A sentence after the passage I quoted in my last post, things get a little bit bizarre. Pollan writes of the leavening agents,
These are antioxidants added to keep the various animal and vegetable fats involved in a nugget from turning rancid. (113)
This might very well describe a certain class of preservative, but the purpose of a leavening agent is to make a dough rise. In the chicken nuggets, they most likely are used in the breading.
This is an error that I struggle to comprehend. It doesn’t seem plausible that the writer who later writes about his Passover tradition could have grown up believing that holiday’s prohibition of leavened bread was merely a ban on breads with preservatives. That an error like this could have found its way into print just makes no sense to me.