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    SHARA53   3,371
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The Importance of Being Labeled

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

The other night I made a meatloaf for dinner. It wasn't the healthiest recipe because I used ground beef, not even lean ground beef, but I am rather new to this healthier lifestyle and I had it in the freezer and beef is too expensive for me to just throw out. But I made it and my one point of pride was that I used whole wheat breadcrumbs. The box even said 100 percent whole wheat on it. So yay for me. Right?

Then I read the label.

The first four ingredients in my "100 Percent Whole Wheat Breadcrumbs" were: whole wheat breadcrumbs, sugar, corn syrup and molasses!!! The second, third and fourth weightiest ingredients in this stuff are sugar?! Why do breadcrumbs even need sugar in them?

You would think I'd know better than to not read the label carefully. I have a teaching certification in English and I actually taught seventh and eighth grade English when I started my career. I've worked and volunteered in literacy programs for 30+ years, and my specialties are reading and writing. I've even taught lesson plans for adult literacy on reading and shopping, which included label reading. (This is where I slap my hand to my forehead and let out a big old "Duh.")

The front of any food package can be insidious. It can say Natural, Healthy, and yes even 100 Percent Whole Wheat. But the point of the front of the package, I must remember always, is not to help me on my journey to better health, but to sell me a product. It's the back (or side or bottom) of that package, where the nutritional info is located, that matters, And if I'm not ever vigilant about reading those labels, who knows how much sugar or fat or chemicals or who knows what I am putting in my body.

Next week I am making meatloaf again. This time it'll be with ground turkey and I'll use quick cooking oats as a binder. I'm sure it'll be just as good as the other meatloaf and way better for me. And from now on, when I make my groceries list, I'm writing "Read the label" at the top of it. Every time.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BECCABOO127 10/10/2012 10:09PM

    Your meatloaf will be great. My mom used the quick cooking oats, and that is how I prepare it, too. My guyfriend's mother taught me to soak a piece of bread in some milk, tear it up, and throw that in too. It keeps the meatloaf from being hard.

After a time, I have come away from almost all processed goods. Once in a while, I will have some, but it is the exception and not the rule.

By the way, ground turkey has as much cholesterol as meat, unless it is all white meat ground turkey. I make meatloaf's both ways, as the taste is different, and I like the variety.

You sound like a good cook! :)

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XME501 10/5/2012 10:31AM

    I do read labels - well, most of the time. But, still don't on things like spaghetti, crackers, and spaghetti sauces. We have spaghetti at least once a week - probably not the best dinner - but we do like!! Now am definitely going to check the nutrients and may start making my own again.

Thanks for the wake-up call!!!
barb

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KIPPER15 9/9/2012 9:12PM

    Making your own bread crumbs from day old bread works ok and oats work great. The seasoning makes the meat loaf as well as the meat. I use eggbeaters and day old bread most of the time for binding. I also blend turkey with beef as my husband dosen't like turkey and when I blend it he never seems to notice. LOL. Good for you for learning to read labels. It can be a challenge. emoticon

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REACHING4HOME 9/4/2012 3:36PM

    WHAT I DO IS BUY DAY OLD BREAD AND BUT IT IN MY TINY LITTLE FOOD PROCESSOR (ONE CUP) I MAKE MY OWN CRUMBS AND THEN I KNOW WHAT'S IN THEM. THE LITTLE FOOD PROCESSOR COST ME ABOUT $10.00 AT WAL-MART.
ERIN

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JEWELMAKER1 9/4/2012 2:52PM

    I would have never guessed that bread crumbs would contain so much sugar! Good for you for finding a much healthier binder.

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ELOQUENTZ 9/4/2012 1:08PM

    I always use oats as my binder in meatloaf/burger patties. I like it much better than bread crumbs.

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