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Kick the Processed Food Habit

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Kick the Processed Food Habit

Have you heard of the “jelly bean rule?” It’s basically an FDA guideline that’s meant to prevent food companies from adding vitamins to junk food, just so that they can call it healthy.

For most folks, a jelly bean fortified with vitamin C is pretty clearly still junk food, but what about the other fortified snack foods we see on store shelves? I’m thinking here of sugary granola bars touted as breakfast food, fortified juice drinks like VitaminWater, and energy bars. These processed foods are certainly convenient, but they are not healthy. Calling them food almost feels like a stretch in some cases.

Not only are these processed convenience foods loaded with sugar, unhealthy fats, and GMO ingredients, but the excessive packaging is as bad for the planet as that snack is for your body. One granola bar wrapper might not seem like a lot, but imagine all of the granola bar wrappers from all of the people that eat one for breakfast every morning. That adds up to mountains of discarded single use plastic in our landfills and in our oceans.

The trouble is that you’re busy, right? Sometimes grabbing a granola bar on the way out the door is all you have time to do! So, how can you kick the processed food habit when you’re short on time?

If you want to ditch the processed convenience food but don’t want to give up convenience, don’t fret! There are lots of foods that are both convenient and healthy. Check out a list of truly healthy convenience foods on the next page.

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by smoorenburg

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Read more: All recipes, Appetizers & Snacks, Basics, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, Health, Life, Vegan, Vegetarian, , , , , , , , ,

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!

39 comments

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9:05AM PDT on Sep 12, 2013

I miss how we used to eat fresh in Mexico. Each morning we picked from the gardens & went to the market for what we were missing for that meal

9:03AM PDT on Sep 12, 2013

I miss how we used to eat fresh in Mexico. Each morning we picked from the gardens & went to the market for what we were missing for that meal

10:01AM PDT on Mar 17, 2013

I've made my own granola bars before. So far only my mother and I eat them. They're "not sweet enough" according to my little brother (who is majorly addicted to white sugar, he will sit there and eat it right out of the bag if given the chance, so I don't give him the chance), only one he does seem to like are the ones that I add a drizzle of chocolate on. It's a start.

I've also been cutting up fruit/veggies that is large into finger-picking sized pieces and went as far as spent nearly $100 on a personal fridge for him and I stock it once a week with fruits and veggies and take note as to which ones he eats more than any other (so far orange/yellow peppers, lemons, cucumbers and cantaloupe). What isn't eaten either is frozen, made into baked goods or moved to the compost.

Best way to avoid it for kids, is don't start them on it.

5:29AM PDT on Sep 7, 2012

thank you.

2:58AM PDT on Sep 4, 2012

Great ideas!

9:21PM PDT on Sep 2, 2012

Good tips, thanks!

10:07PM PDT on Sep 1, 2012

Interesting and tasty, there are a number of things I can take along and often prepare in advance.

8:11PM PDT on Sep 1, 2012

Time time, cut chop wash...

4:16PM PDT on Sep 1, 2012

I would love to dry fruits and have for snacks...

9:45AM PDT on Sep 1, 2012

Thank you:)

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