March 20, 2017
Drastic reduction of legumes in mediterranean countries
In the decade of 1960, every Mediterranean citizen used to eat about 44 pounds of legumes every year. Today, this quantity is about 7 pounds. The reason is the lack of time to prepare and cook them. They have been replaced by different types of fast food and processed foodstuffs.
Many of the products that Mediterranean people consume today are not particularly healthy. The weaker health regulations of these countries are converting them in real heavens for the food industry, a powerful sector with strong restrictions in more advanced health prevention countries.
A solution can be found in the so called “Range V foods”. The meaning of this expression is explained below.
It has been studied that the two people drives of today’s informed consumers are health and user-friendliness. For this purpose, food has been classified in six different types:
Range I. Fresh food as it comes from the origin. Except for fruits, they are difficult to handle. In general, they are extremely healthy.
Range II. It consists of conserved and semi-conserved foods, as tinned pineapple, etc. They are easy to handle but less healthy. They can be used occasionally, but not every day. Nevertheless, you can find excellent products in this range.
Range III. They are frozen products. They normally are raw and healthy, but are also difficult to handle.
Range IV. They are generally fresh fruit and vegetable foods, clean, sliced and free from inedible parts. They are kept inside a flexible plastic transparent bag. Consumers should check, before purchasing these products, that there are no air pockets in vacuum packing. In some cases, they are refrigerated. They can be considered healthy but have to be cooked.
Range V. They are modern prepared dishes, ready to eat after a short period of regeneration (normally heating). Their characteristics are to have been submitted to thermal treatment and kept in a controlled atmosphere. They are or should be free of preserves and additives. They are supposed to be healthy and are especially handy. It is commonly accepted that the Range V food represents the future.
The cons are that the price is higher than the rest of food types and that people have to develop an ability to choose the right ones in content, health safety and properties.
Range VI. This last section contains textured and irradiated food. They probably will be discontinued as the idea has been a complete failure. The process changes the color, taste, smell and texture of the food.