Simple pudding, complex pasta



‘Tis a gift to be pudding

The “simple” trend rolls on, today reaching out (or down) to Jell-O. There are now versions of both Jell-O instant pudding mixes and Jell-O gelatin mixes. The Simply Good products — labeled “NO artificial flavors, dyes or preservatives” — are in pouches instead of boxes, so it’s very clear which one you’re buying.

What’s the difference? Here are the ingredients lists for the chocolate fudge regular instant pudding and the chocolate Simply Good version:

Regular Jell-O instant pudding: sugar, modified cornstarch, cocoa processed with alkali, disodium phosphate (for thickening), contains less than 2% of: natural and artificial flavor, tetrasodium pyrophosphate (for thickening), mono- and diglycerides (prevents foaming), red 40, yellow 5, blue 1, artificial color, BHA (preservative).

Simply Good: cane sugar, modified cornstarch, cocoa processed with alkali, disodium phosphate (for thickening), contains less than 2% of: tetrasodium pyrophosphate (for thickening), salt, mono- and diglycerides (prevents foaming), natural flavor.

So the artificial flavor and colors and BHA in the regular version are missing from the new one, but the chemically-named thickeners and anti-foaming agent remain. Mr. Tidbit guesses that the “simple” broom didn’t sweep them out with the BHA because you wouldn’t like the product without them.

And what does simply leaving things out of a product do to its shelf price? Of course: It’s more expensive. At the store where he found them, the 3.9-ounce box of regular Jell-O instant pudding was $1.19 (30.5 cents an ounce), and the 3.9-ounce pouch of Jell-O’s Simply Good was $1.69 (43.3 cents an ounce) — 42 percent more per ounce!

Because no human being should be subjected to two side-by-side ingredient-list comparisons without a break, Mr. Tidbit will wait a week to discuss Snack Pack’s new Naturals ready-made pudding.

You’re welcome.



Veggie-laden pasta

There’s yet another unusual-ingredients pasta from Ronzoni. Besides flour, Ronzoni SuperGreens contains these dried vegetables: spinach, zucchini, broccoli, parsley and kale. The package claims that there’s so much dried vegetable in a single serving of this product that it amounts to three servings of vegetables.

It makes sense to Mr. Tidbit that this costs more. But this much more? At one online store, where regular Ronzoni thin spaghetti was $1.67 for 16 ounces (10.4 cents an ounce), the 12-ounce box of SuperGreens thin spaghetti was $2.99 (24.9 cents an ounce) — a staggering 139 percent more per ounce!

Just eat some actual vegetables!

Al Sicherman

Author: Al Sicherman

Al Sicherman and his used dog, Gus, live in Minneapolis. Al is on the left/

2 thoughts on “Simple pudding, complex pasta”

  1. I have a brother who is allergic to the chemical dyes in food products. As this is one of my brothers that I dearly love, I do NOT want to poison him. So I am grateful to Jello for developing these Simply Good pudding and gelatin mixes. It is really hard to find a corn muffin mix or a yellow cake mix or anything that will become yellow without yellow dye # whatever in the mix.
    I appreciate J-E-L-L-O!

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