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Better to Eat Cardboard! By Mrs Vera West
How bad is our processed food? As the title indicates, maybe it would be better to eat cardboard from the boxes, or weeds:
“For every 10 calories someone in the US eats, 8 come from store-bought foods and beverages (packaged and unpackaged). The ready-to-eat food market plays a crucial role in the US, and it also plays a crucial role in the development of obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Time and time again, studies have shown that processed foods (and particularly, ultra-processed foods) are dangerous to human health. Not only do they make you fat, but they also increase the risk of many serious conditions, including cancer and diabetes — and yet, Americans can’t have enough of them. “The US packaged food and beverage supply is large, heterogeneous, highly processed, and generally unhealthy,” the new study reads. Scientists analyzed 230,156 products, finding that 71% of products such as bread, salad dressings, snack foods, sweets, sugary drinks and more were ultra-processed. When they looked at the largest 25 manufacturers, a whopping 86% of products were classified as ultra-processed. Scientists also ranked foods based on their healthfulness, using a ranking system developed in Australia that ranks foods from 0.5 stars (unhealthiest) to 5 stars (healthiest) The Health Star Rating system scores packaged foods, offering consumers a quick look at the nutritional profile of packaged foods — something which can be difficult to assess in our day to day lives.”
Many poor people say that they cannot afford to buy decent food and are stuck with processed food. But that simply is not true, since it is quite possible to get cheaper whole foods from farmers’ markets, even frozen vegetables at Coles, while processed in terms of being packaged, are quite different, and much better, from the foods considered above. Thus, a pack of frozen broccoli can be got for $ 2 (just checked), and the nutrition content is not too far behind the fresh stuff on the racks. Of course, organic vegetables, home grown are the way to go, but without this, one is not condemned to eat take away, or frozen TV dinners. It only takes a bit of common sense and effort.