Are frozen meals better than fresh? The results may surprise you

TV dinners have come a long way since the 1950’s. With more choices, and supposedly “healthier” options, we are offered quite a selection of ready-to-eat microwave dinners. An article on Daily Mail warns of the many unknown dangers these dinners may have, along with why frozen food may actually be healthier than “fresher” items. Take note of these considerations:

  • “Fresh” food may not be fresh — When it comes to selecting your dinner tray, don’t be fooled by varieties that say “fresh.” This, the article states, is actually misleading as what is considered to be“fresh” by the food manufacturers can differ from what you actually expect. For example, fish can sit on ice for around two weeks and be frozen in transit. These items are then defrosted when they reach their destination and sold as “fresh.” This can explain why chilled foods are more expensive. It is not indicative of their quality; merely that supermarkets want to rid themselves of their stock as soon as possible! Flash frozen food, on the other hand, are found to contain more nutrients and vitamins.
  • Some meals may contain horse meat — Remember that 2013 horse meat scandal? If you’ve forgotten, here’s a quick rundown. That year, several scientists found that some cheap, frozen ready meals contained horse DNA. These meals, marketed as containing beef, were actually made from horses. After this issue was brought to light, most food manufacturers became more discerning with what they placed inside their meals. Their solution? Meat glue. This sounds absolutely delicious — especially because it’s entirely accurate. These mouth-watering concoctions are butchered animal carcasses that are processed into a power and combined with water to make it become bouncy and glutinous.
  • Portion sizes are bigger than before— Studies have shown that our portion sizes have increased in just two decades. This is also reflective on how big our microwave dinners have become. While people can say they are “dieting” by only eating one dinner box, the truth of the matter is, these are still bigger (and unhealthier) than what our grandparents used to eat.
  • Meals contain excessive amounts of sugar — A 2015 study concluded that microwave dinners which were labeled as “finest” or “extra special” contained twice as much saturated fat, salt, and sugar compared to their “basic” counterparts. Additionally, it was found that the Chinese varieties contained almost as much sugar as a can of soda.
  • Meals may contain artificial cheese powder — Most food-manufacturers cost cut by using artificial cheese powder, which is made from whey protein, a by-product of milk. This powder has a shelf life of 18 months, making it far from the healthiest alternative.
  • They may also contain a compound that is found in human hair — The article claims that microwave meals contain the amino acid L-cysteine, a substance, the author of the article notes, “produced from feathers, pig bristles, and even human hair (which, a 2016 study claimed, originates in barber shops and hair salons in China).”
  • Served in a toxic tray, for your convenience — Food that is stored in these plastic, toxic containers for a long time can cause some of the chemicals to leak into the dish, according to the article. One chemical to be wary of is phthalates, which is linked to several health conditions such as infertility, low libido, and lower IQ in infants.

Microwave dinners are truly innovative, but these food items are often stripped of essential nutrients to increase their shelf life. We are consuming massive amounts of empty calories, and worse, exposing ourselves to a variety of health risks. So while the action of “eating” causes “survival,” we are removing ourselves from “life.”

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