Innocent veggies not so innocent
I wasn’t going to do another post today but a shocking discovery prompted me to share. And also I am totally procrastinating studying for my Food Management Theory exam (Yes, it’s as boring as it sounds)
Since I got home late tonight after spin class, Matt picked up a few things for dinner. He made sweet potato fries, his specialty, and also picked up some frozen Birds Eye Tuscan Vegetables in Herbed Tomato Sauce to go over our quinoa. Sounds innocent enough, right? After all, the box portrays beautiful cuts of zucchini, red and yellow peppers, carrots and squash. Perfectly healthy! As the veggies were defrosting, I took a peek at the back of the box to look at the ingredients. To my absolute HORROR and surprise (although, i don’t know why this should surprise me anymore) I saw that these veggies were really only a small part of the “delicious side dish,” as the box described.
What was in it, you ask? Here are the ingredients:
Zucchini, red & yellow peppers, carrot, yellow squash, diced tomatoes (tomatoes, tomato juice, salt, calcium chloride, citric acid), onions, water, tomato paste (tomato paste, citric acid), roasted diced garlic, spices, olive oil, chicken base (chicken, salt, hydrolyzed soy protein, chicken fat, maltodextrin, sugar, chicken broth, onion powder, tumeric, spice extractices), sugar, salt, food starch-modified
Chicken base? Food starch-modified? What the heck is that? Matt and I dumped it and ate broccoli instead. Moral of the story: read the labels and be aware of what you are eating! I realize that in today’s world, it’s very difficult to not eat processed food. Our entire supermarket consists of processed foods, and a lot of them seem healthy. But with something like these vegetables, it’s an easy choice to say no and go a different route. If you don’t want to take the time to cut and steam plain veggies, by all means buy the kind in a bag you pop in the microwave, or even the frozen kind. The ingredient list should read: vegetables (you get my point).
This gets me to thinking about down the road when I’m an RD and seeing patients, and someone comes to me because they want to get healthier, lose weight. So many low calorie snacks and foods, such as these frozen veggies & sauce, are low calorie and seem to be good options. Any nutritionist would say that this is OK to eat. But how can I tell someone to eat this crap if their goal is to feel healthy, and even I won’t eat it. My mission, which I accept, will be to continuously look for healthier options without the added junk!
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