Aunt Jemima’s Lies

I recently pulled my mom out of maple syrup ignorance when I told her the cheap Aunt Jemima syrup probably did not contain any real maple, just corn syrup and other artificial flavorings. She reported back that maple is the sixth ingredient listed, which means that there is probably little of the tree juice in that plastic bottle.

She was bummed. She felt duped. Unfortunately a lot of the foods I grew up on were fakes. But nothing came close to the fake that is Walden Farms’ “peanut” spread that I found at a convenience store in Seattle. The first tip off – the spread claimed to be-calorie free. With a slight turn of the jar I uncovered that it was free of many other items as well: fat, sugar, cholesterol, carbohydrates and gluten. And of course, no animals or animal by-products were used in the production of this spread—it’s vegan.

So what the hell was in this magical jar?

Well, a whole lot of un-pronounceable words.

Only bisexuals get to have it both ways. Everyone else must decide: do we want no fat but a lot of chemicals and items that are not exactly food (this peanut spread doesn’t even contain real peanuts!) or do we want real foods that include calories.

Even though I loved my Aunt Jemima growing up, I’ve learned to flip to the back of the bottle and learn the truth.

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  • BS February 15, 2011  

    that’s pretty amazing. There is literally no food in this food.

  • Borracho February 15, 2011  

    I love that Sodium Benzoate is there to “preserve freshness” I did not realize freshness was vital when your product consists solely of chemicals which will last through the apocalypse. You wouldn’t want your cellulose gum to lose it’s vibrant edge.

  • unsightly February 15, 2011  

    This is exactly what was making my grocery shopping trips take over an hour each time. Once I decided to stop buying crap like this it cut the shopping time in half.

  • erica February 15, 2011  

    hilariously, it’s not even vegan (Lactic acid).

  • Sweet Fiend February 15, 2011  

    OMG- The label needs to add FOOD FREE!

  • 80 Proof February 15, 2011  

    Yeah, I have a similar dilemma with Coke. I have trying to reduce the amount of high fructose corn syrup I consume, which regular (American) Coke is loaded with. So I switched to Coke Zero. So no corn syrup, no calories, but a whole lot of chemicals. Am I really drinking something that is healthier?

  • erica February 15, 2011  

    if you can find Coke from mexico, it’s made with real sugar.

  • Dad gansie February 23, 2011  

    What a crazy confusing food world we live in ( not to mention a million other items too)
    Good luck sorting it all out. Can’t wait for real farmers market food

  • Robert Bishop August 8, 2011  

    I didn’t even leave a comment about this sludge at Walden Farms, after reading three glowing testimonials…
    1. Consistency of miracle whip with extra air in it.
    2. Absolutely no peanut taste whatsever.
    3. Faintly resembles whipped motor oil.
    4. How can they atually sell this crap?

  • ninnster April 30, 2012  

    i hate this stuff by itself so i decided to try making a peanut butter (spread) cookie recipe. If anyone wants to give it a try and let me know what you think….

    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    2/3 cup unsalted butter
    1 cup Walden Farms peanut spread
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 egg
    1 cup all purpose flour
    1/2 cup rolled oats
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup butterscotch or semi sweet chocolate morsels

    preheat oven to 375F
    In a large bowl combine sugar, brown sugar, and butter. Beat until fluffy.
    Add in peanut spread, vanilla and egg. Blend well.
    Add flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Blend well.
    Stir in butterscotch or semi sweet chocolate morsels.
    Roll 1 tablespoon of dough into a ball and flatten with a fork on cookie sheet. Place cookie dough balls 2 inches apart.
    Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown

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