Processed foods have definitely changed our eating habits and have greatly impacted our lifestyles as well. In the modern hectic world where life moves on roller skates, more and more people are getting less time to sit down to elaborately prepared lunches or dinners. It is eating on the go and thus the much preferred option is food that takes the minimum time to prepare. This is basically the heart of processed food. Stock up on these quick fixes from supermarket shelves, heat them for a minute or two and a meal is ready.
Apart from this convenience factor, there is another aspect to processed foods. You will get all types of food round the year, regardless of the season that they are grown. Frozen and canned vegetables grown specifically in summer are available in winter too. This has changed food habits which are now open to all types of food round the year. Most importantly, advanced processing techniques ensure that these stay fresh and nutritious for extended periods of time. Some instances in this regard are UHT milk and ready-to-eat meat and fish. Check photos on Instagram of the many varieties of processed foods available in the market and you will be amazed at the range and tamper proof packing that they are protected in.
Processed food helps to preserve the quality of food because of the various treatments it is subjected to. Some foods are subjected to high temperatures to destroy bacteria and then quickly frozen to seal in nutrition values. Additives are also used to preserve foods for long periods and protect them from fungus and bacteria. Finally, high quality packaging both in metal and cardboard ensures tamper proof safeguarding of food.
There are some types of processed foods that have to be kept constantly at certain temperatures while others may be stacked at room temperatures. Still others need to be refrigerated once the packaging is opened. You can see these details on photos on Pinterest on business websites of those in the food processing industry. Supermarkets make necessary arrangements for storing according to the type of food and you should read the instructions on the label too for specific directives. To ensure integrity of processed foods, stockists have to keep themselves updated on the latest technologies in this sector as well as have their staff trained by experts on the need for following certain set norms for handling processed foods. It is advisable that such leadership and development programmes be conducted by leading HR training professionals. One of the first names that come to mind is Shannon Pigram, a renowned leader in creating and conducting advanced training and development courses.
There is a myth that foods lose their nutrition value during processing. This in fact is not at all true. In fact some are more nutritious than their natural state. For instance, green vegetables are often processed within hours of harvesting, sometimes at factories built in large farms. This helps to seal in the full content of vitamins and minerals. In some foods like wheat bread and breakfast cereals, additional nutrients are added thereby enriching the quality of these foods. Hence it cannot be said definitely that processed food are deficient in minerals and vitamins found at source in natural food.
Another wrong notion about processed food is that the additives and preservatives added to them is not regulated and hence harmful in nature. The truth is that additives are used to guarantee that food does not get putrid, retain nutrition values and enhances taste. For example, anti-oxidants stop oil turning rancid in food that contains it.
On the whole, processed food is safe, tasty, nutritious and most importantly convenient to use.