This is something that I first noticed when I was in Croatia. I don’t speak the local language, so when I was shopping I was very much restricted to what I recognized, which was largely fruit, vegetables and some cuts of meat. I was amazed by how much I relied on reading a label to find out what a food was! It did get me thinking though – should I be eating something if it is so processed from the original food, that I cannot recognize it?
This has been further emphasized by the horse meat scandal, where ready meals which were meant to contain beef actually contained up to 100% horse, and no one knew! Ok, so I can imagine that horse meat looks very similar to beef, but it does go to show that you have no idea what is really in these heavily processed foods, and you rely entirely on the label to identify it.
About 80% of the foods which is found on supermarket shelves are ‘new foods’ which have been created in the last 100 years. These foods are almost all very highly processed, and it is hard to identify what they really are.
The next time you go shopping, imagine that you are seeing all the food for the first time, and that you cannot read the label; what can you identify? Can you tell what makes up a chocolate bar, or what a sausage actually is?
Image courtesy of dahlstroms