This past week I was out and about and got hungry while I was shopping at a big box store. I wasn’t going to be able to get a good meal for a few hours so I found something that looked relatively healthy: a prepackaged pack of carrots, broccoli, dressing, a piece of cheese, and a small jerky stick. Do not get me wrong-this is not great food but I want to tell you about my experience because this is not food! Food is better than this and not everyone knows this.
I want you to guess which item was the best quality and which was the worst before you keep reading.
Now the cheese and jerky had their own ingredient labels and I have to say the list of ingredients was not terrible other than the preservatives. But that is not the texture of real cheese. It was so plastic and chewy-it stuck to my teeth. The jerky was not bad, probably the second best item when it came to taste but with corn syrup, milk, and preservatives in it the jerky just was not what it should have been. There is no need for preservatives in jerky. If it is made correctly all you need is meat and spices. These two items are not generally items that I consider to be healthy, regardless of the quality, but it disappointed me that individuals think they are ‘healthy’ alternatives.
Now the dressing was similar in quality to the jerky in both taste and ingredients. I was impressed that it did not have any preservatives in it but there were a lot of ingredients and soy bean oil which is not ideal for anyone due to the heavy processing that soy goes through which damages the oil. With this oil, the dairy in the dressing, and the dairy of the cheese, this snack pack could easily be quite inflammatory to an individual eating it for its healthy benefits that are encouraged by the vegetables.
Now the vegetables. Baby carrots are often a healthy choice individuals make and the carrots in this package were quite good. Baby carrots are often taken from broken or damaged larger carrots and cut down to make them look like individual carrots. While this processing is not ideal generally it makes the carrots less expensive to purchase so they are more available to individuals with lower income. I only found one slimy carrot in the mix. They were about to go bad and this is common with prepackaged food. Fresh food is better in quality simply because it is fresh. Even fresh looking vegetables can be disguised to look fresh as they did in this package. They could have been worse-this was the best part of this pre-packaged healthy snack pack.
But the worst by far was the broccoli. I love broccoli! This package taught me why people dislike broccoli. I have no clue why happened to this beautiful broccoli. It looked fresh and bright green but the taste was like something had died in my mouth. It clearly had large amounts of preservatives coating it and molds of some sort were hiding in there and breaking it down with out it visually showing. I have learned that it is not your taste buds if you don’t like broccoli; It is the quality of the food you are getting.
For all of these items they looked quite good visually but the taste, ingredients, and actual quality/freshness of these foods was severely lacking upon closer inspection. Take the time to buy good quality food that is fresh and prepare your own take and go healthy snack packs. Even if it looks healthy it may not be the quality you really want unless you educate yourself on what is available.
Jillian Carnrick, founder and manager of The Dancing Herbalist, has a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine, practices as a nutritionist, and is a Certified Personal Trainer and Exercise Is Medicine Professional through the American College of Sports Medicine. The Dancing Herbalist posts on this blog every Thursday. For more of our posts, join us on Patreon. Jillian also presents regular live classes in The Dancing Herbalist’s home herbalist courses online. For more learning opportunities or work one-on-one with Jillian with her wellness and herbal consultations visit The Dancing Herbalist.com.
*The photos in this post do not reflect the product being reviewed