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JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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9/26/13 6:59 P

I agree, even though I'm super organized with my meals... cooking from scratch is time consuming, I won't tell a lie. I spend a good part of my day prepping, chopping, cooking etc. I do bulk and freeze to save on time but to say it's at par with cooking a premade, precooked frozen meal... isn't even close to accurate. I'm just lucky to be SAHM with so much time at home.

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,300
9/26/13 8:47 A

Let's face it, it can be a lot quicker to jam something in the microwave and walk away, to start some laundry or go pick up in the living room.... than to peel and chop, saute and simmer, stand there and wait for the water to boil and then watch that once you've turned the pot down, it's low enough to bubble but not so high as to boil over and make a mess. A bit more "hands on" than opening a package of something and throwing it in the oven. I dare say *most* people who say home cooking takes longer, do not have a repertoire of 20 minute meals to fall back on. A lot of them may not know much about cooking at all. I'd go out on a limb here and venture they don't want to sit down and plan out their meals and get an organized shopping list together, either. And even if they did, by Thursday they wouldn't be able to find the recipe they bought the broccoli or fresh cilantro for, in the first place. They want to come home from work, open some boxes and cans, heat stuff up with minimal fuss and clean-up involved, and be done with it.

Everyone who says home cooking doesn't take any longer, has gotten themselves organized and has some quick, go-to recipes. And probably a crock pot and a freezer with a bunch of portioned-out, previously cooked meals in it. That describes me NOW but I wasn't always like that. It took time and effort and a learning curve to get there. And I've been cooking for years-- I think I just relied a bit too much on some processed foods. Jarred spaghetti sauce for example. Over the years, I'd tried making my own but never found a recipe I truly liked, until recently. Now I always make my own sauce. But doing that requires some forethought-- the recipe I use is for the crockpot so I have to buy the stuff and make the sauce in advance (if there's none in the freezer). I can't wait til I come home on Tuesday night and say, let's have spaghetti. It has to be planned and the sauce at least, put on to cook Tuesday morning.

So I don't think we need to be scoffing at people who say it's harder or takes more time to home-cook. Yes indeed it CAN be harder, and it CAN take more time-- If you don't have the skills, either in the kitchen or with organization. I think it's SO worth it though. Anyone who still has younger kids, could do them a big favor and teach them to cook as they're growing up.

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,540
9/25/13 12:45 P

I keep writing and deleting this post because I am having an incredibly bad day and posting out of emotions that I will regret later

Edited by: MANDIETERRIER1 at: 9/25/2013 (12:53)
EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
9/25/13 12:23 P

I couldn't get to the link, either.

I eat mostly whole, "real" foods. We do fall to the occasional processed thing, but it's not regular fare. We're on vacation this week, so I've got some frozen fish filets, and boxed veggies (although they're not the ones chock-full of "other" -?- stuff).

I don't know where the myth of home cooking being more difficult came from, either! Actually seems easier to me. And I like the flavor better, and knowing what's in it.

Pot pies! oh, yum I do make a version of a pot pie... but since we're low-carb, we don't use the typical pie crust. I've used almond noodles or other pie-crust substitutes, and those are great! Commercially prepared pot pies tend to be mostly sauce, a handful of veggies, and a few pieces of dry meat. And this is preferable to homemade how? bleah And then there's the list of other ingredients in most of them. I don't want any "others" in my food. I just want FOOD.

I love burgers too! Who says you have to give up burgers if you avoid processed food? The best burgers I've had recently I made myself from ground chuck mixed with ground bacon. Oh boy. Juicy, delectable... and I can build one tall and tender - not those flat little pucks you get in fast-food places.

I mix ground bacon in meatloaf, in poultry burgers, you name it! Who needs flavor injectors?! You certainly can't get that in a restaurant! Sure, they'll slap a piece or two on top. But it doesn't flavor through the whole item.

Ever had homemade stuffed burgers? Put some sauteed mushrooms in there. How about caramelized onions? Several kinds of cheese, so they come out drippy and delicious! Wrap some dilly pickle slices in a thin slice of ham. Maybe add some Swiss in there. Processed burgers? NO thanks!

I do love nut butters, too. But like someone else mentioned, I make my own. Just the pulverized nuts. I use all kinds. Sometimes I mix various ones. Ever tried pistachio butter? Cashew? Walnut butter makes awesome refrigerator "cookies", mixed with some sugar-free sweetener or flavored syrups (DaVinci), and then dipped in dark chocolate. Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium. The nut butter made from them is tasty and a healthful supplement, too.

I don't have IBS - but I'm insanely sensitive to a lot of foods. FODMAPs. Nightshades. High roughage. I've been slowly healing my leaky gut by eating healthy whole foods. Is it as easy as just driving to a window and picking up a bag? Well. No. But the more I eat this way, the more my body recognizes what isn't really food. Big signs for fast food outlets actually turn my stomach these days. And the semi-trucks delivering it - covered in huge photos of giant chips or burgers... yeccch

I'm saddened for the vast majority of people out there who still find that type of eating preferable to homemade. I know lots of folks are on a tight schedule. But aren't there still hours on weekends? a bit of time to set up a crockpot? And that's not just one meal - you get multiples out of it!

It's a matter of choice. If you just don' wanna... you're not gonna. Doesn't matter what's better or healthier or even better-tasting.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
9/25/13 12:09 P

ONLYZOMBIECAT, you make a good point, *some* so-called processed food really is ok. It's unfortunate that it all gets painted with the same "processed" brush - there is quite a difference between "processed" frozen unsweetened berries (they've been washed, sorted frozen and bagged) and "processed" Berry-Goodness-Yummy-Pies (which contain nothing that has any resemblance to a "whole ingredient").

Michael Moss and Michael Pollan explored this, actually, in a "trip through the grocery aisle" video - processed maybe is not the end of the earth, there are good healthy options that are processed (canned tomatoes, frozen corn, rolled oats) - but HYPER-processed, just ALWAYS ALWAYS "bad."

I have moved away from processed foods, and to be honest no longer have much desire to eat the "hyper processed" salt-sugar-fat-in-a-box at any time. But I also don't always make my pasta sauce from home grown tomatoes, either.

ONTHEPATH2 SparkPoints: (158,732)
Fitness Minutes: (159,461)
Posts: 7,346
9/25/13 11:53 A

My rule of thumb is if I can't pronounce the ingredients or know what they are ---- I probably shouldn't eat it.

GOALWTIN7 SparkPoints: (2,121)
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Posts: 306
9/25/13 11:38 A

Couldn't read the article, it said page not found. I've been eating whole foods for years. My taste buds could no longer tolerate processed food which now tastes like chemicals and cardboard to me. Although always a healthy person there is a family history of IBS. (Irritable bowel syndrome) When I was in my 20's and 30's and ate a lot of processed foods (before the whole foods movement existed) I would have stomach problems. Now the only time I have stomach problems is when I am traveling and don't have much choices in food offered to eat or I give in to a junk food. I really do believe food is medicine.

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,487
9/25/13 9:08 A

I'm a Trader Joe's fan also....2 within 10 miles of me
but it"s good to know how to shop anywhere.

I can make most meals in less than 30 min from scratch
and when it is something that takes longer...I just make a batch and freeze in portions
makes life easy

KKKAREN Posts: 12,754
9/25/13 8:46 A

I eat very few processed foods and shop the perimeter of the store.

9/25/13 4:42 A

Home made food every time - then you know what's in it. Where did the myth that cooking as a chore come from?

EOWYN2424 Posts: 9,108
9/25/13 3:17 A

I know whole foods are better for but I just can't give up burgers & potato chips!

JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (589,274)
Fitness Minutes: (353,687)
Posts: 16,741
9/24/13 8:22 P

Makes you think, doesn't it?

KPA1B2 Posts: 785
9/24/13 8:03 P

We eat bread, pasta, peanut butter, granola bars. The rest, I try & do from whole foods. Not always, sometimes I just need to be able to fix something quicker, which really means all I have to add is water and stir.

SLASALLE SparkPoints: (275,524)
Fitness Minutes: (104,384)
Posts: 11,913
9/24/13 4:57 P


The processed foods that I now buy, in large part, come from Trader Joe's, a grocery that doesn't add all of the preservatives and multitude of other "crappola" that you often find in grocery store processed food items.

Don't mean to make this an ad for Trader Joe's, but I REALLY like their policies - no GMOs, trans fats, etc. allowed in their products.

SLASALLE SparkPoints: (275,524)
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9/24/13 4:55 P

I am moving more and more away from processed foods. I've always enjoyed cooking, which helps a lot, but over the past 8 years or so, I've gone mostly organic, I LOVE farmer's markets and am a member of a CSA.

As for peanut butter, I get the kind that only has peanuts in it, not the regular PB.

I love whole foods and it's to the point now where I can't eat out at certain restaurants because it's so salty that it tastes overwhelming.

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
9/24/13 4:31 P

Most of what I eat that is "processed" is processed by me. I can and freeze a lot of my own food.

I do eat some lunchmeat because as a former vegetarian I don't like to handle meat much...but I get the kind with minimal additives.

CARTOON3 SparkPoints: (36,264)
Fitness Minutes: (14,372)
Posts: 2,677
9/24/13 4:23 P

I like growing my own garden in the summer time and freezing or canning so I can enjoy healthy foods compared to processed.

SHKIRK Posts: 1,168
9/24/13 4:17 P

I am with you. The more heahlty I eat/become I notice that process foods have very little room in my diet !

LOUNMOUN Posts: 1,334
9/24/13 4:09 P

I don't eat a strictly whole food diet.

I do cook a lot of stuff from scratch and eat most meals at home.
I do avoid buying foods that have a lot of added salt, sugar artificial flavorings or colorings. Some processed foods are unhealthy but I feel that others are still acceptable choices for me.
I feel that unseasoned frozen vegetables, a bottle of milk, a loaf of whole grain bread, a jar of peanut butter or a block of cheddar cheese is fine. I don't feel I have to completely avoid or make all of those things myself.
Things like hot dogs, canned soup, and frozen dinners would be on my avoid list.

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,540
9/24/13 3:48 P

A homemade pot pie where you can control what goes into it would be fantastic.

The ones that you get in the grocery freezer case are not that great. They are often very small and pack a wallop of calories

9/24/13 3:43 P

Whole foods are healthier for sure. I find using whole foods is easier for me because even at the end of the week I still have a little of this and a little of that to throw together to make soups or stir fry.

SHAKESALOT Posts: 1,334
9/24/13 3:32 P


PTREE15 SparkPoints: (8,292)
Fitness Minutes: (11,594)
Posts: 490
9/24/13 3:30 P

Pot pie is pretty easy to make, and while it's a bit time consuming, it's totally worth it and freezes well. I make a veggie pot pie. YUM.
Anyway, I eat mostly whole foods, but I do splurge on some premade vegan foods occasionally, like veggie burgers and such. Most of the time I make my own, but every now and then I get a little lazy.

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,487
9/24/13 11:41 A

MANDIETERRIER1...I love that you mention chicken pot pies....
I used to think they were a great meal ... chicken, lots of veggies...what could be bad
whoa....calories, salt, and fat.

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,540
9/24/13 11:32 A

I think I eat a little bit of both.

I do read labels and buy the best processed food I can. I used to get those chicken pies and hungry man dinners, without a thought. At over 1000 calories they now stay out of my cart and on the shelf

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
Fitness Minutes: (86,286)
Posts: 2,489
9/24/13 10:55 A

For the most part whole or minimally processed. I don't eat anything premade. Virtually everything I eat is homemade. All whole fruits/veg, whole meat, etc.

I do eat bread and you would pry my peanut butter from my cold dead hands, lol. I love peanut butter and eat it multiple times a day. Usually about 2-3 tablespoons. I'm not sure how peanut butter is inferior to peanuts? 90 cals of peanuts vs. 90 cals of my natural crunchy peanut butter has the exact same nutritional values.

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,487
9/24/13 10:21 A

I read an article from the by Michael Hobbs a contributing blogger to the Huffington Post.
Why Is Processed Food So Bad for You?


I find myself eating less and less processed food, eating healthier, having a greater liking for food with less sugar/salt/fat, and even spending less on groceries. I will roast a chicken and use it instead of cold cuts...and it's cheaper. I bake a batch of potatoes, keep them in an air tight container and use that instead of bread. I was fast becoming a peanut butter junkie until I read the label. No wonder it was cheaper than the whole peanut. And my tastebuds have become educated to what the real thing tastes like.

But when I think back to where I started.....I convinced myself I didn't have time to cook.
Almost everything I ate was processed.

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