We eat more ready meals than any nation in Europe buying 3million per day. In this episode. marketing Execs, whistleblowers and industry insiders spill all on the tricks of the trade and divulge the gruesome truth behind our ready meal addiction.
It’s all about how it looks on the packet. We go behind the lens see how to make a frozen lasagna look like something you might want to eat…using a mini blowtorch, a paintbrush, a pipette, bits of plastic and some watered down wine. Stylist Tom Cockerill turns a flabby bit of pasta into a sumptuous feast …only it’s still frozen in the middle.
Professor Giles Yeo of Cambridge University demonstrates that a vegan chili-con-carne contains the equivalent in sugar of 9 mini chocolate fingers (while the meat one has only 4) and a vegetarian shepherd’s pie contains the salt content of seven bags of salt and vinegar crisps compared to the meat’s five. When it comes to ready meals veggie does not equal healthy.
Most shocking of all, Dr Fadhil demonstrates that the more expensive spag bol may include pancetta and sodium nitrates. This makes it tasty, but when nitrates are heated to a high temp they may turn into nitrosamines which are linked to cancer.
We eat more processed food than any other nation in the world, explains ex-government food advisor, Henry Dimbleby. In our bid to preserve food, we are filling it full of additives that are catastrophic for our health. Frozen ready meals lock in nutrition immediately so may be better for us and have a smaller impact on the environment. With so many stages of production, ready meals produce 40% more emissions than that of a home cooked meal.