I don't drink the coffee in the hotel room, but I opened one of the condiment packets to get a stirrer. One of the items was a packet of "non-dairy creamer." I'm sure in the past I would have used this in a pinch because I do not like drinking black coffee. Now that I am more aware of food as part of Project Food as Fuel, I scrutinize everything.
The first thing that jumped out at me about this packet is it reads, "ALLERGENS: Milk." Wait a minute, this is supposed to be a non-dairy creamer. How is milk a possible allergen??
Here is the full ingredient list: Corn syrup solids, palm oil, dipotassium phosphate, contains less than 2% each of the following: artificial flavor, DATEM, mono and diglycerides, sodium caseinate (a milk derivative), sodium potassium hexametaphosphate, sodium silico aluminate, sodium tripolyphosphate, titanium dixoide (color).
According to this article, dipotassium phosphate may not be harmful in and of itself, but its presence suggests a highly-processed product, which by its very nature is not good for you.
Corn syrup and its solid are 100% percent glucose, which is a no-no for me.
Palm oil is a vegetable oil with high saturated fat. It is allowed for Project Food as Fuel, but it is controversial due to the negative environmental effects.
DATEM - Diacetyl Tartaric Acid Esters of Monoglycerides. I wouldn't want to ingest it by name alone. According to the FDA, this additive is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) but I would not be so sure based on some information.
Monoglycerides and diglycerides - Some people may be familiar with triglycerides, which are the fat cells floating around in your blood. Monoglycerides and diglycerides are emulisifers which stop water and oil from separating. I don't have much of an issue with this ingredient, but again it tends to be found in highly-processed foods that I avoid for a variety of reasons.
Sodium caseinate is just a fancy name for casein, which is a milk protein. Again, how this ingredient can be included in something called "Non-Dairy" is beyond me. By the way, ghee differs from traditional butter in that the casein is removed in the process to make ghee. This is why people who are dairy intolerant may still consume ghee without issue.
Sodium potassium hexametaphosphate - Have you noticed how many of these ingredients have the word "sodium" in them? This isn't a problem for me because I have a high tolerance for sodium and need to consume 5 grams per day anyway. This is yet another questionable emulsifier.
Sodium silico aluminate - High quantities of aluminum are toxic. This anti-caking agent is supposedly regarded as safe, but I choose not to add any additional source of aluminum to my body.
Sodium tripolyphosphate - There is another concern about this one that I definitely want to stay away from it.
Titanium dioxide - This ingredient is primarily used to provide a white color. I am skeptical of any food ingredient used for color only.
Time for a rant. You might wonder about the difference between bleached and un-bleached flour. You can read all about it here, but let me give you the TLDR version. When you mill wheat to create flour, it comes out as a pale yellow color. In the good ol' days, the flour was aged for about twelve weeks to allow for the proteins and gluten to develop (better for baking). As the flour ages it naturally becomes whiter. Fast forward to the 1900s when people started getting impatient and wanting flour ready to go immediately. Scientists developed a process to bleach flour in 48 hours. Here's the problem. When flour is bleached, there is a byproduct called alloxan.
Alloxan is used to induce diabetes in lab animals!
So, my recommendation is to stay away from bleached anything and especially any white foods that are not naturally white.
By the way, this "food" product is distributed by a company called "Courtesy Products." Such a courteous way to poison you!