With the rise in popularity of companies like Deliveroo and Just Eat it has never been easier to order convenient ready made meals straight to your door. Although many people know ready meals aren't especially good for them they don't really understand the scale of the problem or the damage they may be doing to their bodies. What about the more health conscious people who want convenient meals and to know where their food comes from? What are the healthier alternatives?
- In the UK it is reported that some factories are churning out 250,000 portions a day, using as many as 60 to 70 ingredients. This statistic is really worrying and makes you question where exactly these ingredients come from. The sheer scale of the operation is evidence that the ingredients must be coming from all over the world.
- Food manufacturer's main objective is to ensure the consumer gets the same taste experience every time. With fresh produce this is incredibly hard to manage as the taste of ingredients will differ. Take vegetables for example. They will vary massively depending upon soil quality, ripeness and the length of the supply chain.
- In order to make each meal taste the same ready meals are filled with additives, preservatives and sweeteners. Not only do they prolong shelf life but they also make the meals look and taste appetizing.
- These chemicals play havoc on our bodies, disrupting the body's natural processes and ability to make decisions. When eating natural non-processed food, hormones tell our brain when we are full and to stop eating. When we eat ready meals full of chemicals, they suppress the hormones that tell the brain we are full and as a result we can end up eating much more than we need to.
- If you are a regular eater of ready meals you are at a higher risk of weight gain, increased visceral (belly) fat, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
- Do some research into what good nutrition is and what you should be putting into your body. Everything we eat and drink will have some effect on the way we look and feel and it is important to have some understanding of this so you can make informed decisions on what to eat.
- Know where your food comes from and look for local producers. Would you rather eat food that is locally sourced or food that has been sat on a boat and shipped half way across the world. The quality of nutrients in food starts to decrease the further the food has to travel.
- Recipe boxes are a great way for people interested in cooking to explore new and delicious recipes every week. I think of them as the half way house between ready meals and recipe books. You're still receiving a lot of the convenience but you can see exactly what you're putting into your meal.
- At Mindful Chef we are the healthy alternative. If you're one of those people who love the idea of a take away but know they aren't good for you and are concerned with what you are putting into your body then give us a go. We can tell you exactly where your food comes from, down to the exact vessel that lands your fish each week. You may have to do a little bit of cooking but hey that's half the fun.