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One of my goals is to eat better. “Better” is never a real goal, so one of my goals is to cut down on the amount of processed food and additives (artificial sweeteners, among others) that I consume. I eat at least 10 meals a week at my desk (breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday), so convenient, portable food is a big part of my diet.

Generally I have a Slim Fast shake with perhaps a piece of fruit for breakfast and a frozen “lite” entrée or a low-fat sandwich for lunch. As part of my new resolution, once I finish off the last few cans of Slim Fast in my fridge, I’m switching to some-yet-to-be-determined alternative. Slim Fast is filled with stuff that I can’t pronounce, much less figure out what is.

And since I’ve been trying to only eat things that I know what are, I’ve been eating a lot of the Kashi frozen entrées for lunch. They’re really tasty, usually around 300 calories, and other that the occasional variety that has a bit more sodium than I like, are made from healthy ingredients with limited or no additives. Kashi even has an ingredient decoder on their website (www.kashi.com) that let’s you decode ingredients (those weird things you don’t know what are) and tells you whether or not Kashi would use them and why.

So I was reading the label on Kashi’s Chicken Florentine (really yummy) as I was headed to the microwave during yesterday’s lunch. Imagine my surprise when I discovered tucked between the Parmesan cheese and the rice flour was the following ingredient: Chablis (white wine).

Now the FDA makes food manufacturers disclose things like, “Contains eggs, dairy, wheat, and nut products,” because of all the allergies. So you can understand why I’m surprised that alcohol is not also disclosed. (Yes, on some products where alcohol is a primary component, it has to be disclosed how much alcohol is in it — but apparently not in small amounts.)

And while (theoretically), alcohol is supposed to evaporate during cooking, leaving only the flavor elements, that’s not the point. There are a great number of people who, for religious or health reason, do not want ANY alcohol in their diet. I mean heck, if I were to list the top-10 things that ought to be disclosed on a food label, alcohol should be right there on the top, in big letters, not hidden in the six-point fine print. Particularly from a company that is based on good nutrition and real food. (I think that wine is both good and real, but not everyone feels that way.) And when you think about feeding products with alcohol (even trace amounts) to children, that’s another important conversation.

So how about it, food manufacturers? How about a little self-disclosure? Kashi, are you listening?

I hope whatever ingredients are in your life today are good for both your body and your soul.

Thanks for checking in.

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