Questioning condiments

Why on earth would someone make their own ketchup? You add a dollop to a burger or fries or the occasional hot dog. It’s not like you eat a ton of it. You may go through a bottle every couple of months, and that’s if you eat a lot of ketchup. Still, it intrigued me because no one ever questions ketchup, or mustard, or mayonnaise.

I was looking at the nutritional facts about ketchup, wondering exactly what was in it. When you look at the ingredients in a popular brand, it seems harmless enough. There are only eight ingredients as compared to a salad dressing like Ranch that has 21 ingredients. Upon closer investigation, the 3rd and 4th ingredients in ketchup are high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup. I wondered why they are listed separately when they’re both the same thing? The reason I discovered was because if they added them together they’d move up as the number one, and most prominent, ingredient in ketchup. 

This means that the main ingredient in ketchup is sugar. Not just plain sugar but sugar derived from corn. The next ingredient, distilled vinegar is made from corn. So that means that three of the ingredients are made from corn, which is most likely genetically modified. Finally, what are “natural flavorings” any way? It can be a wide range of things, and in some cases could have as many as 50–100 ingredients some of which we should be concerned about.   

It’s ketchup, and it seems to me it should be made primarily out of tomatoes.You’ll probably never do this, so I did. I made ketchup. Yep. I did. It’s not hard but it takes time that most people don’t have.  
Here’s a recipe from that I followed. It makes a lot of ketchup.
•    2 (28 ounce) cans peeled ground tomatoes
•    1/2 cup water, divided
•    2/3 cup sugar (replaced with agave nectar)
•    3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
•    1 teaspoon onion powder
•    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
•    1 3/4 teaspoons salt
•    1 whole clove
•    1/8 teaspoon celery salt
•    1/8 teaspoon mustard powder
•    1/4 teaspoon finely ground black 
Put all the ingredients in a slow cooker and combine.
Cook on high with the cover off for 10–12 hours or until very thick.
Using a blender, purée ketchup until smooth.
Strain out any seeds or skins. 
Use a ladle or spoon to push the liquid through a fine mesh colander.
Cool completely, adjust seasonings to taste.
Funnel into a squeeze bottle and freeze the rest.
This ketchup is really good — I mean really good! It tastes enough like the store version, only with a lot more flavor. I realize most people will not take the time to make it, but if you do, the batch I made has lasted over a month, and I find myself using it for more and more things. If you do try it, let me know what you think. 

Source: MEAL5 - Simple & Healthy Meal Plans