Pre-Packaged Organics in a Box?

If you ever walk the aisles of a so-called “natural food store”, you will notice the emphasis on local produce, organic products, meats raised without hormones, etc… These are the types of items I often want, so I frequent these stores. However, surrounding these real natural products (fruit, vegetables, grains, meats, and dairy) are even more unnatural products that sell for a premium because they are “organic”. For example, you can peruse the freezer section and find a multitude of pre-packaged meals that make you think you are getting some healthy product because it is in a health food store, claims to be natural, and is expensive compared to a similar frozen pre-made meal you would find at your local grocery store chain. However, a pre-packaged, frozen dinner, is just that, and really works to continue the ongoing problem that people have forgotten how to cook.

¬†While many blame obesity and health issues on fast food or lack of exercise (both contributors), a major threat to our health is the fact that we no longer cook our food, or even consume real food. Having children, I can’t help but notice that Annie’s Homegrown sells macaroni and cheese in a box. It’s organic and “all-natural”, but it contains powdered cheese. Who cares that the cheese it came from came from an organic cow, it’s processed, powdered cheese! Yuck!

But this box will sell for at least a dollar more than it’s non-organic counterpart and will make the consumer think it’s a healthy choice, but it isn’t. We need to start learning how to eat truly natural products (close to the source) rather than processed, boxed foods that claim to be natural. Think of the five food groups (meats, vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy) and add some spices, and create tasty, simpler foods. Cooking and preparing meals can be easy and quick, if you know how to do it.

My initial advice is to spend some time over the weekend (or on your days off from work) and plan out a few new easy recipes to try. Planning will help you make dinners quickly. The more practice you get, the easier it will be to eat better, more nutritious meals and start getting rid of the boxes in your life. You’ll save money, too.

About Kimberly Dawson, M.S.

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