You know I love food, and I do my best to make sure that what we’re eating is as healthy as possible as often as possible. That’s part of why I cook from scratch so often. When I’m not cooking from scratch, I’m one of the 35% of people who always read ingredient labels when buying food, though only half of us do so to ensure food is clean.
Why don’t more people read ingredient lists? Forty-one percent of people say they don’t have time (oh, please make time; this is important!) while 20% say they don’t understand the ingredient list. And so they give up because it’s just too hard – and it seems like every food out there is filled with ingredients we shouldn’t eat anyway.
Good Food Made Simple is working to change that. Eighty-seven percent of Americans state that clean food products are important to them. Want to know more about the ingredients in your food? Check out their Eat Clean page that includes not just a list of what ingredients to avoid but also a dictionary of food ingredients and what they really mean.
It isn’t easy. I’m lucky that I like to cook and am comfortable cooking and baking most of what we eat, but I can’t and don’t do everything. With kids, it’s even harder. The wee ones are good eaters, and they’re far less picky than many children, but when they’re at playdates or scout activities or the like – especially birthday parties – the food is definitely not what we normally eat. And for me, that’s ok. We know it’s a once in awhile thing. We can’t police everything they do and say.
But when I’m in charge of the buying and eating? You can bet that I’m going as clean as possible. That’s why I tend to shop the perimeter of the store buying primarily whole foods. I know my standards are high. Oatmeal? Instant oatmeal to me means the oats and milk I put into a saucepan and heat in the morning for the wee ones. It takes five minutes, and thirty seconds of that is prep; the rest is time I can spend doing other morning chores.
Instant oatmeal in the store is just not the same. I add dried fruit or a little brown sugar for different flavors. Instant oatmeal packets? The oats are practically dust. Fifty percent of people expect additives or preservatives in their instant oatmeal, things like calcium carbonate, guar gum, caramel color, and vitamin A palminate. Do you? Why should there be ingredients like this? It isn’t necessary, and they’re affecting our health.
Research is showing the impact of these ingredients on our health. There are links now between artificial colors and cancer. Transfats have been banned in many places are are now highlighted in nutritional information because of the coronary disease they have been shown to cause. Vanillin? It’s a petroleum byproduct. The list goes on and on, and many ingredients we just don’t know enough about yet. Personally, I would much rather be on the safe side and avoid these ingredients than risk it.
Good Food Made Simple agrees. They are nationwide food company that promises to use only ingredients we know and can pronounce. They have no artificial or chemical preservatives or additives. There are no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. And there are no hydrogenated oils. That’s the kind of prepared food I want to eat.
Lucky me, I was sent some of their products to test out, and they were delicious. The products come frozen, which means they’re fresh and don’t need icky preservatives. Good Food Made Simple started out making breakfast foods after looking around and seeing breakfast options of frozen pancakes and frozen waffles everywhere. Good Food Made Simple created a steel cut oatmeal that start with just a few ingredients – water, the steel cut oats, and salt. That’s all oatmeal should have in my book. The two flavored version – Vermont Maple Syrup and Fruit and Berries have just a few more ingredients, but all ones I know and can pronounce.
The breakfast burritos are the same way. I love the different varieties – both with whole eggs and egg white versions. The meats have no nitrates, and the veggie are delicious. They are perfectly seasoned and ready in just a couple minutes in the microwave. My favorite was the potato and veggies breakfast burrito – which means that yes, there are also breakfast burritos available for vegetarians.
Want to make your own breakfast? I don’t know how Good Food Made Simple did it – because I can’t – but they made the perfect egg patties and froze them. It’s perfect for an egg sandwich on an English muffin or making your own burrito or just eating with a couple tomatoes and some avocado on top, which is Little Miss’s favorite.
We also tested out the macaroni and cheese. I’ll admit that I was very leery of the idea of frozen macaroni and cheese. Cooked pasta shouldn’t be frozen, but it worked beautifully. The kids mac and cheese was tasty, and the pasta actually turned out just fine. I loved the sauce myself, and the pepper jack mac and cheese was pretty tasty, too.
Good Food Made Simple has continued to branch out with breakfast bowls and now entree wraps. Meatball marinara sounds so perfect right now as I’m getting a little hungry but don’t want to make a meal just for myself. Buffalo style chicken or chicken and black bean? Yum. There are 12 different varieties available, and I want them all. I can’t wait to see what Good Food Made Simple comes out with next.
I love their philosophy of eating clean and making it easy to do. They are right with me on waste, as well. Most frozen foods have so much packaging, and you’re supposed to cook your food in the plastic tray it comes in. I am not super comfortable cooking in plastic, and these foods instead have you remove the tight plastic packaging and cook in your own bowl. This reduces waste because the plastic wrap doesn’t take much room, and I’m cooking in a dish that I feel comfortable heating in the microwave. Double score!
Want to learn more? Head over to the Eat Clean, Eat Simple website from Good Food Made Simple. There is a weekly food myth (this week talks about the eggs and cholesterol) as well as information on food ingredients. Right now, there is also a an ingredient quiz. Take it to learn about the foods in our stores, and you can enter to win a $500 super market sweep. You can also follow Good Food Made Simple on Twitter and like them on Facebook to stay connected.
All stats came from a survey conducted by Good Food Made Simple.