Egg Nog for the holidays! or is it?
Since I saw this movie "food inc." I've been paying closer attention to the ingredients of things, and to my massive disappointment, discovered that I could find no egg nog with either eggs or milk in it at any supermarket.
The ingredients are quite startling actually. Usually leading with "Modified Milk Ingredients" - which Ive come to discover can be absolutely anything chemically derived from milk or milk products. The advantage seems to allow producers to ship the dry flakes or whatever then combine them later with other chemicals to produce things as they need them without having to worry about local labour and farm restrictions, and the dry protein derivatives can last for many years unlike real milk which has a relatively short shelf life. Ever had powdered milk? Canned milk? like that. So, you could be eating 30 year old milk combined with some goats milk from china combined with some milk powdered casien solids from india in that icecream or eggnog.
But I digress. The Frankensteinian ingredients of eggnog notwithstanding, I defy anyone to find eggnog in a local grocer that does actually contain milk or eggs, or vanilla, or nutmeg. What I came to realize is that in my entire life, I've probably never actually tasted real eggnog because we've always bought it at the store. So, I decided to find a recipe on the internet and voila, found one that used cooked eggs so I didnt have to be as paranoid about salmonella from the raw eggs (almost unheard of but still)
So mixing my 1 litre of whole, 3.8% organic milk with local, 6 farm fresh eggs, some vanilla, regular white sugar (only 1/4 cup per quart surprisingly - so about 1/8th of whats in Coca cola typically) and tomorrow when its all chilled, I'll actually have my first "nog" of "egg nog"! Its exciting.
I went a bit further to try to find Modified Milk Ingredients on wikipedia, but couldnt, so I've requested the article and added a list of ingredients to the existing EggNog article there. Here is what I put in case some dairy dept. stooge comes along to delete it:
Commercially produced eggnog in North America rarely contains milk or eggs, and is typically a mixture that can include Modified milk ingredients, Glucose Solids, Hydrogenated Canola Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Sodium Caseinate, Tricalcium Phosphate,Modified Cellulose Gel, Dipotassium Phosphate, Mono and Diglycerides, Silicon Dioxide, Artificial Flavor and Maltol. In spite of this the product continues to be marketed as "Eggnog" and typically appears on supermarket shelves around the winter season in the United States and Canada.
Pretty gross huh? Well, I have to admit, in spite of the grossness, its the taste that drew me to it in the first place so I guess it worked. (As well as with ice cream), so I cant fault the scientists for making it cheap and taste good, but I can fault the companies and shareholders for letting profit dictate ethics. Thats what they do though, I suppose. For me, I'm just going to look for whole foods IE products with milk, eggs, and those kinds of real ingredients, and avoid "modified milk ingredients" while I still can. Modified cellulose gel? Ewwww.. folks, I like my cellulose gel the way nature intended it!