Fall has come to Central Florida. Yes, you heard me right — fall has arrived despite the temperatures hovering in the 90’s and feels like temperatures over 100 degrees. Fall has arrived compliments of Starbucks. I guess they decided we needed a treat in this most unusual year, so they released their Pumpkin Spice Latte a little early.
Signs of Fall
I love Pumpkin Spice Latte. I love Pumpkin Spice anything. That is why I was so excited when my husband told me he had seen a sign at Starbucks announcing the fall beverages and treats. I patiently waited in the long line of cars to order my first PSL of the season and since I had not eaten breakfast, I added a Pumpkin Spice Scone.
As I bit into the delicious scone, a thought crossed my mind. I wondered if the ingredients in the scone could possibly include carrots, one of my food allergies. I dismissed the thought. Why would they put carrots in something pumpkin? Aren’t pumpkins already orange enough?
I blissfully enjoyed my latte and scone without another thought.
A Hidden Ingredient
A few hours later, I felt a familiar discomfort in the pit of my stomach. It wasn’t a horrible feeling but it was one that I recognized. It prompted me to go to the Starbucks website and check out the ingredients to their Pumpkin Spice Scones and Pumpkin Spice Latte. I saw what I feared toward the bottom of the list of ingredients. Just as I suspected — carrot juice, both the scone and the latte listed carrot juice in their ingredients.
Now, thankfully, I don’t have a severe allergic reaction to carrots. I’m not anaphylactic but I do get a bit of stomach discomfort. You would be surprised at how many foods include carrots, either for coloring or texture. Almost all soups use carrots in one form or another, even chicken broth. I have found one brand of tomato soup that doesn’t. I have to read labels carefully because carrots or carrot juice show up in some unusual places, like yogurt, for instance. The next time you are in the grocery store, I challenge you to read the labels and see how many products sneak carrots into them.
On the bright side, I did find a website with a pumpkin scone recipe made without carrots and a homemade pumpkin spice latte recipe as well. I will be adding both of those to my cache of pumpkin recipes.
Something to Think About
I’m sure there is a life application to go along with my recent episode with hidden carrots. My brain is still foggy from our coronavirus existence so I’m having trouble articulating.
One idea that I had is that it is important to realize the danger of allowing “just a little” into your life. I think we often rationalize our actions by using phrases like “it’s just a little, it won’t hurt anything,” “oh, it’s not so bad,” or “just this once won’t matter.” I consumed only a tiny bit of carrot but it had a negative effect on the way I felt. I wonder if all of the little things we let slide by have a negative impact on our spiritual lives.
The other thing I thought of was how important it is to know what we are consuming — either by mouth or our eyes and ears. Who would have thought that carrots would be in a pumpkin scone? I admit, since I developed this allergy, I have become very suspicious of any food so I always read the labels. But, are we doing this with the things we listen to or watch or read? Do we know what is in the things we are consuming? If I had checked the ingredients first, I could have avoided an afternoon and evening of discomfort. Perhaps, if we first checked the ingredients of what we consumed with our eyes and ears, we would avoid discomfort in our souls.