Junk food

Did anyone see "food unwrapped" the other night? Its a real eye opener as to what really goes into our processed goods. The last episode said that processed "cheese" slices only have about 10 per cent actual cheese in them and some dont even have any!!! That and cornflakes having all the goodness taken out so they then have to put it back in in the form of added vitamins and minerals. One of these was iron, but the actual metal form of it, not the natural form found in meat etc.

Think we need to start a "real food" movement in this country and stop eating all this manufactured gunk - I believe this plus eating too much sugar to be the real cause of heart disease. How can our bodies run on next to nothing in the way of vitamins and minerals contained in all the processed crap and fake tasting fruit and veg forced upon us by the supermarkets. No wonder all our parts are wearing out.

Have just returned from a 5 week trip to France and boy does the food taste so much better there! Delicious fruit and veg in season, really fresh, all sorts of shapes and sizes. Meat tastes like meat used to taste years ago. Animals raised on fantastic looking pasture and look so content. Cakes brought from the patisserie made from quality ingredients (occasional treats, not eaten every single day). Delicious slow risen bread. Wonderful fish and seafood, some from UK (we apparently ship most of ours abroad!). No wonder the French have one of the lowest heart disease rates in the world, yet they eat butter, cheese, pate de foie gras and other fats to their heart's content.

We need to follow this example in this country and stop blindly eating Americanised junk devoid of any real nutrients. Real, nutrient rich food is what we need, not faddy diets.

12 Replies

  • I totally agree (no big surprise :-) )!

  • Same as that!

  • I have 2 French grandchildren who love nothing better than English fish and chips when they come over here. They do however seem to live on cheese, pate, white bread [baguettes of course] and burgers masses of meat plus the younger boy smothers everything with tomato ketchup. Sounds pretty much like teenagers here to me ! One thing they don't eat are breakfast cereals.

  • French children have a huge advantage over UK children - the French knows how important food is, for health and well being, so they provide proper school lunches. No turkey twizlers for them! Children are taught about the importance of nutrition. I don't suppose it's a perfect system, but it beats ours hands down.

  • I was a school when they changed school dinners to the burger and chips regime to save money.We are certainly paying for that political intervention in the eating habits of the nation,with obesity and diabetes soaring.Nice one Maggie.

  • We had our first strawberries from the garden yesterday , beating those pesky pigeons to them. There was no comparison to those tasteless red things you buy in December from the supermarket.

  • Why would you buy strawberries in December?! That is the problem, we have become so consumer focussed with us, the consumer demanding out of season food, without holes, "correctly shaped" totally without blemish and all the same size that it is US, not the supermarket, the producer or the wholesaler who is to blame.

    A farmer friend and neighbour grew lettuces for supermarkets for many years and they were grown with as little interference from the farmer concerned. He only sprayed the crop when the invasion of bugs was too high to accept.

    However, the final straw was when the representative from the supermarket came to see his crop, sighed with abject apology and said he couldn't accept any of them for that season because the hearts of the lettuce twisted the wrong way and "the customer won't buy twisted lettuce hearts, they have to be perfectly round"!!!!!! He was aware that the lettuces would be left on the shelf because they weren't perfect in the eye of the end purchaser!!!!

    We MUST get back to the diet we ate three/four generations ago. All in season, organically if possible, home grown if you have a garden, locally sourced if you don't. I know those of you who live in the city have problems with that but there are online organic vegetable and meat suppliers who can deliver.

    We don't need to eat meat every day, we should try to replace sugar with honey if we have a sweet tooth, and if we do need to buy sugar use it to make ourown cakes and biscuits. I have done a personal research on the recipes of bought and home made cakes and biscuits and the shop bought recipe has a ratio of sugar to flours which is much higher than home made. So you don't have to do without, just treat yourself every now and then. I do!! Sugar is used as a preservative in shop bought food both sweet and savoury therefore the ratio is higher for that reason. Home made food doesn't have such a long shelf life (at least not in my house it doesn't get a chance to stay long in the tin!)

    The other thing I have noticed is that if you do buy in season the price is much lower - and those of us who have a freezer, put gluts of fruit and veg into freeze for that out of season time. If you go to your local market on a Saturday afternoon you can buy trays of fruit and veg that are "on the edge" of overripening and you can spend that evening preparing them for the freezer at a fraction of the price you can buy frozen veg or fruit in the shops!!! You can even freeze strawberries. Here is a recipe.

    Make a strawberry jelly as per instruction on the packet. Take the frozen fruit and drop them into the jelly - this will make the jelly virtually set as you watch! When it has been in the fridge for a while until set serve with a strawberry sauce (also make with the frozen berries) and some homemade icecream. A lovely fresh dessert for the Xmas period when everyone is fed up Xmas pud!!!

  • I've read that fruit that's been frozen is nowhere near as good for you as fresh fruit, yet frozen vegetables are probably better for you than fresh due to the fact they haven't been hanging around very long and are prepared and frozen rapidly thus keeping in all the goodness. I've reads this a lot and written by nutritionists. Vegetables that are imported or hung around on supermarket shelves quickly loose all this goodness so that is why I always buy frozen as opposed to fresh as I eat a lot of broccoli/carrots for example most nights and it's so easy opening a packet of frozen vegetables as opposed to keep going into town for stuff that's probably been around for days. Incidently--,and probably a bit of a dumb question-- but why do you say supermarkets "doctor" their fruit? What do they actually do to it to keep it looking fresh on their shelves? I but a lot of fresh fruit every single day from both supermarkets and market stalls and surely it must be fresh as fruit goes soft, mouldy and squidgy if not kept fresh? I read that once fruit is cut the vitamin C starts to decline almost immediately so that's another reason I never buy tinned or frozen fruit as it's obviously been cut in preparation.

  • With the speed of transport and modern storage conditions there isn't much to choose between fresh and frozen veg anymore. I have a market near me which I like to use for the variety, supermarkets tend to just stock a only a few varieties of fruit and veg and seem to choose varieties that look nice, rather than taste nice.

  • Many citrus fruit are sprayed with a thin layer of agar agar a preservative to prevent the handling of the fruit from bruising it. It is wise to buy "unwaxed" lemons and limes for cooking or grating. Apples and pears also are sprayed with agar agar (a natural element but not in fruit!) also to prevent bruising. Highly polished apples attractive though they are are not picked from the tree in that condition. They are polished and sprayed before packing!

    Buy all fruit that has a bloom on it. (plums, apricots, peaches, nectarines, grapes, all soft berry fruit) Take a grape and rub it gently, the bloom with come off. If the fruit has no bloom it has been polished.

    If you have ever seen these fruits growing naturally on their trees you can see the difference.

  • There are some local "real food" movements out there. The problem for many people is the price of the stuff. I agree wholeheartedly with eating real food, but along with encouraging people to do this, there needs to be some kind of action to curtail the amount of sugar that is being added to food. Sugar is addictive and damaging to health. The possibility of a sugar tax has been suggested. I think that excess consumption of sugar needs to be treated as seriously as tobacco or alcohol.

    This article from The Daily Mail gives some examples of sugar in food, but does not make a clear distinction between natural and added sugar. The fibre in fruit and veg mitigates the effects of the sugar, and does not cause the damage that added sugar does. Look out for added fructose in food, like low fat yoghurts, it is remarkably damaging and particularly addictive.


  • I was reading an article some years ago about the "accepted" list of danger foods. These foods were listed in 100gm portions. One of the dangers was Marmite! Can anyone seriously think that anyone can eat 100gm of Marmite at one sitting!! It apparently has high levels of salt at that weight!! Honey was also on the danger list together with 100gm of sugar, 100gm salt and 100gm jam! Please, can anyone explain to me who the nincompoop was who came up with this wonderful list! He/she obviously didn't have her thinking head on!! Who eats 100gm of any of the above at one time!!!!!!!!!!

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