Additives in commercial dehy meals

Recently I made a breakthrough with regularly occurring allergy symptoms. My local cafe serves the most divine citrus slice. Every time I shared half with my husband I'd be a mess the next day. It took several months to figure it out but since I have a pretty simple unprocessed diet (and rarely eat out) it was possible to figure it out. I asked the cook what the slice contained, everything was OK till she showed me the packed of malt biscuits… Amongst the ingredients were these three additives: 320 Butylated hydroxyanisole (banned in some countries) 321 Butylated hydroxytoluene (banned in some countries) 220 Sulphur Dioxide All contributors to allergy-like symptoms. Citrus slice off the menu :-( All my tramping meals have to be made from scratch because dehy is laced with some pretty horrid additives. Granted you don’t eat the stuff every day but it’s no good for hypersensitive people like me because the resulting reaction would ruin the tramp. For eg Back Country Cuisine Roast Chicken contains: 320 Butylated hydroxyanisole (banned in some countries) 223 Sodium metabisulfite (best avoided) 150d Caramel - colour (best avoided) 1442 Hydoxypropyl distarch phosphate - thickener (caution advised) The rest is OK…. 471 Mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids (OK) 450 Potassium pyrophosphate (OK) 304 Ascorbyl palmitate - antioxidant (OK) 451 Potassium tripolyphosphate - acidity regulator (OK) 330 Citric Acid (OK) Australia & NZ say food additives play an important part in our food supply ensuring our food is safe and meets the needs of consumers. And is the most practical way of extending its storage life. I’d be interested to know if other trampers suffer the same additive hypersensitivity when consuming commercial dehy meals…
26 comments
11–20 of 26

We used to make our own dehy too using a dehydrator for use on long trips. Just dried individual components to assemble into meals along with a packet of flavouring and a carbohydrate source when in the hills. Mainly veges that couldn't be bought like capsicum and cellery (besides the std dehy peas, corn, beans we can get dehy onion and tomatoes from our local asian food place) and mince. Mince was done as described by Ian_H but using a dehyrator to dry. Just plain mince. Very important to get the fat out as fat doesn't dry and can go rancid on storage - hence the washing with hot water after cooking. Also stored it frozen till taken into the hills. Too lazy now, just buy the aliance mince.
@bohwaz - as waynowski says, it’s not about sugar but food additives. And their POTENTIAL effects, including on children. The relationship between sugar levels and children hyperactivity a myth? You've obviously not been to many kid's parties then. Tell that to most observant parents and wait for their answer. The WEBMD article also mentions; “...Admittedly, more research would be needed to completely rule out the possibility of a link." There is an omission in the Wolraich conclusion (last line) which reads: “…due to expectancy and common association. However, a small effect of sugar or effects on subsets of children cannot be ruled out." There are plenty of “serious" scientific studies and anecdotical evidence suggesting a link between food colourings and hyperactivity. This is of particular interest: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140673607613063/abstract “Interpretation. Artificial colours or a sodium benzoate preservative (or both) in the diet result in increased hyperactivity in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the general population.” The app is a digital version of a very useful resource that was first published in 2001 after 10 years of research. It’s meant to be a guide and up to you to pursue any of the information further if you are dissatisfied with the author’s own research. Contrary to your personal doubts, the resource is immensely informative and in its fourth printing. Food additives and public health remain a contentious subject and for every person who is lucky to suffer no side effects there will be one who does. Including half my family and dozens of friends.
Sounds to me people above are confusing 'being hyper' with the medical condition of hyperactivity. Too much sugar makes me 'hyper' but the effect wears off as the blood sugar levels drop. Very different to the long-term and much more problematic medical condition of 'hyperactivity' . Medical hyperactivity is what is studied and what is correlated with consumption of various food additives.
@madpom. You're right. There is a vast amount of material on this subject and the results sometimes suggest a weak link with ADHS in some children. Have a look at this abstract: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0890856711009531
It's not that hard to live on stuff like rice, couscous, flour, lentils, beans, olive oil, dried garlic and chillies and a few other spices / curry powder in the hills. All except the spices at less that $10 per kilo dry weight, much of it around $2 per kilo. I've never bothered to scare myself reading all that literature about all the scary stuff they put in processed food, but I'd choke at eating a meal that cost $100 per kilo dry weight. I suppose that commercial dehi saves time at the end of the day so you can spend more time binking on your smart phone or iPad in the hut...
When your kids r hyper I don't think parents are thinking about technical definitions.
@wayno. Unless you mean that tongue in cheek - I'd say they were pretty irresponsible parents then. If your kid is 'hyper' every waking hour of the day - you have a medical issue that needs addressing, as it will likely affect their education, employment, ongoing mental health - i.e. their entire life. You need to do something about this, and now. If your kids are 'hyper' only after downing a bag of lollies or fizzy then you don't have a health issue (except possibly stop feeding them junk!). Pretty important distinction.
Most kids dont get the bad stuff all the time (luckily) It doesnt affect all of them. Some 8 year olds can drink a 2l of coke without affect but others are not going to sleep for a week. Yellow foods are also particularly bad for some kids but reds are bad for others. 2kg blocks of chocolate will turn most kids
Came across this today, http://www.backpackingchef.com/ Great resource if you are into the do it yourself. Especially for the dehydrated variety of food. Have been looking at the Te Araroa trail to celebrate reaching my 70th year next year and in consideration how I might lighten and brighten the food aspect of such a journey. I don't mind eating less as long as it is nutritious and flavourful. This site has all sorts of helpful information in that respect. Plus no additives. I shall be obtaining a dehydrator and vac sealer in the near future, all sorts of possibilities exist.
Studies found that the sugar "hyper" in children is mostly what parents are expecting, even when kids are not eating sugar: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7963081 "Mothers in the sugar expectancy condition rated their children as significantly more hyperactive." But, trying to take the discussion back to the topic: yup those dehy meals are full of weird stuff, I don't know if it's bad, but for 5-10 times less expensive you can get better stuff, like pasta, rice, couscous (yum), dehydrated mashed potates, and lots of other stuff. Asian shops are good for that with plenty of dehydrated food like mushrooms and veggies. I've never found the dehydrated meals like Backcountry Cuisine to have any interest. You have to wonder what is the most interesting: having to work 30 minutes more (to be able to pay those "meals") to save 5 minutes on the trail or spend 5 more minutes on the trail and saving those 30 minutes of work to have a good fish and chips/whatever you like after a tramping trip? ;-)
11–20 of 26

Sign in to comment on this thread.

Search the forums

Forum Food
Started by JETNZ
On 6 September 2016
Replies 25
Permanent link

Formatting your posts

The forums support MarkDown syntax. Following is a quick reference.

Type this... To get this...
Italic *Italic text* *Italic text*
Bold **Bold text** **Bold text**
Quoted text > Quoted text > Quoted text
Emojis :smile: :+1: :astonished: :heart: :smile: :+1:
:astonished: :heart:
Lists - item 1
- item 2
- item 3
- item 1 - item 2 - item 3
Links https://tramper.nz https://tramper.nz
Images ![](URL/of/image)

URL/of/image
![](/whio/image/icons/ic_photo_black_48dp_2x.png)
Mentions @username @username

Find more emojiLearn about MarkDown

WARNING: The following containers were never written out to screen. scripts