Cheap Comfort Food on the Rise
In many news reports this past month, there has been a rise of sales on comfort, or ”lowbrow”,food. Items such as Kraft dinner, Jell-O and Campbell’s condensed soup are experiencing a strong resurgence as people are staying in, instead of eating out. Health experts across the board have been throwing there arms up in disgust, most notably Food Network star and chef Jamie Oliver who warned the British Parliament in November that the financial crisis would drive people and families to cheap food and worsen the obesity epidemic.
Various online forums and people we converse with on a daily basis have commented about the blatant advertising in there local grocery flyers for prepackaged foods like Lipton Sidekicks and instant potatoes. These items are always on sale and are plastered all over the flyers.
Rarely are healthy foods or even organic foods even mentioned or advertised. Many people point to the disproportionate cost between milk and coke. You can pick up two litres of coke for half the price of two litres milk. Does this make sense to anyone?
Some health experts have also a growing concern about the larger shift to commercially processed food, with its high levels of preservatives, nitrates and saturated fats. Here are a couple of suggestions for all us when walking through grocery isles on our weekly shopping trips
1. Avoid anything that comes out of a can.
It is usually loaded with sodium or has been ground up and mixed with cornmeal or other additives into a meat substitute product. Is it sitting in water or oil is another important consideration? For example, fish or tuna canned in oil contains significantly more calories and saturated fat than water packed varieties
2. Avoid White Carbs.
White carbohydrates set up a vicious cycle where you never feel full. These are nutrient-poor, calorie-rich foods that are going to leave people hungry. Everything can be tied back to how you process foods. Examples include white pasta, white bread, dinner rolls, bagels, sweets, desserts, juice and sweetened drinks, candy, chips and most snack type foods.
3. Read the Labels.
Yes, No-Name products are cheaper but are they healthier? Often times you’ll find the sodium levels on No-Name products will be anywhere from 20%-80% more then the named product. I’m all for saving money, but not at the expense of food which helps feed and grow my family. So tread carefully friends and pay extra attention on your next grocery shopping trip!