Humans have developed their primary means of feeding themselves over the course of time, including hunting, horticulture, pastoralism, agriculture, and more. In many ways, food is a carrier of culture, and it has played a role in globalization. For example, the early European colonial expansion and trade spread the hot red pepper and sweet potatoes throughout Europe and Africa. Likewise, the introduction of corn and sweet potatoes spread across Africa.
It’s important to understand how processed foods are created. Most foods are processed in some way, whether it’s through mechanical or chemical means. While mechanical processing doesn’t add any chemicals or ingredients, chemical processing does. The results are foods with little nutritional value, as they’ve been laced with artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners. In some cases, these ultra-processed foods are even called cosmetic foods, since they are usually inexpensive and tasty.
When food is processed, it undergoes a series of procedures, from simple technologies to the use of additives. While unprocessed, minimally processed foods are considered optimal, the use of processed foods is up to you. When to use processed foods in your diet depends on your personal preference and the health of your family, but the Nutrition Facts Label is a great tool to guide your decisions. This article provides a breakdown of the benefits and risks of processed foods, and discusses how to decide whether you should include them in your diet.
Frozen vegetables and vacuum-sealed lunch meat are examples of food that’s been processed. Though these are convenient for busy households, they’re still considered processed. Even if they contain natural nutrients, they’re processed. Besides, these foods are often packaged in ways that prevent them from spoiling before they’re even purchased. Ultimately, the health benefits of frozen and canned foods are much greater than those of fresh, unprocessed food.
In our current food world, there are many ways to find fresh foods. While many people focus on sourcing locally grown and unprocessed produce, we should also consider the process that the foods go through to reach our supermarket shelves. Fresh foods don’t need to be frozen or dehydrated, and they retain their nutritional value. Many of these foods are also available in canned, frozen, and dried forms. While it’s true that some foods can be considered fresh, others should be treated as such because they don’t need to be preserved.
Research from IRI shows that consumers are increasingly turning to retailers to educate them about food. Fresh items, such as fruits and vegetables, are an excellent place to educate shoppers about their health benefits, and consumers are willing to pay higher prices for sustainable and organic products. But more importantly, consumers want to know more about food before they buy it, and retailers should be aware of this. Here are some strategies to improve your store’s food education strategy:
Avoid preservatives. Many foods are treated with chemicals and hormones to extend their shelf life, and they alter the chemical make-up of your body. Fresh foods are much more nutritious than processed and packaged foods, but they cost a bit more. However, if you’re pressed for time, a home-grown tomato may be better for you. Fresh foods will give you more energy and contribute to a healthier lifestyle. If you’re concerned about food safety, read these Fresh Foods Tips for More Information