I did some research (90 minutes) to track down and figure out what these things are…..
SUGAR ~ I expected this one. I'm ok with it. Its a pretty natural ingredient.
CORN SYRUP SOLIDS ~ Really? Do Americans need anymore processed corn syrup in their diets?
VEGETABLE OIL (PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED COCONUT OR PALM KERNEL AND HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN) ~ I couldn't find an easily accessible explanation for what oil would be for in a dry mix.
DAIRY PRODUCT SOLIDS ~ Assuming this is dry milk, wish it was labeled as that. Dairy product solids makes it sound so….. icky.
COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, ~Cocoa has been treated with alkali going back over 150 years. There are several reasons, the three most common being: It darkens the cocoa, reduces the bitter taste of cocoa, and makes the cocoa powder disperse better in beverages.” (Link to Source) Honestly, i'm willing to stir my coco a little extra if it means I don't need to ingest this each time I drink hot coco.
CELLULOSE GUM ~ A polymer with the alternate names of cellulose sodium glycolate and sodium carboxymethyl cellulose. Totally unnatural. A man made item. Cellulose gum is extracted from wood pulp and cotton cellulose. The powder can absorb up to 20 times its starting weight. Only the purest cellulose gum is fit for human consumption; the rest is used in non edible items. In the food world it is typically used to thicken or bind ingredients and also is used to make things sweeter. Cellulose cannot be properly digested by humans. It has neither health benefits or harmful effects Luckily it is similar to eating paper, it just passes through your system. (Link to source) Eating paper, yuck, but at least it isn't toxic!
NONFAT MILK ~ Wondering how this is different that the "dairy product solids" listed above?
SALT~ This is in every recipe and its a small amount. Ok with me.
SODIUM CASEINATE, A food additive and for industrial purposes. Some people are allergic to sodium caseinate, and it has been linked to some human diseases, mainly autism and gastrointestinal problems. Consult with an allergy specialist if you suspect an allergy or intolerance to any casein-based product. such, caseins are now used primarily in food production, where they add nutrition, flavor and specific consistencies. (Link to source) Gastrointestinal problems….. possible links to autism…. EEEEK! I'm fine with natural chocolate flavor why do we need to add all this other stuff to "create" the flavor?
SODIUM CITRATE, Also know as Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate is a tart flavoring used in candy, soft drinks, ice cream and sherbet and is often added for its antioxidant properties. Sodium citrate buffers acidity in jams, ice creams and candy. (Link to source) This is actually an ok ingredient. Not that we all need to ingest tons of it, but it is one of the few additives that isn't on the "bad" list.
DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE,Used as a food additive to lower acid levels in processed foods and act as a stabilizer. Dipotassium Phosphate can act as a skin and eye irritant along with causing vomiting and diarrhea if consumed directly in quantities. Inhaling Dipotassium Phosphate can irritate the lungs and can cause distressed breathing. (Link to source) How much acid is in basic hot coco? Do we really need this to reduce acid? Also, not feeling great about the fact that is can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
SODIUM ALUMINOSILICATE, Sodium aluminosilicate is the predominant silicate added to foods in the United States, according to the Food and Drug Administration. As an anticaking agent, it prevents clumping in dairy-based drinks, milk powders, sauce and gravy mixes, soup mixes, salt and seasonings. You may also find this silicate in household products, such as latex paint and laundry detergent. (Link to source) I can appreciate the idea of non clumped hot chocolate but it wouldn't take much to give it a little stir to break it up or a smash of the packet to unclump it. Is america this lazy?
MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, Monoglycerides and diglycerides are food additives commonly used to combine ingredients containing fats with those containing water, two types of ingredients that don't ordinarily combine well. Food manufacturers typically use them to extend a product's shelf life. Made in part of fatty acids, they are similar to triglycerides, the predominant fat in food according to the Harvard School of Public Health, except they are classified as emulsifiers rather than lipids. (Link to source)
GUAR GUM ~Made from the guar bean and is used as a thickener. I can appreciate that it is at least a natural source and is used o make my coco creamy. But just another unnecessary step.
ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS. ~When you see this you need to run and hide. This could be anything. Anything artificial. They don't even have to tell you what it is. You want to risk ingesting something that has ingredients you aren't privy to? NOT ME!
So what has this taught me!?!
I am throwing away all the hot chocolate mix in the house and making my own natural hot coco mix.
Best yet, the recipes are all over the web and I already have all the natural ingredients in my pantry!