Food Unwrapped: Lifting the Lid on How Our Food Is Really Produced

Channel 4 uk

Companion book to the primetime Channel 4 series, Food Unwrapped, that lifts the lid on how our food is really produced.

A MORNING BOWL OF METAL

Hover a magnet over your cornflakes in the morning and you should be able to see a few individual flakes moving around the bowl.

This is because the additives in Britain’s favourite breakfast cereal include iron filings — tiny particles of pure iron metal, which are processed in a way that renders them tasteless.

Iron is just one of the nutrients and vitamins added to cornflakes, and you might wonder why this is necessary. Surely corn is nutritious enough without having to be fortified?

The answer is that much of its natural goodness is removed once the kernels arrive in the factory. First, the husks are discarded to give the cornflakes a smoother texture, then the wheatgerms are squeezed out to give the cornflakes a longer shelf-life.

This leaves the ‘corn grits’, as they’re known in the industry. Some 90 per cent starchy carbohydrate, these are both lacking in nourishment and largely flavourless, which is why they are then combined with sugar, glucose and salt before being baked in pressure cookers, rolled into flakes and toasted.

At that point, they are sprayed with a combination of nutrients, including folic acid, vitamins A, B, C and D and, of course, iron.

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BOOKSSandra Ishkanes