Much of food processing is about making foods safer and longer-lasting, which is better for the environment as it means less food waste. But clearly some processed foods are very bad for your health. Where did this happen?
The 4th Earl of Sandwich is perhaps best-known for lending his name to two slices of bread with a filling in between. However, he has another claim to a lunchtime staple – soft drinks (this I did not know).
"The problem is that, in the past half century, a different type of food processing has been developed," says Fernanda Rauber, a nutritional epidemiologist at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, about what we now call "“ultra-processed foods”. "These substances would not be found in our kitchen. Usually, they contain little to no proportion of real foods."
There are no antioxidants and phytochemicals that we find in whole foods if they are stripped out in processing." Even when nutrients are added back in, like cereals fortified with iron or fibre, food might not be as healthy as it seems. Added nutrients don’t work as well as those found in whole foods, she says.
Today, added sugar contributes to a lot of the health problems that people associate with processed foods (they account for more than 10% of people’s total calories). But it wasn’t always the case.
Quite an interesting read at How processed foods became so unhealthy
From putrid water to fizzy cola, food processing gave us preservation, consistency and innovation. So how did it become associated with unhealthy food?