What is in our food? Better living through genetic engineering. I get it. We’ve been tinkering with plants and animals for as long as human history, be it through our harvesting as hunters and gatherers, our seed selection as agriculturalists or where we spend our dollars as participants in the great capitalist adventures of food groceries currently underway. And it’s always been somewhat behind the scenes. No one is putting google maps up of their favorite foraging location for mushrooms, Bayer (Monsanto) is patenting seeds that need to be purchased each season and ignorance of food labels is not only pervasive in general but expected by the industry.

Now, I’m not bashing GMO, organic or anything else as it stands. People can pick and choose the diets they subscribe to freely and while I would gladly discuss pro’s and con’s I would try very hard never to criticize to the point of shutting anyone down. Your opinion is just that, your opinion. I remember the first time I went vegetarian and I considered myself part of the superhero sect. I wanted to turn people on to the benefits of a plant-based diet so badly that it costs me a very poignant lesson about ego. These lessons have been the foundation of my life I am now realizing. Anyways, the human experiment will go on the way that it’s going until we see real systemic change, and that doesn’t happen through gurus, marketing ads or your favorite farm to table restaurant. Or maybe it does?

So, if I don’t care about what the current state of food is then why are we at Juicymelt so insistent on a clean, minimal ingredients list? Well, first of all I do care about the state of food in the world today. Nutrition especially. I want the best for people and I know that the only way they are going to get the best is if they choose it themselves, based upon what they believe the best is from their own logic. I’ve got my opinions and I’ll gladly let them fly if we’re going there, but mostly I just want to put out a great product that everyone can enjoy. All of our sauces are vegan and they all make great wing sauces. JuicyMelt wants to keep it as simple and straightforward as possible. Use real ingredients that people who care enough to look will appreciate and people who don’t care will never miss the shitty ones.

And yes, I do eat xanthan gum. I just don’t use it in the sauces because I don’t want to explain how it’s made when instead I could be having a conversation about emulsification and other exciting techniques we can all do in our own home kitchens. I don’t use sodium bisulfite because I paid good money to learn how to slow and stop microbial growth using the tools we’ve had for years upon years. I’m sure the sulfites are an extra step towards that end, but no one has taught me how to make it and so I’m skipping it for now.

JuicyMelt will continue to focus on clean ingredients that come together to make something flavorful. We want to succeed in a natural world, whatever that may mean to you.

Jeffrey McElfresh
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