June 22, 2004

Lying Sacks of "SU" (A PopCornspiracy)

Our microwave broke the other day. Technically it still worked, but I couldn't get it to turn off. That's not good because most foods don't need to be cooked forever.

I purchased a brand new microwave and to break it in I also bought some microwave popcorn -- Orville Redenbacher's "Kettle Korn." If you've never had real Kettle Corn, it's kinda salty and kinda sweet, and more than kinda good.

The microwave version tasted okay, but there was something just faintly off about it. I looked at the ingredients and I saw that it wasn't sweetened with sugar, but with "sucralose." Sucralose also goes by the brandname Splenda.

I was a little annoyed by this because I'm not a big fan of artificial sweeteners. I don't avoid them at all cost, but I still don't fully trust them. (You may remember when I wrote about that freaky Nutrasweet Lady.)

By the way, the name Nutrasweet is hilarious to me. NUTRA-sweet. Like it is somehow a combo of "Nutritious" and "Sweet." It might be sweet, but there ain't nothin' NUTRA in there. And the company that makes Splenda likes to tout that their product is "made from real sugar." Guess what: dog crap is made from real food, too. I still don't suggest you sprinkle it on your cornflakes, but I digress...

Back to the Kettle Corn-- you'd think they might have given me a little heads up on the box that this product (which is traditionally made with sugar) wasn't sweetened with sugar at all. But it says nothing about that.

The next time I was at the store I wanted to see if I could find a brand of microwave kettle corn that didn't use sucralose. I saw a box of ACT II KETTLE CORN -- "Old-Fashioned Sweet & Salty Popcorn." It even had a pleasant illustration of a kettle with big burlap sacks of sugar and salt behind it. Awesome. I read the ingredients: SUCRALOSE. What the F?!

I looked at the illustration again and saw that the word SALT was clearly in full view. But the word SUGAR was blocked by the kettle, so all you could see was "SU." How convenient. I suppose their argument would be that the kettle is actually blocking the word "SUCRALOSE." And we all know there's nothing better than the ol' fashioned flavor of a giant sack of sucralose. Sneaky popcorn bastards.

Instead of the "SU" they should just change it to "F. U." I think that's what the illustration is really trying to say to me, anyway.

(Incidentally, every brand of microwave kettle corn I checked used sucralose, whether it was low-fat or not. Not one acknowledged it.)

For more adventures in questionable food don't miss the "Steve, Don't Eat It!" section.

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Posted by Steven | Archive