Yep, I actually ate a microwave burger in my mission to examine the hidden costs of our obsession with ready meals

convenience food is huge in the UK. From frozen pizza to microwave ridicule dinners, british consumers just can ’ triiodothyronine get adequate. It seems throwing a ready meal in the shop streetcar is the easiest suffice for a fortune of people – so many people that the industry is worth $ 3bn in the UK each year, a figure that ’ s set to grow another 20 % by 2017 .
The catch ? Well, these foods have batch of hidden costs. So I thought I ’ d test a few to find out precisely what they are. First up, Chicken Tikka Masala
A Chicken tikka masala ready meal
We ’ ve all been told that fix meals are unhealthy and full of chemicals. Yeah, yeah, we know. But the list of ingredients in this one doesn ’ metric ton look thus bad at first glance. But take a closer look, and it ’ s a long manner from home cook.

The one I bought was made with rapeseed, palm and soy oils – about only always found in processed food because they ’ ra brassy. These oils are besides truly bad for you. Oh, and palm oil product is risking the future of our rainforests .
The chief component, chicken, came all the direction from Thailand. Is Thai chicken somehow beneficial ? credibly not. It ’ mho precisely frequently cheaper for companies to bulk-buy ingredients from poorer countries, where wages are lower – even with the monetary value of then. Unsurprisingly, all that long-distance change of location, freezing and storage in huge warehouses can suck the season ( and nutrients ) right out of food. And that ’ s where all that cover girl salt, a favorite condiment for processed food producers, comes in .
I don ’ metric ton know about you but I ‘m not certain how I feel about eating food that ’ sulfur clocked up more publicize miles than I have. even when it ‘s been coated in some nice, reassuring box for the health-conscious shopper .
A sausage and mash ready meal
A sausage and mash ready meal The Sausage & Mash I picked up was low in fat and had no artificial colors or flavors. What more do you want ?
trouble oneself is, the stuff they use to replace fat with – like boodle, for example – might be even worse for you, and wo n’t inevitably help you lose weight either. Plus, the calorie reckon is broken because the share size tends to be relatively modest. seriously, an hour after eating this kind of thing you ’ ll probably be reaching for a sandwich .
And don ’ metric ton think besides hard about precisely what ’ south in those sausages. Although it can ’ t be adenine badly as this…
A microwave burger
Everyone knows that microwaving a burger is affected and improper but you can buy them everywhere ! Mine cost £1 ( $ 1.3 ) !

There are laws about how much actual kernel has to be in a burger if manufacturers want to call it a burger. This one is 85 % beef – reassuringly well over the ‘ standard gripe hamburger ’ restrict of 62 % – thus actually, not besides badly .
But it gets worse if you buy ‘ economy ’ beef burgers ( nothing to do with this publication ), which only have to contain a measly 47 % gripe. In this particular burger, it ’ s the other ingredients I found more worry. The long number includes such kitchen cupboard staples as dextrose, triphosphate, smoke season, potassium sorbate and modified maize starch. cover girl. And no, I have no idea what those things are either .
And then there ’ s the classical frozen pizza
After a long day at the position or a hanker nox at the public house ( or both ), it ’ randomness always there for you, like an old supporter. Yum .
A pizza
A pizza actually, I went for a ‘chilled pizza’, because it ‘s got to be healthier than freeze one, right ?
actually, not inevitably. Either way, I suspect I ’ d probably get more vitamins and nutrients by eating the cardboard box it came in. Although, all that packaging creates a mountain of consume. In fact, the UK ’ s sleep together of appliance food is making it one of the worst countries in Europe for sending barren to landfill .
But a long as everyone ’ s short on time, convenience foods will keep flying off the supermarket shelves. They ’ ra merely so, well… convenient. And for the manufacturers, it makes economic feel to meet the demand for salty, fatso, plastic-wrapped food like this, because people buy lots of it, all the time.

Plus, processed, packaged food tends to have higher. A company makes more money out of a dim-witted food like corn, for model, when it ’ sulfur processed and sold as a brand grain. The industry calls this ‘ adding respect ’. But is that value for them or for us ? I ’ ll leave you to ponder that interview the future time you ’ re tucking into your microwave Doner Kebab or Full English Breakfast from a can !

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