Increased accessibility of ready-to-eat foods threatens health and food culture

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Frozen chicken nuggets, cold pizza, instant ramen are slowly ‘eating’ up our culture and connection

Ready-to-eat foods can be consumed at any time of the day. Any microwavable frozen pre-cooked meals can now replace breakfast, lunch and dinner. Under the influence of the pandemic, people’s lifestyles have shifted from home-cooked foods to ready-to-go food packages. In 2020, nearly 36% of American adults consumed ready-to-eat meals on a daily basis. Yet, this percentage is predicted to continue growing and will eventually reach an additional 4.89% by 2027. Simple food preparations have negatively influenced people to consume less nutritious foods and disconnect individuals from their culture.

While prepackaged foods save time, a lot of those products often come large in proportion, and the nutrients aren’t very even. Corporate Wellness mentions that “… most ready-made meals aren’t properly balanced. They either provide too much starch or none at all, some are far too high in protein and fat, and the majority of them do not contain enough nutrients in the form of vegetables or salad.”

“… these easy food preparations break down individuals’ connection with family and culture. The convenience of microwaving any food has given people more excuses to avoid cooking… [T]he art of cultural foods are slowly dying.””

— Rita Li

These pre-packaged products mostly target young generations. The ready-to-eat food lifestyle overtakes young consumers’ choices as they spend more and more of their income on these products.

In addition, these easy food preparations break down individuals’ connection with family and culture. The convenience of microwaving any food has given people excuses to avoid cooking. Meal times have been shortened, and the art of cultural foods is slowly dying.

Take time to get hands-on cooking experience in order to save money on food products and taste your culture.