Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Writing on the Wall (or packet)

Was reading the ingredients on the back of a couple of the ketchup sachets. They each had different ones (one well-known brand said 126g tomato to each 100g of the made product - does this mean the tomatoes are reduced down?), the other gave water as its main ingredient followed by sugar syrup then tomato paste instead of 'real tomatoes. Yet this tasted better than the quality one. However different the ingredients to make the ketchup, they both ended up with exactly the same nutritional listing (that are now printed on packs of everything).

Nutritional listings are interesting. However we feel about the difference in flavour between the stores own-brand and a similar branded product, when reading the tin or packet, usually there is no difference in the nutritional value (having checked umpteen different cans of baked beans can vouch for this), so by buying a cheaper product we can still provide the same food value and have more money left in the purse. If we go down that road of "oh, I only like the flavour of so-and-so and will eat no other", then we shouldn't complain if we suddenly find our money has run out. There are times that I feel we eat more like kings - sometimes even better. Just because we want to.

To save money, we need to have a modicum of common-sense. There is just as much protein in the flesh of the cheaper cuts of beef (not including the fat) as there is in the expensive fillet. So why spend more if we don't have to? There are also other sources of animal protein that are not as expensive, and still nutritious but whether we would wish to eat them is another matter.

All parts of an animal (other than the obvious) contain protein, the 'pre-formed' meat products that we all despise must also have some nutritional value which - when processed into edible form - is increased by adding other ingredients. It makes me wonder whether some pet foods contain more nutrition (per 100g) than many of the foods that we buy to eat ourselves. Worth checking labels to find out.

If we lived in the Third World we would not be so fussy about the food we are given to eat, and be glad of finding anything to eat at all. Are we becoming too picky, and believe that all foods we eat should be as organic and 'natural' as possible? Possibly these are 'healthier', but not necessarily. There could be a time of disaster when we could be feverishly gathering snails from the garden to give us some form of protein (they eat these in France so not THAT dreadful a suggestion). Wonder if anyone ate snails during war-time? On reading about those days they seemed to miss a lot of chances to improve their meals.