Small steps #9 – Avoiding pre-packaged products

How to avoid unhealthy pre-packaged products, such foods in packets, jars, tins etc. How to avoid sauce packets and other products like that.

Supermarket shelf

Supermarket shelf

Packaged products

Most of those are full of chemicals that we can should really not be eating. These days the packaged foods are full of all kinds preservatives, colours, stabilisers and such that were never part of our food supply. This means that our bodies have a hard time digesting these. 
When you want to improve the diet of your family it's better to stay away from all kinds of chemicals that weren't in our food supply until recently. 
Before WW2 most people had a diet in which their foods were made from scratch. People used ingredients to make their foods with. This mean that they started with a tomato for a soup, not tomato powder.
When a tomato is made into powder it goes through a processing process that strips it of nutrients. 
When we these days take a package to make tomato soup it is quick and easy. But back in the day when my grandmother would make tomato soup she would start with a kilo of tomatoes, cook those with home made broth until they would fall apart, strain the seeds and skin out. Add some balls made out of pork of beef mince. Add some vegetables, some salt and pepper and of course, as she was Dutch, vermicelli. And then the soup would be ready. Of course this is much more time consuming than a package, but then again it isn't something you need to constantly be with, so in between you can go about your business. No need to stay with it constantly.

Best gravy ingredients

Best gravy ingredients

Gravy ingredients

Gravy ingredients


Above and below you see the ingredients of gravy and of cheese sauce. Have a look at the ingredient lists. There is stuff in there that I can't pronounce. I have of course had a look at what these things all mean, much of it I'd rather not have in my food. Added MSG and all kinds of chemicals that we didn't have added to our food supply about 70 years ago. 

Cheese sauce Colmans

Cheese Sauce Colmans

Cheese sauce Schwartz

Cheese sauce Schwartz

Ingredients of dry tomato soup

When made to instructions it will contain: Tomatoes (61%), water, sugar, milk proteins, modified starch, potato starch, sunflower oil, salt, basil, flavourings (contains milk) palm oil, glucose syrup, colours - beetroot red, beta-carotene and riboflavin, acid: citric acid, emulsifier - mono- and diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids, stabiliser - diphosphates

I've looked a variety of dried soups, most of the ingredients are fairly similar, just the parts where flavour and colour are concerned are different.
When I look at these ingredients of a package of dry soup I see quite a few that I wouldn't be happy with to feed my family in a soup. I don't see the point of the glucose syrup as that is a sweetener, why? Tomato soup is savoury. Then there is sunflower oil in there. That is not a healthy oil as it has too high an amount of omega 6 in it. Flavouring can be anything, most of the time it's a type of MSG. I'd rather not risk it.
What's next up palm oil. That is likely not sustainable palm oi. Sustainable palm oil is a healthy oil, but when it isn't sustainably produced then it is really bad for the environment and animal welfare.
Citric acid. I don't put lemon juice in my tomato soup, but maybe others do, so I'm not bothered by that one.
Emulsifier. When you see the full name of it: "nono- and diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids", that doesn't sound like food to me. And the same goes for the stabiliser: "diphosphates".

I opt out and make my broth and tomato soup. 

Tomato cup a soup

Tomato cup a soup


Are you still going to use packages for sauces, soups and gravies?

Will you start making your own versions?

Do you need recipes for making your own soups, sauces and gravies?

Do you know where to find those?

Would you like me to make a small ebook containing nourishing recipes for soups, sauces and gravies?

Let me know in the comments.


As I'm running a business I will talk about this bit as well.
If you would like to have an accountability buddy, I'm here for you. I do this for a living, so just let me know whether you would like some coaching, we can talk once a month or twice a month, whatever suits you best. It doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg. You'll have email support as well. Just have a look at what I have to offer. 
Health Coaching might be right up your alley, or Children's nutrition or Teenager nutrition. In case you are starting to introduce food to your baby then Introducing solids could be exactly what you want. 
I have a lot of to offer for mothers and families, have a browse and see what suits you. We can offer you a custom made plan to fit you and your family.

The steps

Go to Introduction to Small Steps

Back to Step 8 or Forward to Step 10

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