Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What the H$&#? My newest Rant.

A couple months ago I went shopping at my local Costco. Like most of us I like buying the best quality stuff at the least amount of money in large sizes and since I preserve food that includes vinegar. Now maybe most of you think "vinegar, not a big deal" and maybe it isn't but I use vinegar in a lot of different food not just pickles. The other day I hauled out the jug of Heinz apple cider vinegar to make coleslaw while The Man was sitting there watching me. He pointed out that just under the words "Apple Cider" and just above the word "Vinegar" the label said (in small lettering) flavored distilled. I couldn't believe it. Why would a trusted brand make an apple cider vinegar that was artificially flavored? The ingredients say it is "distilled vinegar from grain, natural flavor with caramel color,diluted with water" to get the 5% acidity. I immediately called my Bro to rage about this new deception by big food industry and to check what his smaller bottle of vinegar contained.

His said from apples. So did the vinegar at his local store. So why this? When we both looked it up the only conclusion we came up with was they are trying to make a cheaper product for mass market stores. The label didn't actually say what grain it is made of but the web site claims their products are made of corn or apples. I assume it is corn. Probably GMO corn since you virtually can't find anything but GMO corn on the market and corn is probably cheaper than apples. The web site claims that apple cider vinegar and wine vinegar are the only vinegars that are gluten free since they are made from apples and grapes respectively and only vinegar such as malt vinegar is not gluten free because they are made of grain so that wasn't a reason. I consider this a dirty trick since I try to avoid corn as much as possible. In this day and age thats like trying to avoid breathing. Go figure. So I guess what I actually bought was colored white vinegar. Hmmmm. So what is the lesson here?

1. Don't trust any company and throughly read each label! Great. That should make a two hour shopping trip turn into four.

2. Make sure what you are buying at your big box stores is what you think it is and if not COMPLAIN! Chances are they don't know it either.

I quit buying Crest toothpaste at Costco in the large 4 pack because there was so much water in it that it would run out of the tube if the cap was off. I thought I was imagining it but it happened with more than one purchase of toothpaste. So maybe there is a pattern developing here. I've always wondered how Costco could sell something so much cheaper and always chocked it up to selling mass quantities.

I'm all for being self sufficient and making a lot of our own food. However I think of cider vinegar as a simple ingredient that is to be used to make other things not something that is made up of other things. Why can't I trust a company to produce a simple ingredient without trying to make it a concoction of several other things. I have a feeling when the effects of peak oil become more noticeable  we may all be making a lot more of our own "stuff". Don't know what peak oil is. You will before long and it will be up close and uncomfortable. If you want a quick, not too in depth explanation go here and watch this video from Mother Earth News. (The link is near the end of the article.) High Gas Prices got you down? (Peak Oil) The video will be quicker than another rant from me.

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