April 20, 2015

Label Madness Monday: This is Nuts!

Welcome to the latest installment in our ongoing series of food label exposés! (It’s dirty work, but somebody’s gotta do it.)

On the menu today: dry roasted peanuts.

Sounds simple enough, right? Dry. Roasted. Peanuts. To me, this means two things: peanuts, and a heat source. (The “dry roasting” implies, at least to me, that no oil is added. You’ll sometimes see “peanuts and peanut oil” or “peanuts and cottonseed and/or canola and/or peanut oil” in the ingredient list of roasted peanuts that are not “dry” roasted.)

Okay, here goes.

Dry roasted lightly salted peanuts. 

How many ingredients would you expect to find in this jar? If you’re thinking just peanuts and salt, think again! How naïve can you be, dear consumers? Allow me to share with you ingredients three through six. After peanuts and sea salt, the ingredients are: cornstarch, sugar, maltodextrin, and monosodium glutamate. And for those of you who eat legumes, such as these peanuts, in case you wanted more types of legumes in this jar, Foodhold U.S.A. LLC (which produces food under the store brand labels for Giant and Stop & Shop) has so thoughtfully included hydrolyzed soy protein for your gustatory pleasure. It’s two legumes in one!

I am absolutely not kidding when I say it is almost impossible to find processed foods in the U.S. that don’t contain soy or corn in one form or anotherAnd this item—roasted peanuts, for cryin' out loud—has both. (I don’t know if it’s better or worse when soy is added to tuna fish than when it's added to peanuts.)

Is it possible to roast peanuts without adding all that wacky crap?

Yes. Why yes, it is:

P.S. If you are a peanut connoisseur, like I am, I will let you know that Trader Joe’s blister peanuts are among the yummiest on the planet. You’re welcome
P.P.S. These unique peanut butters from Reginald's Homemade are also pretty amazing, for a once-in-a-while treat. I've tried a bunch of different flavors, and they all contain very little added sugar. Even the ones that seem sweeter are low in sugar, and it's mostly from honey, molasses, or sometimes brown sugar. No corn syrup. There's one with agave (sigh), but other than that, they're all made with normal and identifiable (read: not wacky) ingredients. No hydrolyzed soy protein at all!  ;-)

Remember: Amy Berger, M.S., NTP, is not a physician and Tuit Nutrition, LLC, is not a medical practice. The information contained on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition.

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