April 8, 2010

Way More Packaged Than Fresh

Not suprising, I guess, but disturbing: last week a New York Times article noted that Americans eat 31 % more packaged food than fresh food. Shockingly too [not], we consume more packaged food per person than people just about anywhere else.

This means two big problems: First, of course, all that packaged food means a crazy amount of packaging. Outside, probably a box. Maybe even a layer of shrink-wrappingoutside the box. Inside, a plastic container, most likely itself wrapped inside another plastic bag. And the whole thing probably ready to be microwaved. Mmmmmmmm, leached plastic.

A second concern, of course, is that the contents of that packaged "food" itself tends to be more plastic than organic. Sure, you can buy Amy's Kitchen and Cascadian Farms, but odds are what we are really eating is more along the lines of the Totino's "pizza rolls" that we popped in the oven for lunch last week, which feature delicious ingredients like Calcium Chloride, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Modified Cornstarch and Methylcellulose.

If you get the pepperoni ones (we resisited), you get a bonus dose of Titanium Dioxide, included for "color."

Alarmingly, I saw this on the FAQ section of Pillsbury's website:

Q: I accidentally let my pizza snacks thaw. Can I still eat them?
A: We do not recommend using any product that has been thawed at room temperature. If the pizza snacks have thawed in a refrigerator, you should refreeze them immediately and cook within 24 hours. However, the quality of the pizza snacks may be affected.

Ok, putting aside the question of who is this fictional "Totino" baking -- nay, assembling, these pizza rolls, HOW CREEPY IS IT that Pillsbury warns you against eating their food if it has thawed? Also, notice that they don't even bother to call it "food" -- they tell you not to "use" their "product."

Forgo your pizza rolls, America! Eat Fresh!