A long, winding journey to find out why companies treat their chicken broth recipes like state secrets https://t.co/A96nskCVgi
— Eater (@Eater) January 29, 2023
When people talk about trying to avoid ultra-processed foods, I tell them to check the ingredients and buy products with the shortest list. That turns out to be not all that helpful. Noah Galuten wondered why cans of chicken broth from the grocery store taste so different from his mother’s homemade broth. Canned broth has no gelatin, very little fat and protein, and comes close to the legal limit of 135 parts water to one part chicken. Galuten found the main listed ingredient in chicken broth is “chicken broth,” which tells us nothing. How is it made on an industrial scale? He found that canned broth is made from water and chicken broth concentrate, but when he tried to find out where that concentrate came from, he found himself going down a rabbit hole filled with brick walls.
My quest to find the answer started simply enough, and in a state of what was, in retrospect, blissful ignorance. I had no intimation of what was to come: the billion-dollar multinational flavor and fragrance companies, the “spray-dried” broth, the “clean label protein solutions,” the “kitchen-like ingredients,” and the corporate dream of a “fully sustainable chicken stream.” A whole new world, at once surreal, banal, and depressingly inevitable, was hidden in the watery depths of store-bought chicken stock, just waiting for me to jump in.
Galutin found nothing illegal going on, but he brings us a thought-provoking story of how chicken broth is processed for our convenience and food manufacturers’ profits. What’s even more depressing is that broth is just one product in a world of processed foods we eat every day. -via Damn Interesting
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