I’ve been watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and the thread here on Chowhound. It got me asking myself: What processed foods do I eat? And will I give them up?
I went thru my fridge and pantry today. I found there was stuff I could live without very easily, and will take steps to eliminate those going forward. However, there were things I said……ummm….wait a minute. I’m not sure I’m ready. I read all the labels, but one thing I should let everyone know is I’m new to the food thing (about 2 years) and I don’t know a lot yet.
My criteria for a “processed food” was if I could not recognize an ingredient or didn’t think I could make the same thing at home. That’s probably not the right way to go about it, I admit. I will educate myself further but I just throw this out in case I can get some early education on the quick.
Is what I have listed even a “processed food”? Do you have your own processed foods you will not give up at the moment? If so, why? I’ve tried to explain the reasons for mine as best I can.
---Hot Sauce – La Victoria Salsa Brava (hot). There are a few ingredients in this that I’ve never heard of but I don’t plan to give this up. I cannot eat a taco or burrito without it. The texture and heat level I cannot match with another hot sauce. The alternatives are either thin and vinegary or chunky salsas (both sometimes good) but never my first preference. I do make my own salsa sometimes, but not all the time.
---Sriracha – There’s some ingredients in this great condiment that I’ve never heard of. Are they bad for me? I’m not inclined to drop this product because I use it for a lot of things.
---Dry Pasta – I have a package of Anthony’s Spaghetti and I recognize semolina, but the next six ingredients I do not. None of them seem to be mentioned whenever I see a chef on TV making pasta. I use dry pastas mostly for convenience. I’ve never tried to make pasta…yet... I am sure I will in the future…I just don’t know if making my own pasta will ever completely replace dry pasta. Is this a processed food? What are the alternatives? I’m sure there are more high quality dry pastas than Anthony’s but I think the price may drive me away with those. At that point it becomes about both convenience and price.
---Bottled/Canned Gravy – I’m almost ashamed to say this one--- but not quite. I make my own gravy for all special occasions, but on a busy weeknight these little jars/cans have become indispensable for that quick meal when I want gravy. Most of the time, I fry up a few burgers, toss the gravy over them (adding some mushrooms), let them simmer a bit then eat them with mashed potatoes (real) and some veggie. It’s such a quick meal, and for a single parent that matters.
---Oyster Sauce – Wow, there’s a whole bunch of stuff in this I don’t recognize, but this could be because my bottle is Dynasty’s Oyster “flavored” Sauce. Perhaps, there is a real Oyster Sauce that is not flavored, but I’m not sure of that. I will look next time I’m at the Asian markets, but either way, I wont give this up just yet.
I guess that’s just a few for now. All in all, I found myself doing pretty well. I’m pleased I’m eating fairly well, with a few exceptions. I know I can improve. How did you do it? Do you fall back?
One other quick question on Brands, if you will indulge me? I have two (2) cans of tomato paste (sorry, I couldn’t find any other example).
One is Hunts – 5 ingredients (Tomato pastes, salt, spices, natural flavors, citric acid)
One is Safeway Brand – 1 ingredient – (Tomatoes)
Which is better and why? Are store brands inferior? Just curious about your thoughts.