Should Processed Food Be Forbidden to Consume?
Here in Bali, processed foods and frozen foods like meatballs, fishballs, dim sum, sausages, and instant noodles are incredibly popular.
You’ve probably already heard of the famous street-food Bakso? A favourite Indonesian staple, this dish contains meatballs served in delicious hot broth. Topokki, fish cakes, and ramen are also increasing in demand, especially with younger consumers.
Despite their popularity, these ready-to-eat snacks fall under the category of processed foods, which unfortunately are considered less healthy than freshly prepared foods.
And so the question today is; is processed food unhealthy and should it be forbidden to consume?
To begin with, let’s take a look at the definition of processed food. The term “processed” in this context means raw foods or agricultural products that have been changed during the preparation process. Typically, it is a process where ingredients are transformed from freezing, drying, baking, and canning. It could mean anything from grinding grain to make raw flour to a more complex process that produces ready-to-eat foods and fast foods.
Ingredients such as salt, sugar, and fat are sometimes added to enhance flavour, extend shelf life and contribute to the food’s structure. Colour enhancers are sometimes also added, with multiple ingredients combined.
What most people don’t realize is most foods that are being widely sold today are processed. But it doesn’t mean that they are less healthy.
Here are some great examples:
- Bread and cakes (contains leavening ingredients and baking mixes
- Dehydrated dried beans, French fries, etc
- Cookies, candies, ice cream, etc
- Energy bars and shakes, packaged pastries, boxed pasta, noodles, margarine, and cream cheese
- Breakfast cereal
- Soda and other sugary drinks
- Wine, beer, and fermented or smoked fish
From the list above you will have a clear idea of what foods are considered “processed” and how necessary it would be to make the foods that are available in the market today, such as bread, pasta, noodles.
To avoid processed foods entirely would mean that you would have to only consume fresh, raw ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts, and meat.
So to answer the question of whether processed food is less healthy would lie in the ingredients. Just like everything else in life, balance is key. Take a look at the packaging and read through the list of ingredients so you can keep a check on fat, salt, and sugar content.
Remember to always purchase processed or frozen foods from trusted and credible, certified suppliers. Here at Puri Pangan Utama, we only sell only high-quality processed foods with premium ingredients that are certified and approved.
The best grocery supplier online and food company in Bali since 1985, Puri Pangan Utama offers a wide range of food and non-food products for your home or restaurant including frozen seafood and smoked fish, baking mixes, raw meat and poultry, snacks, and ice cream, milk and dairy, rice and grain, frozen vegetables and so much more.