Skye came to visit the other day with the kids. She picked up some Gorton’s Fish Sticks and fruit to feed the kids for lunch. I haven’t had a Gorton’s fish stick since I wore knee socks, so I was both repulsed and excited to give ‘em a try. Repulsed because they violate my “no more than 5 ingredient rule” – because they have like 60 un-pronounceable ingredients in them – and excited because well, they are junk food and since they were just sitting there all brown and glorious, there was an implied permission to eat them.
So I caved (like David in front of a Big Mac) and let me tell ya – They are little bread crumb-covered miracles! I couldn’t stop eating them. They are unnaturally satisfying because some brilliant scientist at Gortons whipped up the fish stick taste in a beaker in his laboratory. Still, I plundered through them with relish until all that was left was some grease on my fingers and a few crumbs on the plate.
The “Death Sticks” are crispy on the outside and have an un-fishy-like taste. The coating is thin but the taste just candies up the fish and completely disguises it. No wonder kids eat these things – they don’t taste anything like fish. It’s like feeding them liver that tastes like Hershey Bars and sunshine.
Nevertheless, I sucked them all down before the kids had a chance to know they were there. As I like to recall it, I threw myself in front of the train to protect the children. If you think I’m kidding, let’s look at the ingredient list…get out your dictionary of toxic substances.
Enriched bleached wheat flour
Yellow Corn Flour
Modified Corn Starch
Hydrolized Corn Gluten (tasty)
Autolized Yeast Extract
Paprika, Annatto and Turmeric extracts (for color)
Natural flavoring (whatever that is…)
Disodium inosinate (this with MSG & Disodium Guanylate gives it the “Umami” taste)
TBHQ (aka tert-butylhydroquinone, added to protect the flavor. Shown to be carcinogenic in larger quantities in the lab)
Sodium tripolyphosphate (to retain moisture, also used in soaps, detergents and toothpaste)
Methylcellulose (a thickener – safe but not digestible. It just passes through…)
Hydrolized wheat protein
Appetizing, right? I don’t think the death sticks will actually give my kids cancer but a lifetime of death sticks has to do some damage - like deaden my kid's palates or something. It’s easier to buy fresh fish, roll it in some bread crumbs and bake it in the oven for the same time it takes to reheat the frozen death sticks…and it's just better, worry-free eating.