Beware processed foods.

Researchers like Jane Blythman have revealed that bagged salads have been soaked up to 8 hours in tap water, with heavy chlorineProcessedFoods solution.  Do read what she has to say in her excellent article in the Daily Mail.   Thank you, Jane.

“Citric, tartaric and other fruit acids are also painted on to the leaves to keep them looking fresh. It sounds revolting but it does not stop millions from buying bagged leaves.

 

As one ‘food technology executive’ or ready-meal scientist says ‘Our objective is to see that the consumer gets the same taste experience every time.’ 

This means the ingredients must be identical and that demands mass production; food preparation on an industrial scale, so that it barely looks like food at all.

In fact, food manufacturers, the companies that supply ready meals to supermarkets, carry out little or no preparation of raw ingredients.

Instead, they buy treated ingredients, mainly frozen or dried, from a range of other companies and cook them.

The convenience food chain that supplies the consumer is made up of many links, which often cross continents.

The supermarkets sub-contract work to the food manufacturers, who get various food processing plants to do the work for them.

Those processors are often thousands of miles away from the farmers and growers.

 Most of the meat, vegetables and fish in our convenience food has been transported and stored while frozen.Typically, it is kept at sub-zero temperatures for months, even years, but when it is thawed and cooked, it can be marketed as ‘fresh’

As in any automated industry, the manufacturers break down all the production stages into component parts, carried out by separate teams on different assembly lines.

When an ITV investigation on the Tonight programme analysed a typical supermarket ‘British lamb hotpot’ ready meal, it discovered the ingredients were from ten countries and included New Zealand lamb, Israeli carrots, Argentine beef bones and Majorcan potatoes.

Irish authorities were equally shocked to discover that a pizza bearing the label ‘country of origin Ireland’ in fact contained 35 ingredients that had passed through 60 countries during preparation and packaging.

Most of the meat, vegetables and fish in our convenience food has been transported and stored while frozen.

Typically, it is kept at sub-zero temperatures for months, even years, but when it is thawed and cooked, it can be marketed as ‘fresh’.

Eggs are supplied to food manufacturers in many forms but almost never in their shells.

Instead, they come as powders, with added sugar, as products made just from albumen (egg white) or they come hard-boiled in a long cylinder so that, when cut, every slice of egg is identical.

This is ideal for packed sandwiches, as the manufacturers don’t have to deal with the rounded ends. They also come as liquid, concentrated, dried, crystalised and quick-frozen.

There is always the cheaper option of so-called ‘egg-replacers’ which are made from whey protein, which has a shelf-life of 18 months.

Don’t be fooled either if you see any food with a label boasting ‘made with butter’.

Rather than butter, this means the product could include a much cheaper, pale yellow powder that is made using a technique called ‘spray-drying’, during which nearly all the water is removed from a mixture of butter, milk proteins and starch.

The companies that make ready meals keep a low profile. They operate from vast anonymous warehouses on industrial estates with bland, innocuous names.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2978316/Read-ll-never-eat-ready-meal-again.html#ixzz40K7Q4ROi
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Don’t be fooled if you see any food with a label boasting ‘made with butter’. Rather than butter, this means the product could include a much cheaper, yellow powder that is made using a technique called ‘spray-drying’

 

Their thousands of employees work long, demanding shifts of 12 hours or more, behind walls with no windows

We are told that is to guard the secret recipes from industrial espionage, but if you could peep in, you might understand the immense economies of scale: half a million kebabs processed in one day, or ten tons of chicken tikka, is nothing unusual for a busy plant.

The workers tend to be young. They have to be, to withstand the conditions in these usually bone-chillingly cold factories.

Typically, 90 per cent of the workers come from Eastern Europe and the Baltic states. There is no chat or camaraderie in these places: to protect their hearing from the din of the gargantuan machinery, they must wear earplugs.

The smells are nauseating; a stench of fat in the snack factories, the pungent reek of flesh in the meat plants.

The facilities for microwave meals are worse; the air thick with the scent of tomato sauce and the starchy, sticky béchamel (white sauce) with its fragrance of regurgitated baby milk.

 A ready-meal factory can be churning out 250,000 portions a day, using 60 or 70 different ingredients, combining ten assembly lines

A ready-meal factory can be churning out 250,000 portions a day, using 60 or 70 different ingredients, combining ten assembly lines.

That means that when problems arise, millions of packets on the supermarket shelves could be affected.

After Tesco was warned about a batch of mouldy rice, eight different ranges had to be recalled, from ‘beef in black bean sauce’ to ‘balti vegetable curry’.

Even when you buy food that is promoted as being freshly made on site, the components could have been mass produced in these windowless warehouses.

Take a stroll round a Marks & Spencer bakery, where the captivating aroma of loaves and tray-bakes surrounds you like a comfort blanket, and ask yourself where the ingredients come from for the bread ‘fresh-baked in the store’.

Everything on sale is displayed unwrapped in rustic wicker baskets resting on wooden crates or jute sacks, to conjure an informal, artisan appeal.

This is what the marketing team calls ‘creating theatre’ and ‘driving purchases’ in the food hall but taking a look behind the scenes in this theatre is not a simple matter.

All baked goods that are not made in-store must display a list of every ingredient and additive in the mix but that rule does not apply to food cooked on the premises.

So, M&S provides details of the ‘nutritional content’ — how much fat, protein, salt, calories and so on are in each bun and loaf — but despite repeated inquiries to the chain’s press department, I could not discover what actually went into these ‘freshly baked’ products.

Finally, I managed to see a copy of the manual kept under the counter at one M&S bakery.

It destroyed the cosy notion that its products are created from scratch in-house. On the contrary, many lines are bought made, frozen and ready to be baked in the shop’s ovens.”

Excellent article, Jane.   Thank you.

 

Get Felicity´s FREE Newsletter

Join to receive my FREE monthly newsletter. Stay up-to-date with great healthy tips and FREE delicious recipes.

You have successfully subscribed to Get Well Stay Well. Thank you.