I know what you’re thinking…
holiday foods are only consumed once a year so they are ok to indulge in…right?
Believe me – I totally get that, but occasionally my Grinchy side takes over and loudly declares that chemicals and additives should never have a place at our holiday parties! Therefore, it was Grinchy Libby who researched and outed these common foods and drinks that do their best to blend in with holiday cheer at the office Christmas party, your annual gathering with friends or any other holiday celebration. We’re still friends right? 😛
1. Fruit Cake – I don’t even know if anyone other than my own dear mother, really eats this stuff! I not only avoid this like the plague because of its unpalatable flavor, but also because of the candied fruit that is buried within. I mean…do you even know what candied fruit is? Let me shed some light on this ever important addition to Christmas. The candied fruit you buy from the supermarket is far from pure fruit….There’s no easy way to do this so here I go. This popular brand of candied fruit contains:
Cherries, Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Pineapple, Citron, Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Water, Citric Acid, Natural & Artificial Flavor, FD&C Red #40, FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Yellow#5. Preserved With: 1/10 of 1% Potasium Sorbate, Benzoate of Soda, Sorbic Acid, Sulfer Dioxide.
If the fruit cake itself didn’t scare you away, this nasty sludge of artificial colors, flavors, preservatives etc.. ought to….NEXT!
2. Egg Nog – This one may be overly Grinchy. I mean how can I suggest you not have egg nog, when this is really the only time of year that it is out in full force? Let me tell you a little story… picture it: Christmas 2007, we were at our friends’ Christmas party. Like most home parties we were gathered around the kitchen island chatting and nibbling when (as if in slow motion) I turned to look at the carton of egg nog that was to my right. It was that fateful moment that changed eggnog for me forever because for no apparent reason, I picked up that carton and actually read the ingredients and well…I haven’t touched a drop of store bought egg nog since.
This vegan egg nog is a great option for those who prefer to avoid all of the above ingredients.
3. Shrimp cocktail/ring – I’m probably one of the few non vegetarians who has never tried shrimp. My reason? They look like worms to me. My hubby on the other hand could eat shrimp at every meal. The challenge of course is sourcing out quality and let me tell you that those little shrimp sitting on that ring around that cocktail dip have a story. In general shrimp is conventionally farmed in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia and less than 2% of said fish is even inspected by US regulatory agencies.
According to Mercola, farmed shrimp is:
- extremely contaminated with everything from cleaning agents, to pathogens like Salmonella and E.coli to mouse and rat hair
- are processed in filthy packaging plants
- may contain large amounts of antibiotics
4. Pannetone and other packaged sweet breads – As synonymous as some of these sweet breads are with the holidays, their ingredients are less than wholesome. This brand of Pannetone for example contains, dough conditioners (mono and diglycerides), polyclycerol ester, vegetable oil (AKA Canola Oil) to only name a few. This is definitely crossed off my list.
5. Chocolate– I LOVE chocolate. Cheap chocolate however, is found in abundance this time of year and has a starring role at most holiday parties. By cheap I don’t mean the dollar store variety of chocolate, quite the contrary in fact. Even the ‘designer’ chocolate backed by huge marketing campaigns that may cost a premium price are even riddled with junk. This chocolate for example contains soy lecithen (a cheap additive that is GMO unless otherwise noted and is used as everything from an emulsifier to a skin softener), as well as vanillin (cheap, simulated vanilla flavoring). N-O ! I’ll stick with this chocolate bar. It may not be shaped like Santa but eat it while you’re wearing a Santa suit and you’re covered!
6. Candy Canes *gasp* – As innocuous as they may seem, candy canes are canes of nastiness. I cringe when I see children sucking on these things as they contain nothing but sugar, corn syrup, peppermint oil, red 40, red 40 lake (source)
Perfection is definitely nothing that I achieve, but I do feel a lot better when I go into a party armed with knowledge and able to focus on visiting with dear and new friends.
Happy holiday party season!