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Broths Contain Mysterious Ingredients

Monday, January 18, 2010 by: Jack Challem
Tags: broths, ingredients, health news

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(NewsTarget) There's a company that dominates the soup business, but its products are at best bland and mushy. You probably know who I'm talking about. Some of the company's soups contain so much salt that they're the human equivalent of a salt lick. For example, its chicken noodle soup dishes up a whopping 890 mg of sodium per serving, and 2,225 grams of sodium per can.

This company also owns the leading maker of various chicken broths and stocks. Until recently, that subsidiary spiked its tasteless products with monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer. But MSG is well documented as a cause of Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.

I'm not joking. Every Chinese restaurant used to boost the flavor of its meals by adding MSG. But a fair number of customers complained of neck and muscle aches afterwards, the result of MSG. So now, a lot of Chinese restaurants don't use MSG anymore.

But I digress.

The company recently introduced organic chicken, beef, and vegetable broths. Sounds like a great idea, right?

Well, the company's website admits that the broths contain 550 mg of sodium for each one-cup serving. If you like to use a lot of broth, that could add up to 1,100 mg of sodium per real-world serving. And maybe one blood-pressure cuff.

But no where on the company's website is a full listing of the products' other ingredients found. This is more than just peculiar, because all of the junk food and fast food companies you can think of list their product ingredients on their websites.

So that left me wondering what the soup and broth company might be hiding.

So I clicked to contact customer service and wrote a brief email asking for a complete list of ingredients for their organic products. Sounds simple enough, right?

A few days later, some anonymous person emailed me back:

"All of our products have nutritional labels that include the calorie, sodium, fat, cholesterol and carbohydrate content for a single serving. However, it is important to note that product recipes change frequently and ingredients are periodically added or replaced. Therefore, we suggest that you check each package for the most current nutritional information..."

So I wrote back and said that they had NOT answered my question. And I also wondered, adding a list of full ingredients to the website can't be all that difficult, could it? After all, it's got to be easier to update a web page compared with...say, reformulating the ingredients in an industrial-size soup and broth manufacturing facility.

Finally I went to both my local supermarket and health food store, but did not find any of the company's organic broths on the shelf. So their ingredients remain a mystery to me.

After all this, I can't help but wonder: Why couldn't the world's biggest soup company just be more up front about its ingredients and list them on its website? Unless, they really want to hide what's in them, that is.

About the author

Jack Challem, The Nutrition Reporter (tm), is a personal nutrition coach and one of America's most trusted nutrition and health writers. Based in Tucson, Arizona, he is the bestselling author of more than 20 books, including Stop Prediabetes Now, The Food-Mood Solution, Feed Your Genes Right, and The Inflammation Syndrome. Jack is a columnist for Alternative & Complementary Therapies and his scientific articles have also appeared in Free Radical Biology & Medicine, Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, Medical Hypotheses, and other journals. Free, downloadable excerpts from his books, and sample issues of his print newsletters are available at http://www.nutritionreporter.com.

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