Monday, March 16, 2009

Beef fat? WTF?!

As a vegetarian, I am accustomed to reading labels. The ubiquitous chicken is snuck into a lot of products where you'd hardly expect to find it. Canned soups are a literal minefield; vegetable soup is seldom vegetarian. I love black-eyed peas but I know to check the can to ensure that bacon has not been added. Refried beans are often married to lard. The list goes on and on.

One aisle at the grocery store where I thought I was off the hook, however, was the bakery section. No one is sneaking chicken parts into brownies, or at least logic would seem to dictate that they shouldn't be doing so.

Nonetheless, I recently learned that I cannot eat Hostess' 100 Calorie Packs. I had purchased them several times and it never occurred to me to read the label. I like to have a small snack midway through the morning at work, and this seemed to be the perfect option. They're sweet, and most varieties are only one point on the Weight Watchers plan.

My favorite was the chocolate. But oh, such a betrayal.

Here are the ingredients:

Sugar, Water, Polydextrose, Enriched Wheat Flour [Flour, Reduced Iron, B Vitamins (Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate {B1}, Riboflavin {B2}, Folic Acid)], Egg Whites, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable and/or Animal Shortening (Soybean, Cottonseed and/or Canola Oil, Beef Fat), Whole Eggs, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Cocoa, Glycerin, Maltitol Syrup, Cornstarch, Corn Syrup, Contains 2% or Less of: Soy Protein Isolate, Soybean Oil, Corn Flour, Mono and Diglycerides, Polysorbate 60, Cottonseed Fiber, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Salt, Chocolate Liquor, Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Sulfate, Agar, Locust Bean Gum, Dextrose, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Modified Corn Starch, Glucose, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Sweet Dairy Whey, Maltodextrin, Acesulfame Potassium, Neotame, Leavenings (Baking Soda, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate), Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Cellulose Gum, Soy Flour, Natural and Artificial Flavors (Contain Caramel Color), Potassium Sorbate and Sorbic Acid (to Retain Freshness), Soy Lecithin.

It's probably for the best that I can't eat them. I don't recognize most of the other ingredients, so I figure that can't be a good sign. I've now replaced this snack with low-fat string cheese or a serving of baby carrots. But still . . . why does a wee little cupcake need to contain beef fat? Why why why? The world has gone mad.

8 comments:

Steph K said...

Very eye-opening. What's wrong with good old Crisco (vegetable shortening)?

Susie said...

That is freaky. I'm not veg. but I just don't get why on earth a cupcake would need any animal product other than eggs. Hmmmmmm

Audreee said...

It is just plain crazy! I was really surprised when you told me that those cupcakes have animal product in them. It's pretty scary when you read everything that's in there. I have no clue what 90% of that junk is.

Mary said...

Wow, that is AWFUL. I mean all that crap in there!! You are right you are better off without them, but I too like a little sweet treat, well I like a large sweet treat. I went to the Hostess outlet for the first time not to long ago and they gave away a box of them free at the checkout and I did not read the ingredients either. I usually do so thanks for the info., I don't even know how they fit it all in those little things!!;)

Matthew said...

I have a good vegetarian friend I worked at Boy Scout camp with. He was having a hard time keeping full since Boy Scouts are such big meat eaters. He was living off of these donuts for the summer until I looked at the ingredients and said "mmmuuu, Beef Tallow, that is why these taste so good". He tanked me for removing one more thing from the list of things he could eat.

Anonymous said...

I have a mental list of things that are not vegetarian (jello, onion soup, you know the sneaky ones!) but this cupcake frenzy did not hit my radar.

I saw a commercial today for the news and they were talking about Mad cow disease.... all I can say is big freaking EWWWWWW!

I just joined nutrisystem, I hop they dont sneak any meat past me! Laurie

Anonymous said...

Fat Free Twinkies, or the Fat-Free Hostess Brownies are both animal fat free - good luck!

Sammy said...

I think the beef fat is one of the least scary ingredients on that list! Yikes!!