Gimme A Steaming Mug of Sodium Caseinate

 

The interwebz is where people go to engage in thought-provoking, passionate debate on important topics of the day.

But not the people I know.

At this time of year, our minds are consumed by the issue of pumpkin flavored coffee. Which reminds me of this post from a couple of years ago….

For the coffee lover, fall is the best of times. That’s when we get the yummiest flavored coffees. Rich pumpkin, deep chocolate notes, earthy wafts of cinnamon spice all beckon from grocery store and specialty shop shelves. “Drink Me,” they say. “Drink and be warmed and soothed by my rich, roasted goodness.”

I was pretty stoked to select a bottle of Pumpkin Spice coffee creamer to begin this season of caffeinated revelry.

As I stirred the creamer into my cup of joe, I admired the packaging. A silhouette of cows, tractor and barn on the front hinted at the production facilities used by the manufacturer, Friendly Farms.

Then I turned the bottle around to the ingredients. Apparently, what with the bad economy and all, Farmer Friendly has had to take a job at the local chemical plant.

Here’s the rundown of ingredients in the “cream”:

Water, sugar, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, less than 2% sodium caseinate (A milk derivative*) dipotassium phosphate, disodium phosphate, mono and diglycerides, natural and artificial flavors, cellulose gel, cellulose gum, color added, carrageenan. Not a source of lactose.

And in tiny print at the end: “Contains: Milk.” Really? Where? Oh, you mean the less than 2% milk derivative. I should have known. How many times have my kids come running into the kitchen as I’m removing a batch of warm cookies from the oven and pleaded, “Mom, can we have some cookies and sodium caseinate, a milk derivative?” “OK kids,” I’d laughingly say, “but don’t spoil your appetite!”

Rereading the bottle, I see that nowhere does it actually claim to be cream. All it says is “Pumpkin Spice”. The clever packagers know that my brain will infer the cream part, based on the picture on the cover, the shape of the bottle and its placement in the dairy section near other cream-ish products.

*Interesting side note: have you noticed that dairy products now come in bottles that look like Mae West? I read an article that manufacturers have switched to this package because research shows that bottles with a thinner waist are more attractive to buyers. Apparently, we are so stupid that we equate a shapely bottle with a shapelier us.

The front of the bottle advises “Shake well” in little letters. They should print a hazmat warning, instead. If you get an unadulterated swallow of dipotassium phosphate, your head might explode.

I wouldn’t mind putting all these questionable chemicals in my body if it tasted good. After all, we all know we’re taking our lives in our hands when we eat a Twinkie, but we’re willing to take the risk for the sake of the sugary, creamy goodness therein. But this stuff doesn’t even taste like pumpkin. It doesn’t taste like anything, really. It just turns the coffee tan if you put enough in.

I guess if I want real, natural pumpkin flavor in my coffee, I would need to cut open a jack-o-lantern, throw in a pot of java and swish it around. Somehow, that doesn’t appeal.

I threw out the pumpkin spice creamer, a sadder but wiser gal. I’ll be going back to plain, old, real cream. It’s not very exotic, but at least I have a good chance of coming out of that encounter alive.

 

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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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54 Responses to Gimme A Steaming Mug of Sodium Caseinate

  1. (Does that creamer bottle in the picture look a bit like Marge Simpson?)
    Going back to the “if you can’t say it/spell it easily, don’t eat it” concept….(although I have trouble spelling anything…) Did have a college instructor that once said he expected all the preservatives might make him live longer. Still not going with that….he wasn’t a science major….
    But have you tasted the samples of Target’s Pumpkin Cereal Bars? My hand was enchanted and couldn’t be stopped….guess I can’t go back in there until all those boxes are gone?

    Liked by 1 person

    • pegoleg says:

      That’s a good point about the preservatives – makes sense to me. I haven’t tried the Target bars but you’ve got me interested. Must head over there after work and sample them.

      Like

  2. This makes me smile, but also shudder. There is so little food substance in some of our current foods! I used to enjoy some of the less food-like substances, but now that I have chemical sensitivities, the taste of chemicals and such overrides what is supposed to be tastiness.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carrie Rubin says:

    “bottles with a thinner waist are more attractive to buyers”—What, do we think by osmosis we’ll get thinner as a result? How weird we are.

    I don’t drink coffee, so I don’t have to worry about that creamer. But I do loves me some pumpkin bread or muffins this time of year. Naughty but nice.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I made pumpkin cookies (from canned) and squash soup (from the garden) over the weekend and both were much yummier than the fake creamer.

      Yeah, we are weird as consumers. Take meat at the grocery store. If they want to charge more they slap it in black Styrofoam instead of white. I guess we think it’s fancier that way.

      Like

  4. Once you start reading labels on food packages, you’re doomed! Doomed to a life of eating ‘real’ food that actually tastes good and is good for you. 😀

    Like

  5. Elyse says:

    Frankly I would just pour coffee on my slice of pumpkin pie … not terribly healthy either, but some things are just worth the risk (NOT TWINKIES THOUGH — YUCK)

    Thanks for that song. I do love hearing it!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I do love that song. I had a version I like better that was done by the King Sisters 50 years ago, but the You Tube link is now marked “private.” Guess they don’t like anyone using their stuff without permission.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Someone posted on my FB what was in the Starbucks Pumpkin Latte…. it crushed my dreams!!

    Like

  7. If you ask me, even pumpkin doesn’t taste like pumpkin until you add nutmeg, cloves, and allspice.
    I know. You didn’t ask me.
    I could tell you wanted to.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. List of X says:

    If you read the actual ingredients of 100% natural foods like bananas and blueberries, your instinct would probably be to stay away from those, too: http://www.businessinsider.com/ingredient-list-for-natural-products-2014-1

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I enjoy creamish things, but not so much with pumpkin. Do you know whey tossing coffee into a jack o lantern, swishing it around and then drinking it doesn’t sounds appealing? It’s because pumpkin tastes like ass! Why the world is enamored with pumpkin flavored anything, is beyond me. I can drink a few bottles of some brands of pumpkin flavored beer, but that’s about it. Is it really even pumpkin flavored, or is it pumpkin pie flavored stuff? I don’t get it.

    Like

  10. Dana says:

    When we were scouring the shelves for a dairy-free creamer, I didn’t even think to check out the creamer-ish products! Now I know that they’re basically dairy free anyway. 🙂

    Word to the wise: one of the coconut creamers out there contains titanium dioxide, the very same ingredient used in sunscreen. Apparently it makes the creamer look thicker and whiter. YUCK.

    Like

  11. I must be getting old, because all I want now is just a simple cup of plain coffee. No fancy schmancy creamers, no flavored coffee beans, just java so strong it’ll put hair on my chest. Is that so wrong?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. susielindau says:

    I’m glad you threw it out. Horrible processed food is KILLING US!! Oh wait. Horror is the theme for October. Maybe they are trying to kill us….OOooooOOOOOooOOOOooooOOOooooOOOOoo…….

    Like

  13. Al says:

    I just rushed out to Dunkin Donuts for a pumpkin creme filled donut. It’s your fault.

    Like

  14. I laughed down my thigh! I admit to loving Italian Sweet Cream, I love it. I use it. I also know it isn’t good for me and it is my indulgence.

    Like

  15. I knew that stuff will kill you, but slowly…and with foam on your smiling face! 😉

    Like

  16. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. After reading that ingredient list, I feel like I should wear a hazmat suit before I eat. Remember when we could pronounce the ingredients in food?

    Like

  17. Sandy Sue says:

    Oh, man! Are you old enough to remember Manhattan Transfer had a summer replacement show (I think this clip is from it). Late 70s, maybe. Whoa! I need me some java after that jive.

    Like

  18. Shannon says:

    What happened with getting a pumpkin pie fix with (how about this?) PUMPKIN? Yeah, that whole sodium caseinate thing and calling it “non-dairy” really chaps my ass. It’s only because the makers of the stuff convinced someone at the government level that *technically* it’s not dairy, since it doesn’t contain lactose. REALLY? So…where exactly is the lab’s casein coming from? Oh, right. A cow.

    (Warning: rant building.)

    There’s been no other lab casein that doesn’t come from a cow, which makes it dairy to me, even if sodium caseinate is Frankenstein’s bride. As an animal lover, buying these products defeats the purpose — the dairy industry’s SOP is still rape, torture, and murder. (That’s on a good day.) Further, I rather like my environment to NOT go to hell in a hand basket, but I digress.

    Nope. Give me a warm mug of curried squash soup instead! And I’ll take my coffee like I take my compost — BLACK. F**k the dairy industry…and Coffeemate for not finding a better way to be “non-dairy.”

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Interesting rant – I admire your passion. I didn’t know that sodium caseinate came from a cow.
      I wanted to tell you that I tried your squash soup recipe this weekend (minus the curry because my husband hates it.) Yum-MY! Had leftovers last night and I’m looking forward to more tonight. Thanks!

      Like

      • Shannon says:

        Yeah, sorry for that. And thanks for being so nice about it. The many ways food producers dupe the public in their clever advertising is, well, shameful. I can’t believe [the collective] we continue to be okay with it all, and it makes it difficult sometimes for me to keep it to myself.

        So glad you liked the soup! You know? You can use off-the-shelf pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, cardamom, clove, etc.) in lieu of the curry. I personally think the curry (which is merely a collection of MANY spices) gives a coziness to the dish. But that’s just me. I really do just pour some in a mug and sip it like coffee.

        PS – Did you notice how I hyper-linked the title of the recipe in the beginning straight to the recipe (and skipping the content) at the very end? I was rather proud of learning that coding, and that it was successful. Not everyone likes pictures. Gotta love WordPress for that flexibility!

        Like

  19. Does this mean I have to throw out my flavored coffee cream? I only have 2 cups per day.
    It is pretty revolting reading the ingrediants list. Hmmmm…. this is food?

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Nah, you can keep it. While I was repolishing this bloggy gem, I was sipping on a java with totally artificial caramel crap in it.
      How’s you, Tar? I’m just heading out the door for a brisk walk in the gorgeous, sunny fall weather.

      Like

  20. I LOVE the fall colors and scents. I’ll go walk around our property with Matty to rosy up my cheeks and get the muscles moving! I’ll call you later to catch up. Smooches 🙂

    Like

  21. I’ve never had coffee that has been flavoured with pumpkin by any method – not that I’m against it, it’s just that pumpkins aren’t as big over here in England, well they are as big in size, but not popularity! We carve them but don’t necessarily eat them. Although I believe our Starbucks here do provide pumpkin beverages around this time of the year, maybe I’ll try one, maybe I won’t.

    It’s like if you buy a cheap pizza and the ingredients don’t include cheese, but rather something called “cheese flavoured substitute” yum! 🙂

    Like

  22. The Floundering Vegetarian says:

    Awesome video! … the fate of food is sad. That’s coming from someone who eats soy cheese! HA!

    Like

  23. It is awful that there is so much crap in our “food.” Our bodies aren’t made for this stuff. But, companies are allowed to produce it. One of the biggest offenders is Monsanto. They genetically modify their seeds, and we eat up whatever grows from it. This is the same company that created Agent Orange and DDT. And we eat the food they make, whether we know it or not. And we wonder why there is so much cancer, and there is a big rise in Celiac disease, Autism, and ADHD.
    Sorry for the little rant, but I have been learning more and more about this, and it is scary. I try to eat as much organic food as possible.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      No apology necessary. It’s hard to know what to believe about food additives. Good for you for checking out all the information. I know it’s my body, my health, my responsibility, but to tell the truth, the thought of researching all that stuff is exhausting.

      Like

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