So, the other day I was making a pork chop recipe for the fam, and realized I was just about out of BBQ sauce, so I looked up another recipe to make my own because that’s what I’m all about these days. Right? RIGHT! The sauce was pretty good, if you check out my review on the recipe site you’ll see the changes I made … Anyway, I’m thinking to myself “WOOT! In your FACE BBQ sauce mfr! I don’t NEED you and your fancy pre-made stuff anymore! I can do this, and without chemicals and additives! HAHAHAA THE WORLD BELONGS TO MEEE!!!!” Seriously. Have you ever looked at the ingredient list on a bottle of BBQ sauce? Check it out:
Ingredients: HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, VINEGAR, CONCENTRATED TOMATO JUICE (WATER, TOMATO PASTE), MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, SALT, MOLASSES, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF SPICE, PAPRIKA, NATURAL HICKORY SMOKE FLAVOR, MUSTARD FLOUR, GUAR GUM, NATURAL FLAVOR, RED 40.
So there are at least 3 items on that list that I want gone from my life, the high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), red 40, and “natural flavor.” What’s so bad about natural flavor? Well, the problem is that I DON’T KNOW WHAT IT IS!!! Also, read Fast Food Nation. Seriously. When you learn where “natural flavors” come from, you’ll want it gone too. Red dye 40 is attributed to LOTS and LOTS of bad stuff, especially in children, so I’d like to avoid that as well. Plus, I don’t care much about pretty, but in today’s society it seems like it just doesn’t taste good if it isn’t flawless. Right. Whatev. And then there’s the HFCS! The stuff is EVILE! I’m not going to get into it right now, as I plan to dedicate an entire post on it (and google is everyone’s friend, so if you have to know NOW … let your fingers do the walking!). I was shocked to see that HCFS is the FIRST INGREDIENT! That means this BBQ sause is MOSTLY HFCS! EEK! Furthermore, I’m not so sure about guar gum. A quick google search using the words “guar gum” and “bad” informed me that it gives one person the runs, may have an issue with pesticides, may not be OK for people with celiac disease, and may be effective in lowering bad cholesterol. That’s not too incriminating, but all I know is that I bought some ice cream with guar gum in it once, and it was way nasty, then A told me that it was because of the guar gum. I’ll take it! (the explanation, that is …) I’m just going to ASSume the “modified food starch” is corn starch or something similar. I’m also gonna ASSume that “spice” refers to their proprietary blend rather than that stuff everyone is always after in Dune …
K, now that I dissected my the BBQ sauce label, I start thinking again (dangerous, I know) … I thought “Wait, the recipe I made is half ketchup. Well what in the hell is in the ketchup???”
Here’s what’s in ketchup:
Ingredients: Tomato puree (water, tomato paste), high fructose corn syrup, distilled vinegar, corn syrup, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, natural flavors.There it is again! This time it’s number 2 on the list. But wait! Look a little further … there’s NON HF corn syrup in there too! Why do we need both??? I’m totally cool with regular corn syrup by the way. It’s just Karo, ya know, no biggie. And there’s that pesky “natural flavor” again too … looks like I need to figure out how to make ketchup! Lucky for me, there’s Allrecipes.com (and other various places, but I like allrecipes …)! Look here to learn how to make ketchup. Of course, I haven’t looked at the ingredients in tomato paste … ugh! Can’t find it on the interwebs (I just spent at least 15 min looking!). I’ll have to edit when I get home, and can look at a can in my pantry … I did find LOTS of recipes for tomato paste though, so, you know, I can adapt. I haven’t tried this ketchup yet, but I will probably make it a project for this week. I’m almost out of the store bought stuff.
I guess maybe BBQ sauce and ketchup is a small thing to worry about, but it’s the small steps that lead to bigger ones. Besides, ketchup and BBQ sauce is like a food group in my house!
Oh, and since I’m frugal before just about anything else, don’t go throwing your ketchup out, LOL! Use what you have, rinse out the bottles, and pour your homemade stuff into them. The beauty of this method is that your family probably won’t realize the difference! I know my family is completely oblivious … Oh, and I will crunch the numbers later to see how it compares monetarily with the store bought stuff.