Monday, March 10, 2014

Wormfest: Are you hungry?

by Kim Van Sickler


Today is the Wormfest blogfest, hosted by Stephen TrempL. Diane Wolfe, and Alex J. Cavanaugh.

The rules: 
Name one thing where science advances mankind, and one where technology with unforeseen consequences will go too far and set mankind back. (And they can be the same thing.) Example: De-Extinction, or bringing back extinction species through back breeding, genetic engineering, and cloning. With all the breakthrough discoveries mankind is on the cusp of, are we playing God? 

My choice: packaged foods

Pros
Isn't it great that we aren't utterly dependent on growing everything we eat anymore! So what if there is a potato famine! We'll just eat something else. We can eat something fast and sometimes even semi-nutritious, and get on with our lives. One of my favorite breakfasts before I hit the gym for a morning workout is Greek yogurt and an energy bar. Yum. 

Cons
Low-quality processed foods are generally cheaper than fresh foods, but many are pumped full of chemicals and ingredients that aren't good for you: trans fats, sugar, salt...the list goes on and on. Some people eat far too much of it (not to mention the close cousin: fast food) and their heath takes a beating in the form of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, heart problems, etc., etc. You could eat packaged foods all day long: Pop Tarts for breakfast, Hot Pockets and canned pears, washed down with a fruit punch for lunch, Cheese Whiz and crackers for a snack, Dinty Moore Beef Stew chased with a Coke for dinner and Twinkies for dessert. Uh. Yuck.

It's too easy for some people (can you say college students?) to go the quick, easy, and cheaper route, when we all REALLY know that for the best energy level, mental acuity, and overall health benefits, you've GOT to eat fresh, unprocessed food too!


27 comments:

  1. In college, I lived on pizza.
    At our house, we eat a lot of natural foods and don't even buy anything in a can anymore. You're right - too many additives and no real nutritional value.
    Thanks for participating in the blogfest!

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  2. The best rule for foods is Moderation. Eat junk if you must, but balance it with healthy stuff. Unless we shop at a farmers' market, some of our "fresh" produce comes from God-knows-where overseas, so maybe the junk isn't so bad in comparison. Good observation, Kim. With new regulations in the industry, where do you think packaged foods will stack up in 15 years?

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    1. It's certainly possible that we could end up with some packaged foods that are viable healthy alternatives. But I bet they'll be more expensive.

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  3. Great choice. I was just thinking about this. It's hard working full-time to cook everything from scratch, thought that would be my preference. So I do a combination of packaged foods and fresh food. It's not always the best choice thought.

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    1. I do the same thing sometimes when I'm in a rush. Better than the strictly packaged option. Packaged foods are here to stay. And some of the choices aren't too bad. I was out with some people last night who told me about a new app that allows you to scan a product's bar code and it grades the product and tells you why it got that grade. I wouldn't mind an app like that, although shopping would go much slo-o-o-o-w-e-r.

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  4. Thanks Kim for participating! We are trying to eat better. But packaged foods do provide decent meals for people on the run, as long as they are smart about what they buy. Great topic!

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  5. I've never been all that big on packaged or fast foods. I don't like all the grease and chemical. I'm not a great cook, but I do prefer fixing fresh. Just tastes better to me.

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  6. I am guilty. I try not to eat the quick stuff, but it is just so easy! I do try to keep balance...eat out once a week. Do the quick food as little as possible.

    My mother used to always tell me that people were so used to having their food delivered, they won't even know how to grow a garden if it was ever necessary.

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  7. Guess that means no space food, eh? It's fast food for space, so the ships don't smell like dinner.

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    1. I'd like to think that space food and MRE rations for the military are filled with essential vitamins and nutrients and are good for you.

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  8. This is a great pick. I'm definitely guilty of going for the convenience waaaaaay too often even though I know how bad that packaged food can be.

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  9. Processed food is the reason for the obesity epidemic in our country. In our house, we go for natural and organic. I can't even remember the last time I had a Hostess treat or a Pop Tart.

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  10. I know I don't eat like I should, but it's so easy to just open packages of stuff that's already prepared or easy to prepare.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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  11. It's true that packaged food is both a convenience, but it can be bad for us. I guess the trick is to buy some of this stuff at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, if you can afford them.

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  12. Being used to packaged foods, it was a big change when I moved to Egypt and had to make things from scratch, but I think it's a lot healthier. Plus, I believe they'll eventually find that chemicals and preservatives are detrimental to health. Great post!

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  13. Yeah, you can have that stuff sometimes, but you shouldn't live on it. For my wife's diet she's having everything cooked properly covering all the food groups, which might take longer but it's more satisfying somehow.

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    1. And raw fresh food is really good too!

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  14. I'm not a purist, certainly, but I'm a nutrition advocate. I think the microwave has helped us have "real" food faster. When microwaves first came out, I didn't get one b/c I thought within 5 years they'd be telling us microwaved food wasn't safe. Of course, I got one eventually, and for years I've been relying on it quite a bit. You can have REAL oatmeal in 3 minutes.

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    1. Ha, ha. I usually wait a bit before I jump on the technology bandwagon too. But its more because I'm too cheap to pay top dollar for new technology.

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  15. Easy meals are great occasionally but the problem starts when they're used everyday, and people complain they don't have the time to start a meal from scratch anymore. It's worth the effort to cook properly. The food tastes better and we don't have all the chemicals. Everything's made to stay on the shelf forever now. It's worrying what might be in all that processed food.

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  17. We live in an instant-gratification world, so the convenience of packaged/fast food fits the quick-and-easy lifestyle... even if people have the time, I suspect there are those who can't be bothered to use it to prepare meals...
    Writer In Transit

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  18. H Kim - you've raised some excellent points here .. too many think food in the supermarket is what they need .. sadly somehow the education re our food growth and nutrition has gone by the wayside. Thankfully I essentially eat healthily and always have fresh fruits, salads and vegetables every day ... I really notice if I don't eat what my body needs ...

    Welcome to the A-Z - I see you know what your'e doing! I'm with Tina's team and we're out welcoming our sections ...

    Looking forward to being here more often .. cheers Hilary

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  19. Pre-packaged food is one of those technologies that gained a lot of support from various militaries all through history. Having reliable, portable food that can be stored and distributed with a long shelf-life is super important to keeping armies fed and fighting. so...in a twist of logic, one could see such food-stuffs as enabling aggression. Those Hot Pockets aren't quite so innocent...hahahah...

    Of course, that'd make the Internet just as bad, since it grew out of DARPA.

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  20. Hopefully I'm better late than never here...
    I love this. I kinda toughed on this subject myself. If our food does kill us from all the added sugar, salt, or additives, then the lack of nutrients will get us.
    But I don't think it will come to that. As much as the majority of people aren't happy about farming, if things got bad enough, people would return to the old way, the natural way. For now, we take the good with the bad.
    Good post.

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  21. It is important to eat healthier. Even the salads we eat probably don't always have the healthiest salad dressing, but at least we feel a little less guilty eating them.

    Julie

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    1. A little Italian isn't so bad is it? Even though blue cheese is what I really crave.

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