Matt\’s Cuppa

My take on tea, technology, and our environment

Pass The Embalming Thins, Please

Posted by telecommatt on December 3, 2007

2007-12-03_221335.png Last weekend I was house sitting for my folks and was up looking for a midnight snack. Trying to find something reasonably healthy, I happened upon a box of Wheat Thins. “Excellent!”, I thought. My parents never were big into snack foods like chips and sodas, but Wheat Thins have been a staple in my house since the dawn of time. I probably ate Wheat Thins before I had teeth. My point is that Wheat Thins always seemed healthy snack. I mean, the box even boasted 0 trans fats and 5 grams of whole grains per serving. But I’ve really been trying to stay away from high fructose corn syrup lately, so I decided to look at the ingredients as I was crunching away. Actually, Wheat Thins score relatively low on the uses-high-fructose-corn-syrup scale. It doesn’t come in until halfway down the list of ingredients. And the ingredients are pretty much common stuff that you can pronounce without struggling. It was the line after the ingredients that made me bite my tongue. “This product contains BHT.” BHT? What the heck is that? And why does it need a special identifier? BHT, it turns out, or butylated hydroxytoluene, is compound commonly used as an antioxidant food additive and is also found in things like cosmetics, jet fuel, and embalming fluids. Embalming fluids?! Are you serious?!? And according to Wikipedia, several other countries have banned its use in food products, Japan since 1958. As in, they’ve been concerned about ingesting it for about 50 years! So, I guess the moral of the story is that you really have to put some research into the foods you eat. You can’t just read the big letters on the front of the box anymore. My lifetime of BHT-laden Wheat Thins may or may not cause some strange health defect in me many years from now. Apparently, the jury’s still out on that. Regardless, even if it means I need to stand in the grocery aisle looking up strange ingredients using my mobile phone’s web browser, I’d rather know about the kinds of stuff my family is ingesting.

One Response to “Pass The Embalming Thins, Please”

  1. Nerice said

    At last! Someone with the insight to solve the prbemol!

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