Want to avoid ultra processed foods?

Cook from scratch!

The media has been abuzz today with new research from France suggesting a link between ultra processed foods and an increased risk of cancer. For now, the study should be treated with a bit of caution; the researchers themselves said their results ‘need to be confirmed by other large-scale studies’. But is it really news to any of us that an ultra processed diet isn’t the healthiest choice?

Riverford has long promoted the joys of cooking from scratch with fresh organic veg, dairy and meat – nourishing food with a wonderful flavour, and no hidden nasties.

What are ultra processed foods?

Michael Pollan put it best: ‘Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognise as food.’

To write a full ultra processed foods list would take a very long time, as they make up so much of what lines supermarket shelves – and 50% of the average UK family’s diet! But broadly speaking, ultra processed foods are made with ingredients you wouldn’t find in your own kitchen: artificial additives, preservatives, flavourings and colourings. They also often contain high levels of sugar, fat and salt. Think crisps, chocolate bars, fizzy drinks, processed meats like chicken nuggets and meatballs, and instant foods such as soups, noodles, and frozen readymeals.

Avoiding ultra processed foods

The easiest and most satisfying way to avoid ultra processed foods is to cook from scratch. You know exactly what goes into your food, can pack every plate with fresh organic veg and other good-for-yous – and a meal always tastes better when it’s made by your own fair hand.

Cooking from scratch is a good start – and choosing organic ingredients is even better. The Soil Association’s organic standards (some of the highest in the world) protect consumers and farmers alike from a number of potentially harmful chemicals. Organic farmers like Riverford never use artificial pesticides or weedkillers on our crops. Certification also strictly prohibits GM crops, hydrogenated fats and controversial artificial colourings and preservatives.

Riverford makes cooking fresh organic meals from scratch easy. Our organic veg boxes are packed with different seasonal varieties every week, plus simple, inspiring recipes to help you make the most of all that good stuff. Don’t have time to plan? Try an organic recipe box, with easy step-by-step recipes and measured quantities of all the 100% organic ingredients you need.

Steering clear of ultra processed foods has never been easier – or tastier.


13 responses to “Want to avoid ultra processed foods?

  1. The term ‘Ultra-Processed Foods’ is far too general and doesn’t actually mean anything. For example, most ‘fresh’ milk these days could be termed Ultra Processed because, as well as pasteurisation, most of it is also standardised and homogenised, and increasingly, it is ‘ultra filtered’ by reverse osmosis. This also means that the cream is separated off, high temperature pasteurised and recombined with the rest of the milk. This also means a it has a very extended shelf life. That fits the criteria in my opinion, and yet, would we encourage people who like dairy not to drink it? Of course not!
    Looking at the report, they have not actually come up with anything significant that wasn’t already in the public domain. I don’t think it deserves much attention.

  2. It’s about time attention is drawn to the dangers of eating ultra processed foods. The government should be held to account for its lack of monitoring what passes as food, and ends up on supermarket shelves. If people need to be re-educated about the importance of eating proper healthy food, then the government should take the initiative and ban cheap unwholesome food, and then reap the reward of having a huge slash in obesity, diabetes,cancer, dementia and other diseases which are linked to a poor diet. To me it’s a no brainer…

  3. The other advantage of not eating processed foods (ultra or otherwise) and cooking from scratch is that you won’t be using palm oil which is an environmental disaster and is added to a high proportion of processed foods.

  4. The report is clearly saying that further studies are needed to clarify the findings, but it should come as no surprise if this were the case. Why would you take the chance of raising your chances of getting cancer, or other diet related illness’s when there is a perfect workaround. People need to regain their control over what they put into their digestive system and not be coerced by food manufacturer’s that what they are providing is suitable for holistic nourishment. I would not give these processed food like products to my dog, let alone to my children or loved ones. The fact their is not enough evidence to support either way tells me to err on the side if caution and not take the risk. If you, your children, your family or friends are not worth cooking from scratch for then there may be an even bigger problem in the mix

  5. Makes sense to eat food as unadulterated as possible but let’s use the science to inform us, still keeping our brains questioning that too.

    • The problem with trusting “science” is it’s well known agri-chemical and big pharma corporations -pay- so-called “researchers” to release “scientific” papers/skew results of studies in their favour.

      Big pharma and agri-chem corporations are in it for the profit only. If giving you cancer is cheaper than not giving you cancer, they’ll happily give you cancer. Hell, they have stocks in the pharma industry so they’ll make more money off you that way anyway.

  6. Very disappointed about the answer from Cancer Research to the French Study that showed what is more than clear. But what would you expect when Cancer Research organises coffee mornings where patients and survivals of cancer eat cakes to celebrate. Sugar and processed sugars “the evil of any cancer patient”!!! They will never invest in the real value of nutritional benefits instead of drugs… (to me, and this is a personal point of view that by no means would like to offend anybody, their love affair with pharmaceuticals says it all)
    Many people think we are bonkers about the way we choose to eat and live, I see that in some members of my own family whom seeing that we are rarely ill and if we were it last a few days instead of an eternity, still do not want to change. There is no “more blind” that the one that does not want to see… Very sad to see that people have hours to waste on their phones, etc. and no time to cook dinner from scratch in order to be healthier.

  7. It’s this simple.

    We evolved eating fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, berries, roots and the occasional meat from successful hunts. That’s how we evolved from Habilis to Erectus to Sapien. That’s natural, it’s what our bodies are designed for.

    We did NOT evolve to eat herbicides, pesticides, artificial chemicals, additives and all the other crap inside processed foods. Our bodies did not adapt over millions of years eating plastic food full of fake crap nuked in a microwave. The human population is literally poisoning its self.

    It’s not just cancer, but there’s an increase in EVERYTHING from mental illness, to hormone imbalances, to personality disorders to genetic defects. Everything ailment is on a huge rise, things that should be rare are becoming commonplace. Our ancestors understood that food wasn’t just nourishment, but natural medicine essential to keeping us healthy. If it’s coming out of a cardboard box from the freezer with a microwave icon on it, it’s safe to say that is NOT natural medicine and does not belong inside you.

    When I went paleo after about 6 weeks I suddenly felt a huge burst of energy and life I could just feel healthier and happier from the second I woke up with a new spring in my step.

  8. The ready meal industry is creating big profits for supermarkets,with minimal nutritional value. Very sad that we have reached a point where 20 mins to do a healthy stir-fry-or leave a good stew in a slo-cooker is seen as un-do-able by many. Riverford recipes are easy to follow and can be adapted to suit. Thankyou for ALL you do.
    Customer of 730 plus boxes!

  9. I read labels religiously,even on the ever-increasing ranges of new, patronisingly funky, pre-packed “healthy” products creeping on to supermarket shelves & labelled “organic”. Surprising how much refined sugartgese products are loaded with, as well as dodgy fats like palm oil or rancid seed oils. My pet hate is honey sold as “organic” in small amounts at eye-watering prices. What does “organic” mean in the case of honey? Is honeycombe the only true raw honey ( healthuest form of honey) & not the creamed varieties? So confusing & shabby labelling confuses or chheats customers. We really ned more tesponsible labelling & certification of genuine organic products. Not all of us, especially health-conscious students can afford to buy weekly from independent producers. I’m beginning to agree with an American friend who, years ago held that “organic” was just another route to sell food for higher prices to walthier classes.

  10. Only shop round the outside aisles of the supermarket = fresh veg, fruit, meat etc. Leave the sugar trap middle aisles alone. Or shop from reliable sources like Riverford!

  11. The leather covered strering wheel onmy 2000 Dodge Neon ES is still is new condition after over 148,000 miles of driving. I do clean and condition it twice a year with a leather cleaner/conditioner. If you take care of it, it should last a long time. Also, my Neon was garaged so that helps too. 🙂


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