Okay, I didn’t quite think it would be this big a deal. But here I am in another greenage dilemma.
The initial motivation: now that I’m sort of drinking coffee again (I know, bad, but I love the stuff), I had been buying it at McD’s or D&D’s, spending money I didn’t need to (two bucks a day, 20 days a month, not chump change when you do the math!), and drinking all the high-fat creamer and sugar they pump in there. And throwing away a non-biodegradable plastic cup when I’m done.
(By the way–at McDonalds, if you order their iced coffee, you can specify how much cream and sugar you want in it, and I always do, because the way they make it it’s almost undrinkably sweet for me. I usually ask for two cream and two sugar, which means two big pumps of each from their machines. I think if you don’t ask, they give you four. I’m sure they have calorie and fat counts on their website somewhere. If you look, please don’t tell me.)
My office has a Perpetual Coffee Machine. There’s always hot brewed coffee, and it’s not bad. But I still like cream and sugar in it. I don’t want seriously perishable stuff like plain half and half, and I would love to be able to get sugar and cream in there together. So I went looking at those flavored liquid creamers at the grocery store. (I already figured the powdered ones would have too much gross stuff in them, but maybe I’ll check those out next time.) I did a comparison of “French Vanilla” flavored ones.
Coffee-Mate: first ingredient sugar, second ingredient partially hydrogenated oils.
International Delight: first ingredient sugar, second ingredient palm oil (at least not hydrogenated–palm and coconut oils are more solid when cool), third ingredient corn syrup.
Lucerne: pretty identical to the Mate–sugar, partially hydrogenated oils.
It’s been so long since I deliberately went looking for a processed convenience food that I forgot people still actually sell the hydrogenated stuff.
So finally, cringing, I picked up the little carton of Silk French Vanilla creamer to check it out. (I don’t like soy milk. I’ve tried, really, I just don’t care for it.)
First ingredient: soy milk. (Promising.)
Second ingredient: cane sugar (not unexpected)
Third ingredient: Palm oil (also not unexpected)
After that, a bunch of thickener things like carrageenan and tapioca startch. Also half the calories of any of the big famous ones.
I bought it. It’s not half bad. Pretty good, actually. And in this office, no one’s going to be swiping it even if I keep it in the general fridge, because soy milk still has a bit of “ick” factor around this barely-even-recycling, chop down the healthy tree because we don’t like the way it looks, pump-the-a/c-down-to-72 office.
Silk. It’s not just for crunchypeople any more. 🙂
Oh, and P.S.–I also looked at the fat-free Coffee Mate. First ingredient sugar. Second ingredient–you guessed it, partially hydrogenated soybean oil. How can a “fat-free” product have oil as its second ingredient?
EDIT: Okay, fewer calories it may have, but it takes like a quarter cup of Silk creamer to give your coffee any sense of “light” at all…which sort of negates any caloric advantage…