Guys I seriously apologize. I was hit out of left field with a couple things this week which just really set me off balance. There's no excuse for it. Life happens, and we all need to do the best we can in order to roll with the punches. In this case, the punches have been rolling me.
With that, off to Rule 3- avoid food products that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry. This is actually the "rule" which got me interested in this whole project in the first place. How many normal people would want to keep soy lecithin in the pantry? Odds are not too many. Yet this is an incredibly common ingredient. To the point where I found it in my shampoo!
Lecithin (besides being difficult to pronounce), is a collection of fat containing substances in a wide range of animal and plant foods. It was originally discovered back in the mid 1800's as a component of egg yolks. It's primary role is typically as a lubricant or as an emulsifying agent. For those of us who missed out on Home Ec, emulsification in food is the process of blending two typically unblendable liquids together. The classic example is blending oil and water. Using an egg yolk, you can blend oil together with vinegar to create mayonnaise. I recall doing this as a child with limited success. But I'm told that's how it works.
In the world of food science, adding soy based lecithin to a product can replace egg based emulsifiers. It also helps prevent things from sticking to other things. I noticed this in my non stick cooking spray first. Now, knowing what lecithin does, my first question is, "why do I need this in my cooking spray?" In and of itself, the spray which is oil based should not need any help. Unless there's something about the propellant they are using in the can which prevents it from mixing nicely with the oil. So that indicates to me that the propellant isn't just air. There's something else there. Which is not on my label.
I do not approve.
Now the last time I checked, none of my recipes call for soy lecithin. They call for eggs, butter, or other things along those lines. This is a product we've introduced to the pantry through the back end.
General rule of thumb, if it ain't in my cookbook, odds are I do not need to add it to my food.