This is NOT sponsored content. It’s an informative piece about food ingredients, food additives and selecting the best products for positive balanced living intended for educational purposes. I welcome your thoughts in the comments below.
I like mayo, no apologies. It’s especially tasty on frîtes. That’s right, on your French fries, baby. A dollop of the right mayo beside crisp, perfectly salted fries will improve your life. If there’s time, whip up a sauce andalouse. Surely I’m part Belgian.
Mayo is also a friend to some of my family’s other faves: potato salad, salmon salad, deviled eggs, tuna salad, you get the idea.
In two short minutes, you can whip up your own mayo just like I do.
You can also buy jars of the stuff and even tiny individual size packets for taking along, just like I do.
The question is, when you don’t make your own, which mayo should you choose?
Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Mayo
That’s a good question and one that surpasses taste alone. We’re talking about base ingredients.
While most mayonnaise is naturally gluten-free, many of you are like me – you have multiple food allergies. Others want a mayo to fit a plant-based lifestyle (one I’m leaning more toward lately).
So how do you choose?
How to Choose the Best Store Bought Mayo
For me, it’s first about ingredients. Next come taste and texture, both equally important for me.
Now, I should/could make this Easiest & Best Creamy 2-Minute Mayo every single time I want/need it. Problem solved, story’s over. But the truth is, that’s not my reality. I get busy and somehow two minutes seems long. Can you relate?
Other times, the last thing on earth I want to do is rinse the stick blender and put it in the DW. Why is that even an issue? No idea, but sometimes it seems like a task.
Anyway, with those factors – and my occasional need for super-convenient condiments – in mind, let’s look at my family’s two preferred choices, past and present and let me tell you why we changed.
Just Mayo by Hampton Creek
Life changes fast. I went to the HC site to get my facts straight for this article a while back and got flipped to Eat Just.
I’m guessing the change is recent because in early June, the containers in my local stores still bore the former HC name/packaging. Anyway, same company, same product, different name.
It very likely has to do with the controversy about calling an eggless product “mayo” and other quasi-legal inquiries. You can research all that yourself, but this piece will get you up to speed fast if you’re interested.
Really, I don’t care what they call it, have no desire to debate the “rightness” of the use of the word “mayo” and don’t really care if the company started an employee-driven buyback or not (another issue about which critics are outraged).
I just want something tasty with acceptable ingredients to dip my frîtes in when I’m too lazy to rinse a stick blender.
Which is how I ended up using Just Mayo for a while. It bore the following labels:
The gluten, soy, dairy and GMO were my main concerns. Eggs, I eat; Kosher, I am not; Cholesterol, I do not watch (my labs are to envy, I promise!).
Let’s take a look at the ingredients. These are from the Eat Just website as of 26 June, 2017.
Ingredients in Just mayo
- Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil
Just says, “Canola oil is high in monounsaturated fats and low in inflammatory, polyunsaturated Omega 6 fats, making it one of the healthier oils used in food. Additionally, the canola oil we source for our retail products is a non-GMO expeller pressed oil. No chemical solvents are used in the extraction process.”
Expeller pressing seeds, nuts, etc. for their oil is an alternative to chemical (solvent) extraction. Basically, the expeller (a type of screw press) crushes the item oil is being extracted from until the oils run out. Canola oil, once believed to be heart healthy, is nowadays looked at as the devil of oils. It is true, a large quantity of canola oil on the market is extracted from genetically modified rapeseed; however, Just claims their mayo is GMO-free.
- Water – straightforward
- White Distilled Vinegar – straightforward
Contains less than 2% of:
- Sugar – the 1 T. serving size sugar content is 0 grams – a very small amount
- Salt – there are 75 mg of sodium in a 1 T. serving of this product – about 3% of the RDA for a 2000 cal. diet
- Spice – I inquired and received no response about what spices, sourcing, etc.
- Modified Food Starch – derived from corn
- Pea Protein – pea protein is used more and more in food products these days because it is relatively hypoallergenic; here, it is used as an emulsifier instead of egg to stabilize the product, which is a common use
- Lemon Juice Concentrate – straightforward
- Fruit and Vegetable Juice (color) – relatively straightforward
- Calcium Disodium EDTA (preservative) – Just says, “EDTA is a widely used, food-safe preservative. We use it to preserve the freshness and quality of our shelf stable mayos and dressings. For EDTA-free versions, check the refrigerated section at your local natural food store.” – this is the ingredient about which I’m not 100% happy
More on EDTA
Basically, EDTA is a chelating agent. That means it can grab on to other molecules.
One of the best known medical uses for EDTA is in individuals with lead poisoning. Individuals with lead (or other heavy metal poisoning) undergo chelation therapy to rid the body of those toxic heavy metals. Think of EDTA as a bouncer in a nightclub (the body) grabbing onto “toxic” patrons (lead) and ushering them out the door.
EDTA is also used in other medical applications, as well as in foods like fortified cereals (because it binds iron). So when you see “iron fortified” on the cereal box, have a peek at the ingredients label and look for EDTA. Chances are, you’ll find it there.
You may have seen over the counter oral formulations of EDTA that claim to detox the body. There are no scientific data to support such a formulation is effective at this time. In fact, some studies show EDTA may be harmful.
EDTA interacts with certain drugs.
Insulin – because EDTA decreases blood sugar, consuming it along with taking insulin can lead to a dangerous drop in blood sugar.
Warfarin – EDTA interferes with this drug’s ability to slow blood clotting. This could increase the risk of blood clots.
Always speak to your doctor before consuming foods that may interfere with these or any medications you are taking and before making any dietary changes.
Why is EDTA allowed in our foods?
As with many questionable ingredients in our food system, EDTA is a relatively common preservative. You might see it as an ingredients in soft drinks, salad dressings, sugar substitutes (artificial sweeteners) and yes, even in mayo.
EDTA in mayonnaise is used as a sequestrant, a substance that improves the quality and stability of a food. The metal-binding ability of EDTA helps prevent rancidity of oils in the formulation. You can read about foods to which the FDA allows the direct addition of EDTA here.
I wasn’t happy with EDTA in my mayo, so I decided to try other brands. After trying several, I determined Sir Kensington’s is one my entire family loves that has a cleaner ingredients list.
Sir Kensington’s Classic Mayonnaise
SK organic mayonnaise contains the same ingredients as Classic, all in organic form. There is an avocado oil version and there is an egg-free version made with aquafaba, which is the cooking liquid from beans or other legumes like chickpeas. I’ve tried them all, love them all and we rotate varieties based on what’s available wherever we’re shopping at any given time.
Sunflower Oil – as you can guess, this is oil made from sunflower seed kernels
Egg Yolks – straightforward and from certified human, free-range eggs (again, if you need an egg-free product, SK makes Fabanaise, a vegan mayo)
Water – straightforward
Organic Lemon Juice – straightforward
Distilled Vinegar – straightforward
Salt – straightforward
Organic Cane Sugar – the sugar for a 1 T. serving size is 0 grams.
Mustard Flour – you may refer to this as mustard powder or dry mustard; it’s the same thing, dried ground mustard seeds
Black Pepper -straightforward
Citric Acid – known for its sour flavor and use as an emulsifying agent in certain foods, citric acid comes naturally from citrus fruit or is produced from cultures of beet sugar or maize
This ingredients list suits my preferences, the mayo tastes great and all SK products are Non-GMO Project verified.
If you look here on my Instagram, you’ll see how serious I am about taking my SK condiments (mustard, ketchup and mayo!) everywhere I go.
What’s your favorite line of condiments? If you eat mayo, what brand do you choose?
Leave a comment below and remember, every little bite we put inside out bodies effects our overall wellness. This is a great example of how we can make better choices simply. That’s one of my goals when I speak to living a positive, balanced lifestyle!