Tidbits: It's really not so simple

  • Article by: AL SICHERMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 28, 2012 - 2:46 PM

Also: From simple to "nutritionally uncomplex."

As we witness the emergence of more and more products named "Simply something" or "Simple something" (because they are made without high-fructose corn syrup and maybe without artificial ingredients of one kind or another), there's something that Mr. Tidbit simply must point out: Some products were named "Simply something" or "Simple something" before that whole idea emerged; they might or might not fit that description.

Doubtless there are others, but two such products that Mr. Tidbit thinks of immediately are a candy bar -- Milky Way Simply Caramel (a Milky Way bar without the nougat); and a Keebler cookie -- Sandies Simply Shortbread (Pecan Shortbread Sandies without the pecans).

As it happens, both the Pecan and the Simply versions of Sandies contain no corn syrup, but I suspect most folks would call TBHQ (the antioxidant preservative tertiary butylhydroquinone) in the oils in both cookies an artificial ingredient.

On the other hand, both Milky Way and Milky Way Simply Caramel contain corn syrup as well as sugar, and both contain artificial flavor.

 

Simply simple

Mr. Tidbit has decided that, for clarity, he will refer to the newer wave of "Simply" or "Simple" products -- those that are sweetened with sugar as opposed to one kind of corn syrup or another, and that don't contain artificial ingredients -- as "nutritionally uncomplex." He has also decided that he's about done referring to them at all, as soon there will be so many that the debut of another isn't very noteworthy.

But he'll let one more sneak under the wire: Duncan Hines Simple Mornings, a line of six kinds of muffin mix with no high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives, artificial colors or trans fat. Duncan Hines also makes regular muffin mixes in the same six flavors. Although Mr. Tidbit wasted many minutes he will not see again, he could find no store or online outlet that stocked both versions of any one flavor, so he cannot tell you how much, if anything, Duncan Hines charges for nutritional uncomplexity.

AL SICHERMAN

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