The Nov 2011 issue of Wired magazine contains a short blurb on Tofurky. The article, placed next to an even shorter piece on how to cook actual turkeys, describes how Tofurky roasts are made, from the beginning, when the soy is tested for GM proteins (if positive, the product is rejected), to the end, where after a slow steaming process the tofurky is tested in an artificial mouth – the Volodkevich Bite Jaws. (see p. 40). It is processed food, to be sure, but I found nothing in this article to put me off my favorite veg meat. It’s reassuring to know that Turtle Foods does take care in creating this product.
A couple of pages later, we come to “what’s inside Fig Newmans”. The cookies investigated here are the wheat-free, dairy-free Fig Newmans. Nobody ever said they are health food, but the article points out that, in addition to the oils and sugars, they contain xanthum gum, which it says is made from ground-up cell walls of a particular type of bacteria. Really? I had to check, of course. According to the Bob’s Red Mill website:
Gum, Xanthan is used by people who are allergic to gluten to add volume and viscosity to bread and other gluten-free baked goods. It is made from a tiny microorganism called Xanthomonas campestris and is a natural carbohydrate.
I think I’ll pass on the Fig Newmans from now on.
Editor’s note November 30, 2011: The author’s dislike of zanthum gum is personal and does not reflect the views of other authors at this website. For the record, bacteria are NOT animals and zanthum gum IS vegan.