“Organic.” “Sustainable.” “Local.” These are terms that often make us feel comforted and provide a haloed seal of approval for the foods we eat, even when those foods include cupcakes and lollypops! Yet a word like “processed,” creates a negative impression even if we’re referring to frozen broccoli.
“Processed” has become a buzzword that food activists love to hate, but most don’t even realize that they eat processed food at just about every meal. According to the International Food Information Council Foundation, a processed food is “any deliberate change in a food that occurs before it’s available for us to eat.” So if you enjoyed a slice of organic whole grain local bread this morning with your breakfast, then you consumed a processed food. If unprocessed, instead of bread, you would have been chewing on a stalk of wheat.
Related: Is Protein Really Better Than Carbohydrates?
Processing, therefore, may create changes impacting and sometimes even enhancing the texture, shape, taste, and temperature of a food. In fact, certain processed foods are healthier than foods found in their natural state. As an example, plain Greek yogurt with added cultures, retains the protein and calcium naturally found in dairy products, and it also includes added good bacteria to help boost your gut function and immune systems. And when tomatoes are canned (cooked) versus fresh, they…