Yup. You read that right. Processed food isn’t inherently bad for you. That problem is a misunderstanding of what processed food really is. What we commonly think of as processed food today is more like industrial food product. Whereas processed food has been around pretty much as long as humans have.So what is processed food then?
The picture here of the delicious eggs Benedict I had for lunch yesterday shows a processed food. The eggs were cooked. There was smoked salmon and Hollandaise sauce on it. And the sweet potato it was all stacked on was cooked too.
Cooking is a form of processing, smoking is a form of processing. Combining ingredients together to form a sauce is a form of processing. Processed food is really essential to our health and well-being.
What’s important to remember is how the food was processed, when the food was processed, and why the food was processed. Most industrial food product is processed to extend shelf life. It is often done chemically with non-naturally occurring ingredients, and when it was processed depends on how long the food has been sitting on the shelf.
There are ways to naturally preserve some foods, and some foods just have to be eaten before they go bad. Fermentation is a great way to preserve many foods. Drying is another preservation method. But with something like grinding flour, the quality of the flour is degrading from the second it is ground.
The best way to eat processed food, is to process it yourself! It’s usually less convenient, hence the appeal of industrial food product. I’ll be the first to admit that in a busy life it’s easy to lean on food product to save time and effort. I know I feel a lot better when I eat more nutritious, home processed food. It usually tastes a lot better too!