5 Drawbacks Of Pre-Packaged Food You Can’t Ignore

The history of cooking dates back to ancient civilizations when freshly hunted meat was roasted on an open fire. The objective was to nourish the body, and taste was a by-product. Fast forward thousands of years later and most of today’s food focuses more on taste, rather than nutrition. Food has become a means of celebration or comfort. Therefore, food bloggers churn out new recipes daily to make eating a more enjoyable experience.

While there is nothing wrong with being a foodie, be aware that cooking good food often requires time and energy. In today’s fast-paced environment, people don’t want to slave over the stove, so they may take shortcuts with pre-packaged food. Frozen pre-chopped meat or vegetable trays seem like the perfect solution, but they may not be the godsend they claim to be.

Manufacturers of prepackaged food cash in on your lack of time and provide a quick fix. Their products are convenient and economical, but they can have certain long-term effects that jeopardize your future. Here are some of the hidden drawbacks of pre-packaged food that you can’t afford to overlook.

1. The Impact on the Environment

Pre-packaged foods are mostly wrapped in layers of plastic and other non-biodegradable materials. While it may be easy to peel off, this packaging contributes to the growing problem of waste and pollution. Luckily, there are eco-friendly alternatives that are both delicious and convenient. Simply Good Jars, for example, ditches the excessive packaging and offers healthy, ready-to-eat salads in reusable and recyclable jars. This way, you can enjoy a nutritious meal without adding to the environmental burden.

Another environment-friendly solution is edible packaging. Opt for straws, spoons, and cups made from plant-based sources that are safe to eat. If you can’t find edible packaging, look for biodegradable options. Replacing single-use plastic with paper is beneficial for the environment. Plastic takes centuries to break down and hurt the planet. These non-bio-degradable materials aren’t just harmful for marine wildlife either, but they can also harm humans in the long-run.

2. The Impact on Health

You may think you’re eating healthy by buying pre-packaged fruits and vegetables, but it may not be true. Read the nutrition label properly before purchasing so you are aware of what you’re consuming. Pre-packaged foods are often loaded with preservatives, artificial flavors, and unhealthy additives. These ingredients can be harmful and lead to long-term health problems such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

Another hidden danger of pre-packaged meals is that they typically come in large portion sizes.  Many consumers don’t read the serving size on the label and consume the whole package in one go. Similarly, you may gobble down the whole dish of a microwave meal because you don’t want to reheat it later. This unintentional overeating can wreak havoc on your weight — and your wallet.

3. The Impact on Your Budget

While pre-packaged foods might seem cheaper at first glance, it’s important to do the math. Compare the cost of a watermelon with the cost of pre-packaged watermelon that has been cut up. The pre-packaged watermelon cubes may be double the price. This is because manufacturers include the cost of packaging and labor, which you pay in exchange for your time.

Frequent purchases of microwavable meals and pre-packaged assorted meal prep can strain your budget, leading to higher grocery bills. All you need to do to avoid this vicious cycle is to manage your time and prepare meals at home. Purchasing ingredients in bulk and cooking from scratch can be economical and enjoyable. Cooking is a form of art and can be therapeutic if given a chance.

4. The Impact on Culinary Arts

Relying on pre-packaged food may lead to a decline in basic cooking skills. Preparing your own meals fosters a healthy relationship between you and your food. You acknowledge the effort that goes in cooking and appreciate how the taste can be tailor-made to your preferences. Using fresh ingredients and personalized seasoning can be a game-changer, resulting in meals that are both delicious and satisfying.

With more people turning to pre-packaged and processed foods, taste buds can be deteriorating. Children who have been fed fast food from a young age grow up craving more burgers and fries. Similarly, people used to artificial flavorings of pre-packaged food may not appreciate the rich, authentic flavors of freshly prepared meals. Their standards of taste and quality of food may be permanently distorted.

5. The Impact on Future Choices

As a consumer, the choices you make today can shape the world of tomorrow. Parents of the past may have considered fast food a blessing, but years later its harmful effects are evident. In the same way, you must keep in mind that convenience has a cost. Do your research before purchasing pre-packaged food and don’t be duped by clever marketing and attractive packaging.

It’s all about making informed choices. Train yourself and those around you to dig deeper and find out what is better for your future. The goal is to change your mindset and not go for the easier route by default. Especially, when it comes to your meals, you need to be careful of what you’re consuming. Your health is your biggest asset, so don’t risk it just to save a few bucks.

Small changes can lead to significant benefits. Embrace the shift to adopt more health-conscious and environmentally friendly eating habits. Your journey toward a healthier lifestyle and a greener plant begins with the choices you make every day.