After getting up at 5:30 for my Monday volunteer shift, I am very much back in the swing of this week. For those of you in the Northeast, I hope you have been enjoying the beautiful weather.

I have quite a lot of things I’ve been wanting to post about in the past couple days, but I thought I’d start with dinner at my parents’ house on Sunday night. After Easter brunch, we weren’t really up for anything big, but we were all craving some serious vegetables: roasted broccoli, steamed asparagus and bok choy, salad, and a vegetarian “meat sauce” (using soy crumbles), which was served over this fortified rotini.

I love rotini and fortified products don’t bother me so much as they fascinate me (in most cases), but I did find myself thinking about the “why” of this particular product. Was it because it doesn’t taste like it’s multi-grain (some people don’t like that whole wheat taste)? The omega-3? The protein?

As I read the label, I was struck by just how much extra protein and omega-3 had been packed into these little spirals. Surely, my parents’ diet provides adequate protein, and my dad already takes an omega 3 supplement. I can understand recommending this to a vegetarian family, but it seemed an odd choice for my folks.

Granted, it tasted great, but it costs almost twice as much as Barilla’s regular pasta varieties. It had been recommended to them by a nutritionist, so I assume she had a good reason (most likely, she was trying to get my dad to eat more whole grains). Still, it didn’t seem totally necessary.

In my Food Science and Tech class, we’re having debates in two weeks, and my team is on the Pro-Food Additives side, which includes fortification. I actually am excited to be researching and arguing for something that, in some ways, goes against my personal beliefs. Though I think fortification can benefit those with vitamin deficiencies, I am against fortifications used as a marketing tool. I’m interested to see what I come across.

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