Most health-minded people have probably never thought to buy Jiffy cornbread muffin mix or even look at the ingredient label. And, honestly I just happened to run into a box of the horrific ‘food’ at a convenience store in The Florida Keys. The Keys are amazingly beautiful, but not the best outlet for fresh, healthy food. The convenience store/restaurant called Grassy Key Outpost actually had a very good restaurant. The food seemed fresh and pretty much locally sourced, and is by far one of the best eateries in the Marathon area. Their convenience store on the other hand didn’t have the cleanest food products. Which led me to wonder….does this tourist food mart carry Jiffy Cornbread Mix because people buy a lot of it or because it is cheap, or possibly both. I guess it really doesn’t matter, but it made me kind of sad. I remember making Jiffy mixes as a kid, and I wonder if there were the same chemicals in it 25 years ago, but I’m guessing there weren’t.
“Quality and Value since 1930” is Jiffy’s moto. Here’s a list of the INGREDIENTS: WHEAT FLOUR, DEGERMINATED YELLOW CORN MEAL, SUGAR, ANIMAL SHORTENING (CONTAINS ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING: LARD, HYDROGENATED LARD, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED LARD), contains less than 2% of each of the following: BAKING SODA, SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE, MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE, SALT, WHEAT STARCH, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, BHT PRESERVATIVE, TOCOPHEROL PRESERVATIVE, CITRIC ACID PRESERVATIVE, BHA PRESERVATIVE, TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID, SILICON DIOXIDE.
BHA and BHT are listed as preservatives. When big manufacturers use abbreviations to list a food ingredient it has to make you wonder what they are trying to cover up. Because if they listed BHA as Butylated hydroxyanisole and BHT as Butylated hydroxytoluene it looks a lot scarier.
Here’s a little Wikipedia quote on BHA, “The U.S. National Institutes of Health report that BHA is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen based on evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. In particular, when administered in high doses as part of their diet, BHA causes papillomas and squamous cell carcinomas of the forestomach in rats and Syrian golden hamsters.” It is listed as a carcinogen by the state of California.
And BHT, “Debate surrounds the link of BHT to cancer risk, asthma and behavioral issues in children; some studies show a potential to increase and some showing a decreased risk. There is in vitro indication for endocrine disruption with effect on the testes and thyroid. Because of this uncertainty the consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest recommend to avoid BHT and puts BHT in its ‘caution’ column.”
Now these are just general Wikipedia write-ups, pretty mainstream right. If you go to more health driven sites you’ll likely see even worse side effects of these two hidden chemical food additives. Jiffy is so-called “America’s Favorite.” I sure hope more people take the time to see what’s really in their food so we can help create a new American Favorite. I don’t want my kids, anyone I love, or any one at all actually eating BHA or BHT. It’s pretty scary and sad what big manufacturers are sneaking into our food. So, with this energy, I drive myself into the kitchen to try and create a simple, clean replacement that most people will like.
This muffin recipe is about as easy as it comes and is truly delicious. So delicious, that last week when I made these muffins with tortilla soup (recipe here) my Dad ate 4 of them, no joke. I baked them again not but 2 days later because we loved them so much. I have to say, since I created the Crock Pot Tortilla Soup recipe, we’ve gone in a more ZenEats direction in which we’ve eliminated legumes and grains for the most part. I’ll talk more about this soon.
Our now 2 year old, Adeline, took this picture. I hear slanted pictures are “cliche” on food blogs but I just had to use it! We enjoyed these muffins with super creamy whipped butter. I’m still perfecting this recipe and will post it soon. But these muffins are seriously decadent with a hint of cornbread like sweetness even without the butter.