This month we’ve been cleaning up our diets, we’ve joined Matthew’s vegetarian club and i’ve been making more of an effort to feed everyone more natural food and ditch the processed stuff where possible. So it was brilliant timing when Organix got in touch to ask me get on board with their No Junk Journey campaign.
What is the Organix No Junk Journey?
The brand is concerned about the impact engineered food is having on our children’s abilities to taste ‘real’ food, so they commissioned some research. It found that because of the need for convenience, our kids are eating foods that are getting further and further away from the real thing. For example, chicken that’s made into nuggets, this means there’s no concept of bones or skin and kids who love strawberry ‘flavoured’ yoghurts but would turn their nose up at the actual fruit.
The report also found that food labelling is misleading with things being billed as ‘natural’, ‘no added sugar’ and ‘real fruit’, but when you take a look at the long winding list of baffling ingredients such claims are far from the truth.
Personally I think it’s unsettling that children’s taste perceptions are being skewed by engineered foods and that they won’t grow up with a true appreciation of what foods in their most natural form actually taste like.
‘Food companies have got to be more transparent’
I’m all about balance and while I don’t feel comfortable denying my kids sweet treats or demonising convenience foods, I don’t want them to have a diet full of rubbish either.
Where possible I like to give the boys real food that i’ve made myself and can hand on heart say I know what’s in it. But when I need to reach for packets out of the freezer, which let’s be real we all do when we’re having a busy time of it, I would also like to be able to look at the ingredients list and be able to identify everything that’s there. Often the ingredients sound like something out of a science experiment.
It’s all very well if you can afford to shop for high quality organically produced food items, but what about those of us living on a budget who rely on cheaper frozen products? Food companies have got to be more transparent about what they’re selling to consumers and not dress it up as ‘natural’ and ‘real’ if it’s not. They’re making the products that our children are eating, so they need to take more responsibility for that. As parents we should be able to trust them.
Of course we could all try and make our own chicken nuggets and fish fingers from scratch, using real ingredients and no junk. But who’s got time to do that every night? For this reason I’m whole-heartedly supporting the Organix campaign.
What to avoid
What do YOU think about all of this?
How much attention do you pay to food labelling? Do your kids prefer processed ‘fruity’ products to the real thing? Would they be grossed out by a chicken drumstick and opt for a more sanitised chicken nugget? I’d love to hear your views!
Also, i’d love to see any offending labels you’ve got lurking in the freezer/fridge/cupboards. Do you have products claiming to be ‘natural’ or containing ‘real fruit’ or ‘no added sugar’? Take a picture of the ingredients list and then share it with us on twitter using #OrganixTaste and tag me @cookingkt. I’m going to be taking a trip around my local supermarket today to see if I can find some BAD examples…
But on the upside I found a GOOD example of a more responsible approach to food labelling from Dorset Cereals on a pack of their Simply Oat Granola. The list starts off very clear, but then this appears: ‘antioxidant: natural tocopherol’. Like what is that?! Well as you can see in the picture below they bother to explain it. In my opinion all the big food companies should be moving in this direction
Disclosure: This is the first in a series of partnered posts i’m working on with Organix, as it’s an issue I feel strongly about and want to share with you here on my blog.