurl.com/yzkc8jt
For a list of possible affected foods: