Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Grandma's Beta Testing: Lean Pockets Whole-Grain

I have so many opinions, it seems like time to start writing down some of them.  I like the thought of commenting on the Bruce Willis movie I watched last night, the book I liked or put down in boredom, the horrible women's magazines in the mammogram waiting room at the James (maybe later), and the food I eat. And why not start today? I thought, as I contemplated writing a sarcastic letter to the Lean Pockets people.

I don't see much point in writing to them, though.  Packaged foods like this are not really food, but products, a product created with endless meetings and expensive market research, which is all about selling you on it, and they're not going to listen to me.  But you might be glad to know what you're actually getting when you buy Lean Pockets.  Whole-grain, to make you think it's healthy.

According to the label, the 250-calorie Lean Pocket I managed to eat at lunch today had 8(!) grams of fat, 38 grams of carbohydrates (!), of which 11 g were sugars, only 9 grams of protein, one small bite of broccoli, and no turkey.  I mean, I couldn't taste or see any turkey at all.

In other words, this is another product that is basically fat and carbs, the road to obesity and Type 2 diabetes.  It will not help you get your minimum protein for the day.  (There are calculators to figure your requirement online).  Since protein was one of the things that was restricted on the kidney diet, I counted grams for years.  For me, 45 grams a day is a minimum need.  That's 15 grams per meal. Today I had to finish my lunch with some nuts to make up for the lack.

So this was far from a complete lunch.  But it did give me some partially hydrogenated oils and palm oil to think about.  Not good.  And soy flour, which is not for me, as I once had breast cancer that was estrogen-receptive.And you don't need to hear all the strange non-foods that are in this.   Typing out the additives would make me dizzy.

I have an excuse for picking up this frozen dish on the fly yesterday, you know - but who needs to hear it?  There are good things to say about it, compared to fast foods, and their web site would be glad to tell you.  And who can criticize the makers of such delicious depravities as Butterfingers and DiGiorno's pizza?  They make lots of candy and pizzas, in fact - look up Nestle Brands if you want to see their sweep.  Then look them up on Wikipedia and think about the long-standing boycott of Nestle foods because of the infant formula controversy, rain-forest destruction, etc. They're hard to boycott, it's true - they're everywhere. In the world, and in the supermarket

Once again it turns out the personal is political, including what you personally put in your mouth. Sounds like an ethical matter, in the end, a matter of compassion for yourself and quite a few others. 

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