Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Yum yum bubble gum!

For quite some time, and maybe even a year or two, my family has refrained from purchasing mainstream gum.

The reason?

Because gum contains BHT, a substance that is used to maintain freshness in almost all gums sold in the States, and one that is a pork byproduct. *I was able to confirm this a couple years ago, but for some reason, there is nothing that says BHT is a pork byproduct anywhere. But whether it's BHT or some other thing; if it's pork, we won't eat it.*

So how did me and my family handle life without Wrigley's, Extra, Trident or Orbitz? Simple. We bought gum at the International Market where we buy everything else we need to make authentic Middle Eastern food. The gum is much like Chiclets, and it got us by, except it only comes in two flavors: mint and peppermint.

I've been searching for fruit flavored (or any other flavored) gum to no avail. I was doomed to chew the same, minty gum for the rest of my life.

That was what I thought until I visited a local Asian mart right here in Denver, where different kinds of gums are sold, and voila! I found fruit flavored gum-- bubble gum, no less-- that did not contain BHT! Woohoo!

Marukawa brand gum comes in a seven-pack, containing orange, melon, strawberry, grape, green apple and bubble gum flavors. It is delicious gum imported from Japan (where BHT is banned altogether), made with actual sugar, and each flavor really tastes like the real thing. Although it is artificially flavored, it doesn't taste anything like the chemically stuff I'm used to with gum here.

Silly of me to write about gum, but it has been such a long time since I've been able to enjoy a delicious, fruit flavored piece of gum! I'm chewing and popping as I write, and I feel like I'm chewing and popping an actual orange. I'm stocking up on Murakawa gum next time I am near the Asian Mart!


Elisabeth said...

Funny, I just saw BHT in one of my blog reads yesterday, but for some reason I'm not finding it in Google Reader. It was something about wanting BHT-free plastics. I hoped to find it to contribute something brilliant and fascinating to your post, but alas. ;) So I tried to google it, because I wanted to know (other than you not being able to eat it for religious reasons) what was wrong with it. And I couldn't find anything that said how it was made or that it came from pork. In fact, I found websites that listed it as halal (1, 2). Are there different kinds of BHT? Also, are you able to use plastics that are made with BHT?

Reem said...

I originally found out about BHT from an incident that happened a couple years ago. My sister had bought some hand lotion from Avon. My Dad used the lotion one day and thought it smelled kind of funny, sort of greasy and tarry, so he asked me to look up the ingredients, and at the time I found several sources that said BHT was a pork byproduct.

Now, I can't find anything that says that, but I'm not surprised, seeing as how soon after the Avon lotion incident, stuff came out about gum having pork byproducts in it, and Muslims were freaking out. When I googled the subject earlier, something came up about Wrigleys planning to make their gum pork-free. Perhaps they've started making BHT using some other source, I don't know. But we stopped buying gum at regular stores, because all the gum here is made with BHT, and so is some makeup and hygiene products. As far as plastics are concerned, I'm not sure... I guess if I knew there was BHT in the plastic for sure, it's not favorable to use it, but if I don't know... well... I don't know lol

Regardless, I prefer this Japanese gum to anything I've ever gotten here.
It's so yummy!

Elisabeth said...

It would make sense if they started making it some other way. It also surprises me how much is made with beef products because of the hindus. I remember a few years ago there was a big uproar in India because it was discovered that McDonalds had been frying their fries there in Beef fat and didn't tell the locals! I got some medicine here (Penang) yesterday and the gel capsules are a bovine product. There are so many Indians here, and we're told to be so careful about being sensitive to the cultural/religious differences that it astounds me that the medicine contains bovine products!

BTW I enjoyed your gum post! :) Sometimes the more mundane things are just as fun, interesting, and educational as anything else.