Is Convenience Food Convenient?


NYT columnist Mark Bittman alerted me to this post @ Grist about:

  • Kitchen illiteracy
  • Processed convenience foods saving little or no time
  • And how convenient fresh food might be a real game-changer.

And like Mark, I couldn’t agree more.

But, I would take the argument even a little further.

I would argue that convenience food is a perfect example of our collective short term thinking.

What is the true cost of eating pre-packaged food?

Even if you do save a buck and a 10 minutes, what are you losing in terms of your health, appearance, longevity, vitality, etc?

How convenient is convenience food when it results in:

  • Chronic lack of energy due to nutrient deficiencies
  • America’s Obesity Epidemic and all of it’s related physical, emotional & social repercussions.
  • Hypertension due to the high salt content
  • Constipation, diarrhea, leaky gut and an increased chance of colon cancer
  • Neurological disruption due to additives (MSG, NutraSweet, etc…)
  • Bad skin, bad hair, bad breath…
  • A significantly larger environmental footprint
  • The death of mom & pop restaurants and America’s family farms
  • The further dumbing down of our society – say goodbye to the Greatest Generation and say hello to these idiots


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  1. I love bagels and cream cheese, but whenever I look at those Bagelfuls I just…*shudder*

    I don’t think we need to do away with convenience foods–we need healthier convenience foods, because some people will always need them. I know I don’t, because I’m lucky and have a decent amount of time, but what about people who are working two or more jobs, and have to travel a long way to and from work, and maybe have kids to take care of too? As much as they’d like to worry about the long term consequences, sometimes the short term is more important. If I got back from work and only had, like, 5 or 6 hrs until I had to go to a second job, and still needed to eat dinner, I’d use whatever I could to get done quicker, because that would mean more time to SLEEP.

    In the article you linked, I have to wonder if they took into account cleanup time. I know that when I make stuff from scratch I tend to use a lot more bowls and plates and utensils, and that translates into a lot more I have to wash after I’ve eaten. I can see that adding even more to the time saved.

  2. I just need healthier convenience food. My typical day involves leaving my house at 4 a.m.; eating a pre-workout meal in the car; working out at 6 a.m., then eating all my meals and protein shakes at work and away from home (not to mention NO access to a refrigerator at my workplace); and finally pulling into my driveway around 9 or 10 at night. I can only pack so much non-refrigerated food (basically protein shake mix, canned tuna, fruit, and PBJ on 100% whole wheat bread).

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