after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

The Truth … about Hellmann’s “Real-ness”

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t says: I decided to start up a new category of posts dealing with the fabled question: “why?”.  Not every one will deal with food, and I’m not even sure if there will ever be another post.  I guess the truth about “The Truth” is that I just couldn’t figure out in which of the existing categories this particular post belongs …

It all started when I was watching television and saw a Miracle Whip advertisement in which they mocked Hellmann’s campaign of being “real” (i.e. they called it “real boring” or something like that).  Not having seen Hellmann’s ads, I had no idea what they were talking about.  Later, I finally saw a Hellmann’s ad that professed that their mayonnaise was “real” as it was made with good stuff like eggs, oil, and vinegar … but did anyone else see the fine white print at the bottom of the screen?  You can watch it here.  It said something like “Contains a small amount of EDTA to protect quality”.  I then remembered that one of my bosses mentioned how EDTA was added to mayonnaise … wanna know why?

We humans love calcium.  Our bones use it to be nice and strong.  Our muscles, brains, and nerves use it to function properly.  It turns out that mold and other nasty things also love calcium, too!  Without calcium, they either don’t grow or grow very slowly.  What does this have to do with mayonnaise? Those “real” ingredients that Hellmann’s is using contain calcium.  This is good for our health, but it’s also good at making foods go bad, as those nasty things can grow in mayonnaise!  So the fine people at Hellmann’s add EDTA.  EDTA is kind of like a calcium sponge.  The EDTA will suck up the calcium so that fungus can’t use it, thus, things won’t grow in the mayonnaise so quickly.  How else could an egg-based product stay fresh in the fridge for so long?

Do I ding Hellmann’s for claiming to be “real”?  Maybe.  I’d say it’s “real-esque”.  But I think they need to call a spade a spade – which maybe the fine print in the ad is enough.  In the end, it is clear that a not-natural “chemical” is added to the food product … and if you can’t deal with chemicals in your food, you shouldn’t eat Hellmann’s.  But for me, I don’t want to buy mayonnaise every time I want a spoonful for my sandwich hankering – so I’m totally fine with it!  It’s not like I depend on mayonnaise for my daily calcium requirement, anyways.

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Written by afterdinnersneeze

27 April 2010 at 9:00am

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