Lunch Tray Friday Buffet: February 25, 2011

by Bettina Elias Siegel on February 25, 2011

Last week I asked you to vote on whether or not I should continue with the Friday Buffet feature and the people have now spoken. At last count, 57% of you say keep it, while only 28% say ditch it.   So, as your humble blogging servant, I’m happy to dish it up for the foreseeable future.

This week’s theme (as it is most weeks) is Scary Foods You Need to Know About.

Wasn’t The Label Warning Enough?

There’s a candy out there with the name “Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge.”  AND the candy itself is bright blue.  AND the label looks like this:

So when I heard the product had been recalled by the FDA due to high lead content, I almost didn’t tell you on the theory that most people would know better than to buy it in the first place.  But then a friend of mine posted on Facebook that his little daughter had been offered some Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge at a birthday party just last week.  So in case this frightening confectionery is more mainstream than I thought, here’s the recall info.

You Mean It’s Not Just Caramelized Sugar?

Am I the only one who, when seeing “caramel color” on a food or beverage label, gets a mental image of a pot of sugar and water cooking on a stove until until the sugar browns?  That’s apparently what the food industry would like you to think, but it turns out “caramel color” can be a chemical food additive produced using ammonium compounds, which, according to Food Navigator, results “in the formation of small amounts of 2-methylimidazole (2-MEI) and/or 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI).” The Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a petition with the FDA last week, citing research that links caramel color (in very high doses) to lung, liver, and thyroid cancer and leukemia.  The jury is still out on caramel color, but be sure to check the labels of products like soy sauce and cola if you want to avoid this additive.

Waiter, There’s a Bodily Fluid In My Dessert

Thanks (I think) to my friend Donna Gershenwald for alerting me to this last story.  A restaurant in London is selling gourmet vanilla ice cream made from  . . . human breast milk.  Called “Baby Gaga,” the dessert is going for $23 a pop, but it’s unclear from media reports whether there are any takers.  I should mention that this isn’t the first culinary foray into breast milk products — recently a New York City chef began serving cheese he cooked up using his wife’s breast milk.  I’m a big supporter (and prior practitioner) of breast feeding, and I get the inconsistency in blithely consuming milk intended for calves while being utterly grossed out by milk meant intended for my own species.  Nonetheless, utterly grossed out I shall remain.

Have a great weekend, everyone!  More Lunch Tray on Monday . . .

 

 

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mara @ Kosher on a Budget February 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm

I am a HUGE “lactivist”. I have nursed my kids for quite a long time by Western standards. And I’ve even frozen breast milk and given it to them as a “mom-sicle” when they are too sick to eat anything, but still need fluids. BUT the idea of eating ice cream made from a stranger’s breastmilk completely and totally SKEEVES ME OUT.

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Alison Moore Smith February 25, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Nasty. I’ve read about that on TWO foodie blogs in ten minutes. Nasty!

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Renee February 25, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Good grief! Why would there be lead in it? And does “high lead” content mean there’s an acceptable amount of lead in kids candy?

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