MAKING AN HONEST DIP

Whether eating alone or having a party, one simple dish that can bring a zestful joy to your table and palate is guacamole. Just as the Aztecs did 700 years ago, all you do is mush up a couple of avocados, squeeze in some lime juice, toss in some chopped peppers, tomatoes, and onions if you want, grab some chips... and go at it.

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MAKING AN HONEST DIP
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Whether eating alone or having a party, one simple dish that can bring a zestful joy to your table and palate is guacamole. Just as the Aztecs did 700 years ago, all you do is mush up a couple of avocados, squeeze in some lime juice, toss in some chopped peppers, tomatoes, and onions if you want, grab some chips… and go at it.

Unless, of course, you’re one of the industrial food giants like Kraft Foods, Inc. In that case, you don’t let such natural ingredients get in the way of making guacamole. Instead, Kraft (a division of Altria, formerly known as Philip Morris) fills its little plastic tubs of “guacamole dip” with partially-hydrogenated soybean and coconut oils, a big dollop of corn syrup to give it some sweetness, a glob of modified food starch to give it some body, and a nice blend of yellow and blue artificial food dyes to give it that green guacamole-ish color.

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Let’s see, did they leave anything out? Oh, yes – avocado! Indeed, only if you put on your 10-power specs and read the fine print do you-the-consumer learn that Kraft’s dip is practically avocado-free, containing less than two percent of this essential ingredient.

OK, food corporations are in the business of deceiving and ripping off consumers – but where’s the Food and Drug Administration, which is supposedly our consumer watch dog against avocadoless guacamole? Oh, says FDA spokesman Michael Herndon, “we would have to find that the labeling is misleading, which would likely require some consumer data to prove the labeling is misleading.”

This is Jim Hightower saying… No, you numbskull – all it would require is that someone at FDA have at least as much common sense in their head as Kraft’s guacamole dip has avocado. Meanwhile, if you really want some guacamole, do it the Aztec way. Nothing beats nature’s own ingredients, and you can’t trust food profiteers to make an honest dip for you.

Sources:
“Lawsuit stirs up guacamole controversy,” Los Angeles Times, November 30, 2006.
“Introducing Avocado-Free Guacamole?” Center for Science in the Public Interest, April 25, 2006.

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