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…
The big advantage of back country cuisene etc is that someone else has put it together in a nice package in a form thats easy to deal with. Just tear the top fill to the line and you have a reasonable meal. Just like 2 minute noodles. To do this with other ingrediants you have to measure think about different cooking times etc. However your home prepared dehy meal comes out at 4 to 5 dollars instead of the 8 to 12 for bcq etc. For some one way makes sense for others the opposite is true. I look for the budget option
There is a method of dehydrating mince in the oven and leaving the door propped open with a wooden spoon too. I'm lazy and buy the BCC mince even though I have a dehydrator! About sugar: when we met Gumboot Annie who was doing the Te Araroa a couple of years ago, she had virtually no sugar in her provisions and went hyper after eating our sugary treats. Which was good because we staying up chatting till midnight and I wrote down her recipes!
A lot of children's behavior that is now regarded as pathological 'hyperactivity' requiring intervention / medication and the like was just normal behavior for past generations, kids just weren't forced to remain in the company of adults all the time. Adults would be stricter when kids were in their presence, but kids had a lot of free time to express their savage little natures. I remember playing cowboys and indians with real bows and arrows, arrows sharpened with a pencil sharpener and hardened with a flame so they'd stick in someones leg, fights with bleeding noses and choke holds till submission, borrowing a machete and a file / sharpening stone to keep it sharp and heading out in the bush all day. All out of sight of adults, no one cared as long as it wasn't too dark before you came back and you weren't missing any appendages or eyes. There's a nice account of childhood in Scotland in the 1840's by John Muir (Sierra Club founder / many books on Yosemite, the Sierra Nevada) http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/18359 Very strict Scottish upbringing, forced to learn recite the whole bible from memory, but also freedom to get up to the following: "After attaining the manly, belligerent age of five or six years, very few of my schooldays passed without a fist fight, and half a dozen was no uncommon number. When any classmate of our own age questioned our rank and standing as fighters, we always made haste to settle the matter at a quiet place on the Davel Brae. To be a "gude fechter" was our highest ambition, our dearest aim in life in or out of school... On the Davel Brae battleground we often managed to bring on something like real war, greatly more exciting than personal combat. Choosing leaders, we divided into two armies. In winter damp snow furnished plenty of ammunition to make the thing serious, and in summer sand and grass sods. Cheering and shouting some battle-cry such as "Bannockburn! Bannockburn! Scotland forever! The Last War in India!" we were led bravely on. For heavy battery work we stuffed our Scotch blue bonnets with snow and sand, sometimes mixed with gravel, and fired them at each other as cannon-balls."
Have found that some tramping club members will go "off" BCC after some time. They seem to develop an intolerance to it.
My childhood was blessedly feral but I could still sit through 2 hours of wall to wall French without fidgeting or chatting as was insisted on. The reward being the fabulous suppers served at the Alliance Francaise. I think I found the incomprehensible sermons at the local church more tedious and going on for an eternity, come to think of it.
Spag bol. My fave home-made dehy meal. Haven't done dehy for awhile (been lazy), but when I do, I wrap any meat products in particular in foil before vac sealing. And yeah, I freeze my meals until I need them too. I do get interested in additives etc, but honestly, more from an academic interest. I LOVE food! And I will eat whatever tastes good. Because let's face it; I am not going to be dying of anything they put in food! :D High fall or animal maul. That's how I am pretty certain I will come-a-cropper. :) I know I would be more serious about it if I had children, but I don't. So it's only my intake I need to concern myself with.
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