With all the running around, vacationing, working, and other summer fun happening, many of us are finding it kind of tricky to plan our meals properly. Not having the typical routine set out for us, we often get home from our Summer frolicking h-u-n-g-r-y and not wanting to do much in the way of cooking.
The temptation to turn to foods of convenience may just lure us in. The ultimate in convenience foods- Ramen noodles.
Personally, I'm more familiar with those way-too-super salty Mr. Noodles styrofoam bowls I used to pack for lunch in grade school. But really- it's all the same. When I ask people what their instant food of choice is, Ramen noodles is always one of the top answers. I have friends who would eat these every night in University. That's a lot of noodles! Aaaand poison.
It would be one thing if the tendency to consume copious amounts of these junky noodles was just a university thing. One of those habits we had along with drinking ourselves silly and smoking those weekend cigarettes. We lived, we learned how bad this made us feel, and we moved on.
However, it's a real head scratcher when these icky habits follow us to our adult lives getting disguised as "healthy" choices. Something "quick and tasty" and a way for our kids to get some veggies in while still eating dinner. Like this take on an Asian Noodle Salad. There is just no reason to use those flavour enhancer packets.
We can't even pretend that's healthy. Let's check out just what's in Ramen noodles to see why...
What's In These Oodles Of Noodles?
Noodles: wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, salt, water, soybeans, salt, potassium carbonate, sodium phosphates, sodium carbonate, and tumeric.
Flavour Packet: salt, wheat, soybean, maltodextrin, monosodium glutamate, sugar, onions, garlic, spices, caramel color, cooked beef powder, dehydrated beef extract, lactose, disodium inosinate, hydrolyzed soy protein, disodium guanylate, and natural flavor.
Nutrition panel facts are relatively meaningless and especially do not apply when we eat whole foods, however, I think it's pretty notable that the sodium content in one of these packages clocks in at 1800 mg. This is not health-promoting, mineral rich sea salt we're talking about. It's chemical laden, aluminim containing sodium in many, many forms. Remember our good ol' friend MSG (red this if you haven't yet!)? Well, he's not alone in Ramen noodles!
First, there's salt listed twice in the noodles and once in the flavour packet. There's also sodium phosphates, sodium carbonate, the previously mentioned monosodium glutamate, disodium inosinate, and disodium guanylate. So basically this product is a whole lot of sodium with a side of soy-laced wheat noodles.
As a side note with a little science nerdiness, these creepy sounding chemicals "disodium inosinate" and "disodium guanylate" are additives used along with monosodium glutamate to produce a synergistic effect. Disodium guanylate in particular is said to be unsafe for babies under twelve weeks and should be avoided by asthamtics and people suffering from gout. Not to mention the proven hazardous effects it can have on the developing brains and nervous systems of children. Maybe not the best thing to have in food? Just a thought.
Check back here next week. Meghan will have a super tasty soup recipe that will banish all Ramen cravings...promise!
Question Of The Day: What's your go-to food or meal of convenience?