Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Exposing the Blue Box

Okay, so we all grew up on KRAFT Macoroni and Cheese. It's the best, I know, we all generally feel that it is the best (except those that prefer the shells and cheese, which incidentally is also made by Kraft). Anyway, on my path to trying to be more careful about what we eat, etc., I discovered that most packaged foods (of the savory genre), or processed foods in the United States contain MSG, or monosodium glutamate which is a flavor enhancer. Not everyone has any reaction to it, but for some it can cause chest pain, stomach issues, etc. Anyway, the point is, once I discovered this information, I started noticing just how many products contain this additive. Yep, you guessed, the blue box contains it, as does Ranch dressing. I know. It's use is so prevalent, it is amazing. So, the link is to an interesting article about MSG.

Back to the point. So, I, trying to be health conscience, and give my children yummy, good-for-you food, spent about three times the amount of time it takes to fix the blue box, making macaroni and cheese. With GOUDA. Not just some whatever cheese, the good stuff. You guessed it, they don't like it. Well, they ate it, or at least a good amount of it. And who knows, maybe the whole wheat pasta increased their dislike, but they always eat whole wheat pasta, so I am thinking that is not the case. I thought it was good. But it occurred to me while eating it, "What has happened to us, as a society, that we now prefer the taste of chemicals dyed orange over real, good, yummy cheese?"
Oh, so sad.
Well, little blue box. You may have won this small taste-test battle, but you will not win the war!!!
Unless they have lunch at grandma's. =)


frisky said...

Have you checked out how much food has "hydrogentaed oil/partially hydrogenated oil" in it? It's insane! That's one thing that I've been trying to get rid of completely or at least really limit. It's really difficult to try to watch out for everything out there that we've grown so accustomed to eating. I've just been trying to do one thing at a time, get that under control and then it doesn't seem so drastic.

Christine H. said...

Okay, I just LOVE reading your blog. The ending of this post was so clever and funny!

I agree that it is sad that we like all the junk food. Why aren't we drawn to carrot sticks for a snack? That is where I am "breaking the cycle" of bad food habits, if you will. (see my blog today) I started my girls early on raw veggies, and Amber LOVES carrot sticks (I wish I could like them, but I can't stand them raw). Autumn is allergic to carrots, but she likes snap peas. My parents ruined me with not making me at least even try foods. I never ate a salad until after college (no joke). We just didn't eat raw veggies in our home growing up.

So, my friend, you and I will change the course of eating for our families! Yay!!! ( I feel like I just made a campaign speech!)

frisky said...

Pretty much the only way any of our family gets any raw veggies down is if we drown it in ranch dressing!!!

rebecca said...

I tried to leave a comment on this the other day, and it kept bouncing back. Anyway. . . I quit using the boxed stuff years ago, because it's so much easier and yummier to make the real stuff. You just cook your pasta, and while it's draining, you throw some butter into the pot on medium heat (1/4 to 1/2 stick), thicken it with a little flour, some pepper, salt, about a tablespoon of mustard powder. Then pour in a 12 oz. can of evaporated milk (or 1 and 1/2 cups of the fresh stuff). Keep stirring often so it doesn't scald. Once that's thickened and bubbly, stir in about 1/2 pound of cheddar or jack, chopped or shredded. Then you mix in the pasta and a little more cheese if you like. It only takes about five minutes to make the cheese sauce, so you're really not even spending much more time on it than the boxed stuff, and it's WAY better. Plus you can control the fat content with the type of milk and cheese you use. The kids love it.

Oh, and when we were in HK, Jason and I used to laugh at the huge bags of MSG for sale in the markets-- bigger than flour sacks. They were labeled, "Magic Salt."

Jennifer said...

Mmmm, now I am hungry for Mac and cheese! When not making it from scratch we often use Amy's or Trader Joe's boxed versions, although I haven't checked out the ingredients for MSG lately. It is great when your kid looks at the bright orange stuff like there is something wrong with it! :) On the msg topic, I have been meaning to read Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills I even checked it out from the library once, but had to return it before I even cracked the cover!

hestermom said...

Yes, the Trader Joe, or Aunt Aunnie's brands do not have MSG, and they both have organic versions. And they are yummy...but Ben and I sort of had this discussion about the fact that, although they are quite handy to have around for just in case, it should not be our rule of thumb to eat cheese out of a powdered packet.

sarahgrace said...

I have just checked out all your most recent posts, and I'm in the same boat with you as far as food goes. I should have come to eat at your place while I was in CA! Aaaand, I so very much wish we had Trader Joe's in Colorado!