Saturday, June 15, 2013

Corn Tortillas

Grocery Store Corn Tortillas vs. Homemade Corn Tortillas

Grocery Store Tortilla Ingredients:  Corn (Ground corn treated with Calcium hydroxide and Water), Water, Sodium propionate, Propionic acid, Sodium hydroxide, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Gum blend, Sorbic acid, Fumaric acid, Dextrose.
May contain FD&C Yellow #5, Yellow #6 and Red #40.

While the use of preservatives in food has been OK’ed by the FDA, there are a few that are bothersome. Sodium Hydroxide is the chemical name for lye while calcium hydroxide is the chemical name for slake lime.  Dextrose is added sugar, there is some evidence that Methylparaben mimics estrogen and can cause endocrine disruption, and artificial colorings have been linked to hyperactivity in children and cancer in lab rats.  Also, these preservatives are generally tested in isolation (one at a time) over a relatively short period of time, a few weeks to a few months.  What happens with repeated long-term consumption combined with several other preservatives is anyone’s guess.
Furthermore, another area to consider is the environmental safety of using these preservatives en masse.  Calcium hydroxide (slake lime), propionic acid, sodium hydroxide (lye) and sodium hydroxide are all highly caustic materials that can cause chemical burns and are actually poisonous in large quantities. 

Homemade Tortilla Ingredients: Maseca Flour, salt, water   

1.     Combine maseca, salt and water per instructions on the back of the flour bag.
2.     Get two pieces of saran wrap (or a plastic bag) and a pie plate, a book, or really anything flat and with some weight to it.
3.     Put a small ball of masa flour in between the two pieces of saran wrap and squish it into a tortilla.
4.     Put the tortilla in a frying pan with some olive oil and cook for a few minutes on each side until it starts to brown.

Enjoy delicious, warm, home-made corn tortillas.

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