What Is This and Just Why Is It in Here?



March is roaring in like a lion on steroids from the north accompanied by alternating lashes of freezing rain and horizontal snow. I just ran outside with Oakley in answer of nature’s call. I don’t know how he did his duty, but he did. My muscles clenched in sympathy.

I was a bit preoccupied last week. We had another round of that ever popular game “NOW What Did Your Mother Feed You?” It entailed two or three runs in the yard and awakenings before four a.m.every blessed night until the Chinese herbs for acute colitis flareups kicked in and I figured out what in the ever loving hell I’d fed him.

This edition involved a brand of ground turkey that I don’t usually get and some turkey canned food. The latter was new to us, too. I’d been giving Oaks a good, inexpensive brand, but they changed the formula and put flax in it. Good for omega-3s. Bad if you have chronic colitis.

On top of the ubiquitous “natural flavorings,” the ground turkey had rosemary oil in it. I didn’t think much of it. I cooked it, gave it to Oakley.

And then the fun began. Gentle Reader, I will spare you the details.

After an internet search on what it’s used for in food, I found out that it’s a flavor enhancer. Oh, and anyone with colitis or Crohn’s disease should not eat it because it irritates the colon.

Well, isn’t that special?

Tried Oakley on the canned wet food. That had carrageenan and cassia in it as stabilizers. The diarrhea just would not stop. I looked those up as well. Carrageenan is irritating  to the intestinal tract.

I did not know that.

The kicker came with the cassia. Looked that up. There’s two kinds, one involving cinnamon that’s used in hair care preparations. The other is a different matter.

It’s derived from the senna plant.

Senna is the herbal equivalent of the stuff given to prep patients for colonoscopies. I did not know that it went by the name of cassia.

I fed him scrambled eggs, made sure he was well walked, and went to Aldi for ground turkey. Their frozen turkey is just turkey. 100% turkey without the not-so-natural flavorings.  It’s also less than $2 a package. A couple of days of that plus the herb for the flare-ups and things calmed down significantly. We finally had a good night Sunday into Monday.

I contacted the manufacturer of the bad turkey. Told them how sick Oakley had been. Why did they put a known irritant for anyone with colitis in their product? I made it clear that I didn’t want coupons or to get money out of them. I just wanted them to know this happened, and to understand why this was in there.

The response was condescending. Because we want to give our fans the great taste of our Brand Name turkey that they’ve come to expect. Thank you for reaching out to us.

No apology. Nothing.

I thought about responding by telling them that if they sold a decent product in the first place, they wouldn’t need to resort to chemistry experiments on the unsuspecting public to sell their wares. I also considered suggesting the commission of an unnatural act with their product, but reminded myself that I was raised better than that.

Not much better in the response department at the store I returned it to. I’m returning it because it has an additive that I didn’t know was going to aggravate a family member’s digestive issues. The manager shot me a sideways look as if I should have known while not so cheerfully refunding my money.

Returning the the canned food was a better experience. I shared my findings about the ingredients with the manager. She thanked me for telling her, expressed sympathy for the situation, and gave me a hug.

Once home, I sat on the sofa and rubbed Oakley’s ears. He pushed his tush against my leg. I turned on the midday news, and lost the first hour of it because I’d fallen asleep sitting up.

Some people might say that there is a lesson in this. Certainly, there are many lessons that were reinforced. Standing up for myself is one. Taking labeling information for granted is another. Remembering that profit outweighs safe food is another.

Others may say that it’s too bad, sorry you went through it. That’s life, and sometimes shit happens.

With this set of circumstances, the latter sums up last week with more accuracy.






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