Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Processed Food - What's Bad About it?

Most shop-bought foods will have been processed in some way.
Examples of common processed foods include:
  • breakfast cereals
  • processed cheeses
  • canned/frozen vegetables
  • Plastic wrapped breads
  • savory snacks, such as chips
  • meat products, such as bacon
  • microwave meals or ready meals
  • drinks, such as milk or soft drinks

Food processing techniques include freezing, canning, baking, drying and pasteurizing products. Even the brainy gourmet processes some foods. I refer to when I freeze, can, dry or bake; one can argue that even cooking is a form of processing. Essentially, the problem is when we add unnecessary sugar and salt and fat to our cooking. The fresher the better still applies. Sugar being the worst culprit of all, then salt.

Dietitian Sian Porter says: "Not all processed food is a bad choice. Some foods need processing to make them safe, such as milk, which needs to be pasteurized to remove harmful bacteria. Other foods need processing to make them suitable for use, such as pressing seeds to make oil. What makes processed food bad for you? Ingredients such as salt, sugar and fat are sometimes added to processed foods to make their flavor more appealing and to prolong their shelf life. 

I grew up with a lot of processed food. It was a time when America believed everything on television and in commercials was good for you. But, even as it awakened to the idea of processed food as being bad in our diet contributing to already bad eating habits (reflected in our car culture), doctors and nutritionists pushed margarine as a butter alternative, corn syrup rather than sugar, and shortening for baking. 

Today, we know that butter is not as bad as once thought, eggs are a good source of protein and bacon is even back on the menu. Who knows, what's down the road as far as good food is concerned. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all grow our own. Perhaps, urban farming will become the norm in a greener America. 

and yet, I the brainy gourmet will still process food... to a certain extent!


No comments:

Post a Comment