Friday, January 27, 2012

winter makes me hungry

it's a fact when your body is cold, your body will counteract with producing as much heat as needed, and even though your body has so many fat, there'll be signals sent to the brain telling it it needs more resources from outside, thus the hunger.

a hungry me is definitely not the best state. the thing is i admit i'm not a good cook, nor i like to cook in the first place. so i can hardly produce any food by myself. i have to get it somewhere. but, winter really is not my best friend. in fact, i dread it quite a bit. while most people i know would be so happy to see snow, i'll smirk. it's hard to move, it's cold. even to walk to the nearest 7-11 is quite a task. like today, i just had spaghetti as dinner (thankfully there's instant spaghetti sauce for people like me), yet i'm now hungry again.

one thing i hate to be in japan is the ambiguity of the ingredient listed. easier said, i'll just be a vegetarian here. i would avoid all the things with meat or animal extracts, and resort to seafood stuff and vegan. yet, for all the processed food available out there, the most problem i'll encounter is these two: 'emulsifier'(乳化剤) and 'shortening'. both of them can be originated from either plants or animal. emulsifier is called by that name due to its function which is to stabilize an emulsion by increasing its kinetic stability of a food. on the other hand, shortening is a substance that prevents cross-linkage between gluten molecules. the problem for me here is those two can either originate from plant (which is okay) or animal (which is definitely a no). i mean, what's the use of listing ingredient by its function? is there anyone who is interested to know there is a substance in the food that is doing what kind of job. what i want to know is what it is derived from. just why can't you write down specifically 'lard' or 'vegetable fat' instead of shortening, those two functions to prevent cross-linkage between gluten molecules (just copypasting the above). don't vegetarian people in japan be conscious of these stuff? or there's practically no vegetarian here. oh yeah, here is asia after all. animal-sourced stuff maybe is cheaper and more economic for food manufacturing, but please be detailed in disclosing the information.

and oh, my bad when i made a call to the manufacturer, to confirm whether there's any animal-sourced ingredients or not, apparently dairy stuff also considered animal. err, and then i don't know how to ask further. how can i exactly ask them, anyone can teach me the exact term for those?

but i wonder why in other places i've been (talking big as if i've traveled the whole world, yet the number of countries i've gone can even be counted by one hand), i never had to bother with these? i mean, these are the common substances used in food industry. is japan (the famous advanced country) is the only who uses animal-sourced subtances as emulsifier? you see, how awkward to not be able to buy bread? i assume at the moment fresh-baked stuff at bakeries is okay as it's less likely to have these subtances. or should i ask every single time, "does this bun has lard? does this one too?". okay, i know no other ingredients than lard that i shouldn't consume.


the above is the name of their main source of meat, favourite for most. (okay, honestly i just wanted to mencarut)

yes, i'm hungry. i need to drag my feet to 7-11 and get my favourite dango which cost 105yen, and a 1L pack of lipton milk tea (anyone wanna inform me the emulsifier in it is animal-sourced?? i don't know how many hundred of litres i've drank so far).

or maybe i won't after all, it's cold. i'd rather be in my futon. oh no, i should be studying coz i haven't started at all!

okay, otsukare to all who's already done, and ganbarou who still have papers coming. mine starts next week

p/s: feast to the eyes. another delicious food i got to relish last weekend. maguro saikou!!!


T said...

Most freshly-baked goods from the bakery here usually do not contain weird additives or animal fat :-) The short fall is that it doesn't stay fresh for more than a day.

As for shortening, it is bad regardless of the source. It's increases the bad cholesterol twice as fast as saturated fat. So, you might as well avoid it altogether. Just opt for something with vegetable oil or butter.

Here whenever they listed an emulsifier it would say something like "soy lecithin as an emulsifier." Most of the times, emulsifier tend to come from plant source (i.e. soy lecithin) or eggs. So, I typically would assume it doesn't come from animal fat unless explicitly mention there (i.e. gelatin).

Also, just try to find food with as little or no additives. Your store-bought food should not have a long list of ingredients, and especially no ingredients that's listed in codes.

Do you know that, there is an additive that uses substance from beaver glands. Not sure what the code is. But can you imagine, that animal had to die so that they could make something with a raspberry flavor? That's even worst than babi. At least some people eat other part of the babi.

T said...

you are always hungry regardless of season. So, don't blame winter.

snylo said...

the problem here is, we were told that unless it's stated the emulsifier(soy based), then typically it's from animal. sabar je la. and almost everything contains emulsifier here >.<