Skip to content
March 1, 2016 / Fantelius

A Tin of Corporation


I’m looking at a tin of soup* produced by the Knorr division of the multinational Unilever corporation (140.000 employees).

The tin disinforms us stating “Beef Soup with vegetables”. That’s the overture of the deception. With 42% vegetables and 8.5% beef the label should read, “Vegetable Soup with beef”.

Let’s look at the list of ingredients to see the extent of disinformation:

Water, vegetables 42% (carrot, cabbage, parsnip, leek), cooked beef 8.5%, salt, modified starch, flavor enhancers (monosodium glutamate, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate), beef extract, onion, aroma.

Information removes uncertainty while disinformation increases it. Notice that percentage is only given for vegetables and beef, and that “onion” isn’t listed under vegetables but separately at the end of the list. Does that increase or decrease uncertainty? I’m particularly intrigued by “cooked” beef, which implies that the soup wasn’t made cooking the beef, but that the beef was cooked separately and added to the soup. Could the beef that was cooked separately have produced the beef extract listed before the mysterious onion? I get the impression that the ingredients for this soup were made at different locations and compiled at one place to be tinned.

“Modified starch” goes beyond disinformation and lands in bullshit territory. It’s not a starch! Although it uses a starch as a base ingredient (from wheat, corn, potato, rice, whatever), it is no more a starch than a samurai sword is modified iron ore, or nylon rope modified petroleum. Modified starch is an engineered product with properties opposite to natural starch, a basic source of nourishment for cells. Modified starch does not break down or provide nourishment. It has many advantages for processing food industrially, but none for biological health. It maintains its structural integrity under the extreme heat, freezing and pressure characteristic of industrial food processing, packaging and storing, but stresses the body in several ways. No cell or organ knows how to deal with this artificial element. They all try unsuccessfully to break it down and often stimulate the production of cholesterol as a default reaction, thereby fattening the body far beyond the caloric declarations listed under nourishment values.

The process of mass-producing consumer foods removes all or most taste from the natural ingredients. This necessitates flavor enhancers. In this case we have monosodium glutamate, disodium guanylate and disodium inosinate as well as beef extract and aroma (whatever they mean by that.) Should anyone try to find out what lurks behind these technical terms they will be assured that none of these enhancers are harmful, even though disodium guanylate shouldn’t be given to young children, and disodium inosinate was removed from Codex Alimentarius Commission’s list of approved additives in 2004.

The contents of the tin can still be eaten after two and half years. That’s supposed to be comforting until we realize that the ingredients that make this possible will enter our bodies whenever we eat it.

As a final note about the effects of corporate food culture we might contemplate the innocent encouragement to recycle the tin as metal. Besides the energy costs of the recycling processes, what happens to the paper label that is chemically impregnated to retain the luminosity of the colorful graphics under severe handling conditions? And what happens to the glue on the backside? The label is about 2/3s the size of a sheet of writing paper. That’s not much, but if we multiply this by all the tins distributed throughout the world, it tallies to tons of tons of resources for this one product. (See: The Story of Stuff)

This tin of soup illustrates how corporate power disinforms our intellect, bullies our health and sullies the environment to worship the holiness of profits. As corporations also own the mainstream media, including books, magazines and films, don’t expect any nourishing information to alter the menu of the prevailing order.

 * (This is a translation of a Swedish tin; L5196 0C086 – 11616401 – 10:46 – 01 2018)


“We all need food to survive
not consumption for a few to thrive
until nobody remains alive.”
Dartwill Aquila




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: