Saturday, September 07, 2019

The Pros and Cons of Processed Food

Processed foods by general definition are edibles that are physically or chemically treated to prevent them from rotting. The result has been an extension in shelf life. It can be vegetable, meat, or your favorite dessert.

Source: srnutrition

The goal is to increase the longevity of the food for storage and later use. Food Item that we pack in such a manner saves it from contaminating.

This term is common in canned goods. However, in a broad sense, it can be any edible item that has some additive to it. A newly harvested crop or raw meat is used as a raw ingredient to store it for later use.

Thus, there are many pros and cons to using processed food. Here are some of them:

Pros of Processed Food:
  • Variety:
If we only eat what we can buy from around our market or the area we live in, then we will be hard-pressed to find different kinds of vegetables and meats. In some countries, getting your hands on fresh food is difficult. In urban areas, it is tricky to get things like raw meat and fresh eggs.

Source: srnutrition

It will mean that we won’t enjoy a variety of food. Processed food can solve that problem for us to a great extent.
  • Longevity
Food often goes through the process with the intent to preserve them. The purpose is to use them when things are scarce. In some places, the weather becomes too cold or too hot for anything to grow. At such a time, people rely on canned foods to keep themselves and their loved ones fed.

The food receives treatment before they are sealed shut. It involves salting, freeze-drying, or vacuum sealing food items. They can be convenient during a disaster. Since processed food is usually affordable,  you can use them at any given moment.
  • Salt and Minerals:
Salt is usually the main ingredient for preserving processed food. It has an antibacterial property, which is why it is used all over the world for keeping food safe. Moreover, salt and other minerals are essential for your body. It helps you in lots of ways. Thus it can be a great supply for you if you are not meeting your minimal daily needs.

Source: thetakeout

  • Ready Meal:
Nowadays, people have such a busy lifestyle that it has become increasingly challenging to cook a meal. An excellent option is MRE or Meal Ready to Eat as they are commonly known.

They come in different dishes and sizes. You can prepare your food in less than 15 mins. They are usually pre-cooked, so all you have to do is either heat them directly or pour some water and then heat them in a microwave or oven.

You can even take them outdoors with you if you go hiking or camping. Since a lot of companies are making them, you can make the dish of your desire in any part of the world.

Source: alloutdoor
  • Better Taste:
There are particular foods that taste much better after they have been through the process. Dried fruits such as peach and apricots can fill up your belly and provide you with a delicious treat at the same time. More often than not, the taste of the fruits will increase in flavor.

They can help us in our craving because, at times like these, we desire food rich in fats. It may not be the most healthy of choice, but it sure lifts our mood. The food that is frozen also lasts longer while retaining all the essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Healthy Choice:
If we feel like eating some healthy food, but nothing is available in your local shops, or the farmer's markets are away, then canned food can provide you with a lot of healthy options. You can have salmon fish or canned soup, or tuna for lunch or dinner.

As with everything artificially created or preserved, there are some cons to it as well. Here are some cons of processed food:

Cons of Processed Food:
  • Loss of Nutritional Value:
As the food receives a chemical or physical treatment, their structure changes. It means that some of the benefits which you can get by eating it fresh are gone. The vitamins are either completely gone or significantly reduced. Sometimes to supplement these lost nutrients, an establishment will add additional supplements. However, they are a lot less than what you will get when you eat it fresh.
  • Preservation:
Since preservatives are added to food to increase their life, they can be harmful to people in large amounts.

When processing food, the consumable items pass through different pipes and barrels in a factory. To prevent serious problems from happening, the factory should do regular maintenance. Moreover, they should only use the best quality of pipes and other essential elements like high-quality industrial valves at and more.

Since a lot of times, a canning company uses an excessive amount of salt in preserving, so the food becomes an unhealthy item. If you consume such food, you run the risk of having high blood pressure.
  • Quality of the Food:
Different companies are preparing processed food. Since the competition is so severe, some of the companies cut corners by choosing low quality food. They do that to gain more profit, and you inadvertently end up with a low-quality product.

Source: today


Although there are a lot of merits and demerits of eating processed food, one can argue that it is more about making a healthy choice. In some places where access to fresh fruits and vegetables are limited, people tend to use alternative in the form of canned products. Moreover, raw foods are way too expensive for many people to afford.

Nowadays, with the advancement in food packaging, it is somewhat safe to eat canned food if you are unable to get your hands on fresh produce. The simple answer is to select a processed food by reading the label first and making sure you buy from a reliable company.

This is a guest blog entry.

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