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Just Say No to “Convenience” Food

Just Say No to “Convenience” Food

I’m here to tell you the inconvenient truth about “convenience” food: It is not very convenient at all.

The definition of convenient is “not troublesome.” But if you ask me, there’s something very troubling about all the packaging, all that extra plastic and cardboard to be disposed of. And there are also some troubling facts about how they are packaged, which means it’s not convenient for our health.

I knew about the packaging problem but I recently read in Gorgeously Green: 8 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly Life by Sophie Uliano that a bag of salad is not what it seems. We think that bowl of mixed baby greens is so healthy, but it is not. In order to keep the leaves fresh in those sealed bags, the leaves have to be gassed with some horribly toxic chemicals, Uliano says. Shocked? I was too!

Buying unpackaged and preferably organic lettuce does require a little more work on your part because you do have to run some water over the leaves and get out your salad spinner. But as Uliano puts it, “Oh the difference! The leaves actually crunch, taste of lettuce, and are full of vitamins and minerals–a small price to pay for something utterly delicious.”

Now I know we’re all busy people and sometimes it’s difficult to do the right thing. Sometimes you’re on the road and you need something healthy, and a plastic container of veggies is better than succumbing to fast food. But the next time you’re at the market, think about it before you reach for something pre-packaged. Does the fact that it’s easy outweigh the hard facts about its packaging?

Read more: Blogs, Green Kitchen Tips, Shades of Green, , , , , , , , ,

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Jana Ballinger

Jana Ballinger has more than 15 years of experience as a writer and copy editor for daily newspapers. She lives in a vintage house in Northern California with her husband and an orange cat.

33 comments

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3:51PM PST on Feb 4, 2013

noted

11:00AM PST on Jan 31, 2013

Thank you.

12:36AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

Good point

5:10PM PDT on Mar 22, 2012

Thanks for the information.

5:40AM PDT on Mar 22, 2012

Thanks for the article.

1:50PM PDT on May 8, 2011

Thanks for posting!

12:24PM PST on Nov 19, 2010

And what about organic veggies in plastic bags? Do you think they are also under toxic gas?

3:18PM PDT on Aug 2, 2010

welcome advice

8:33PM PDT on Jun 28, 2010

I love to buy in bulk, cook up big batches of stuff, then portion out and freeze. Save lots of time and money.

3:58PM PDT on Apr 23, 2010

It took some time to get used to a different lifestyle of eating freshly prepared food, but now I find that when I am faced with the choice of "convenience foods" that by the time I have read the label and tried to decipher the different chemicals added, I would just as soon have some organic fruit fresh veggies. I do not believe people and animals were designed to eat, breathe, or wear chemicals that I can't understand and certainly couldn't buy in a chemical factory if I went in with a shopping list.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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