Campbells vegetable stock weights a kilogram (2.2 pounds) and contains similar ingredients to 0.021 kilograms of Massel stock cubes. Which is more useful and sustainable?
The Campbells packet says the ingredients are water plus 3% stock. That means they mixed 30 grams of stock with 970 grams (2.1 pounds) of water. You and our environment pay the cost of shipping 970 grams of water you could have added from your local tap. The mixture was made in Victoria, Australia, then shipped to NSW, a trip of 1000 kilometres (600 miles). By comparison the 105 gram pack of Massel stock cubes makes 5 litres of stock, saving you 4.9 kilograms (5000 grams - 105 grams) and 4 trips to the shop, assuming you buy one packet of Campbells vegetable stock each trip. Clearly the Massel stock cubes are the winner.
The principle flavour of standard Massel stock cubes is salt. Now Massel sell
salt reduced vegetable stock cubes with 255mg less salt and the flavour is much more balanced. While the Campbells stock beats the regular Massel stock on flavour, there is little difference in flavour between the Campbells stock and the Massel salt reduced stock.
When mixed, the Massel salt reduced stock has only 250mg of sodium per 100ml compared to 547mg of sodium in the Campbells mix. Massel wins on this point.
They both feature celery, garlic, onions, parsley, spinach, and sugar. If they were using fresh ripe vegetables, there would be no need to add sugar. They both fail there.
When a food product lists an ingredient as
natural flavour, there is nothing natural about it. They might use natural flavour but from a legal perspective in Australia they can use things a million miles away from anything you want to eat. They might start with plant ingredients but it could be animal or mineral. (Sea salt is a mixture of many minerals and the most common mineral in the mix is harmful in the quantity commonly consumed.)
Whatever natural ingredients were used at the start can then be processed in untold ways reminiscent of the worst petrol refineries. The Massel packet says their flavouring is based on vegetable matter but both products fail this test.
There is absolutely no need for dairy products in vegetable stock but the Campbells packet lists
milk products as an ingredient in one of their products. Did they use left over Cream of vegetable soup? There is no excuse for the way big factories randomly mix products. They should have different mixers for each range of food so there is never dairy in what should be pure vegetable. Next they will be warning us that the product was mixed in a machine that also mixes ice cream, shoe polish, and industrial coatings, similar to the problem in Belgium.
I will occasionally use the Massel salt reduced vegetable stock because it is handy when you arrive home too late to put some vegetables on to simmer for a while. I will not use the Campbells product for anything because of the shear waste of energy and their sloppy mixture of ingredients.