March 2, 2008

Why do we eat it with our other food?

Last week we discussed mayacoba beans and eating them with our other food. This week I would like to take you on a trip down my Fiber One bar list of ingredients - straight to confectioner's glaze or even refined lac. Ahhh, you say, what is this wonderous ingredient. First, know that it is in a number of products, such as Junior Mints, to make the hard outer coating shiny. It is not however, according to this website, what makes M&M's shiny (don't read the link just yet though). You may be more familiar with this ingredient as the hard coating on your furniture. What? Yes, confectioner's glaze is made from shellac the same stuff that can be used for furniture coatings. But before you get too grossed out realize that this process is similar to a bee making honey. According to, "Shellac, like silk, honey, and beeswax, is made by bugs, not of bugs. Laccifer lacca, a small insect about the size and color of an apple seed, swarms on certain trees in India and Thailand. Like most bugs, it eats during its larval stage, then settles down and creates a sort of cocoon in which to mature. In this case, the bugs create a huge, hard, waterproof, communal protective shell on the branches of the trees they live on. Soon, the adult males emerge from the shell and fly away. The females do not fly -- they attach permanently to the tree and stay there."
So, perhaps not something we had thought of but not so terrible. And just in case it wasn't already enough of a Saturday Night Live skit, Fiber One includes carnuba wax. We can spiff up our car, seal our furniture and have a tasty (if not exactly healthy) afternoon snack at work. Ummm, why do we eat it with our other food?

No comments:

Love Letters to My Sons..