All About Convenience Foods, Are They A Good Purchase, and Good For You?
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All About Convenience Foods, Are They A Good Purchase, and Good For You?

Convenience foods. These are foods that come to us either partly or fully prepared: baked, canned, dehydrated, and frozen. Certainly they are very often a help to the homemaker, but you must pay for this convenience and service. For this reason these foods are relatively the most expensive to buy.

CONVENIENCE FOODS

 These are foods that come to us either partly or fully prepared: baked, canned, dehydrated, and frozen. Certainly they are very often a help to the homemaker, but you must pay for this convenience and service. For this reason these foods are relatively the most expensive to buy.

When the budget is limited in this tough economy, it is not wise to depend on convenience foods to often. However, study them from the point of view of prices, portions and flavors as well as the servings they supply. It will then be simpler to decide which you can afford on your budget and how often they should be purchased.

There is probably not a woman or man on this continent who does not take advantage of one or more of these foods every day of the year. For example, breakfast usually includes one or more of the following: fruit juice-grapefruit, tomato, orange-which someone else has squeezed, from frozen concentrate, carton or dehydrated powder; pancakes from a mix; rolls or coffee cake that just need warming up; and instant coffee.

What about lunch? Canned soups, beans, fish or various kinds, macaroni or spaghetti with sauce are usual items.

Dinner possibilities are too numerous to mention. One can put together a menu composed of favorite convenience foods, or simply put a frozen dinner into the microwave.

Convenience foods are not new. Some of them have been around for years-canned and dehydrated soups; beans; packaged baked cookies, breads and cakes. Today we have foods prepared by the newer methods such as freezing, dehydrating, freeze-drying. These foods resemble freshly prepared ones far more than the older products do, and this has increased the use of such foods tremendously.

Convenience foods save you time. All the preparation, cooking and much of the washing of pots and pans has bee done for you. For example, a beef stew that would take 30 minutes to prepare and perhaps hours to simmer while you watched over it, takes only a few minutes to remove from a can or box and heat in a microwave.

These foods are also easier to carry home from the market, usually less bulky and easier to store. At times this is important. Generally, fresh produce must be purchased in greater quantity than processed foods because of the inedible parts, such as peels and husks.

Some convenience foods are actually cheaper than fresh foods because they are more compact to ship and store and they have a longer shelf life.

Your food budget must strike a balance between time and energy on one hand and money on the other. You will need to compare the time, work and space saved with the time and work you would spend if you made the whole dish or the whole dinner. But you must also compare the quality, quantity and flavor and nutritional value of the prepared food with the food you could cook at home. Perhaps you can afford to use convenience foods for certain occasions, but a diet solely or in large part of these foods would be very dull fare indeed.

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Comments (1)

nice points..I prefer fresh foods but I occasionally buy convenience foods

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