The pumpkin-flavored-everything season is back, and it seems that the craze has no signs of slowing down. As a matter of fact, just when you thought that this mania couldn’t get any bigger, it does. Restaurants and food manufacturers in the United States continue to find “inventive” ways to incorporate this favorite fall flavor into their products, with new food items getting pumpkin-ized every year.
It appears as if the fascination for the pumpkin flavor is expanding outside the country, too. This year, McDonald’s in Japan is celebrating its 45th year in the Asian archipelago by bringing in the autumn tang fused with the spooky spirit with the introduction of the Halloween Choco Potato. That’s french fries drizzled in chocolate and, of course, pumpkin sauces.
FoodFacts.com absolutely acknowledges America’s indestructible love affair with themed-foods, pumpkin-flavored everything included. It’s simply ingrained in our culture to celebrate every special occasion like Halloween, or season like fall, with such novelty. Nevertheless, our mission is to help you become more ingredient-aware, so that you can make better food choices.
Pumpkin, in itself, contains more than just a handful of health benefits. Having this fall harvest added into your foods and beverages would definitely do your body a lot of good. It’s the food additives mixed into those baked goods and sweet drinks that you should be wary of.
Artificial food colorants
Most of the pumpkin-flavored food items sold in the supermarket contain artificial food dyes to make them more appetizing to consumers. Artificial food colorants (AFC) are said to have adverse effects to your health, including behavioral problems among children.
“Natural flavoring” on food labels in the US pertains to ingredients derived from natural sources, such as plants and animals. They still undergo chemical processing to enhance the flavor. For instance, if the label on your recently purchased pumpkin-flavored treat says “pumpkin flavor,” it means that it contains an ingredient derived from pumpkin, which has gone through chemical processing. Under current Food and Drug Administration regulations, food companies are not required to disclose what type of chemical is used in the process.
Added sugar and sodium
You probably don’t need reminding that your beloved Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is packed with added sugar and sodium. However, allow us a little indulgence in cautioning your consumption of this beverage and other pumpkin-flavored foods and drinks. As always, we encourage you to check a food product’s Nutrition Facts table before purchasing.