Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How Antioxidants can SAVE you MONEY on Your Food Bill

Special thanks to The Motherhood for partnering with FREEISMYLIFE to sponsor this post.  All opinions are my own. #AntioxidantFacts 

My son's new found appetite has enlarged my food budget...
Antioxidants help to keep your hard earned groceries from spoiling too soon, especially if you buy in bulk...

I have often talked on this blog about my picky eating son, but I don't think I ever mentioned that when he was a baby, my son often would refuse to eat. He would drive me crazy because he could go days without eating a thing. When I mentioned the situation to my son's doctor, she said to stop worrying and that my son would eventually eat. The doctor was right, but it took years for my son to start to love food, which you would never know from the way he puts down large quantities of food products now :)

As my son's taste and appetite for food has evolved, so has the size of my food bill.

Most things in my refrigerator and pantry are eaten, but definitely not everything. Wasting money on food that spoils is something that I think most people want to avoid.

So I was intrigued when The Motherhood invited me along with other moms to a briefing sponsored by ConAgra Foods about how food makers use antioxidants to aid in food waste reduction. I have partnered with The Motherhood many times over the years on other food related topics relating to how store-brand foods can have the same taste as the national brands for less money, so I was very interested to get the facts on how antioxidants help to keep foods from spoiling, and more money in my pocket.

During the briefing, I tweeted out a few FOOD FACTS to help me remember what I learned. Here are a few of my tweets -

Growing up, my parents did not have a lot of money so they grew all of the food that my family would eat. We had two gardens in our backyard where my parents grew collard greens, tomatoes, black-eyed peas, lima beans, and green beans, which were along side a huge pear tree. I remembered my parents picking the beans, vegetables, and fruits and then my mother would freeze and can most of the harvest to use over the entire year, which saved them tons of money on their food bill.

Since most people don't grow their food supply anymore, including my aging parents, we now expect the foods that we buy to stay fresh for as long as possible -especially if we buy food in bulk to save money. So food makers add antioxidants to foods that contain fats and oils - like microwaved popcorn, cookies, and cereals - to help slow spoilage.

When possible, food makers will add natural antioxidants, like Vitamin E and Vitamin C to foods to slow down spoilage. These are the same vitamins that we use in our own bodies as antioxidants to slow down the aging process.

But sometimes natural antioxidants like Vitamin C can makes foods taste strange when it is added as an antioxidant. So food makers at times will add man-made antioxidants (which have been used for over 60 years) like BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene, which is made from sources like pine oil) and TBHQ (teriary-butylhydroquinone) to foods because these antioxidants are tasteless and colorless.

Food markers like ConAgra Foods will choose certain preservative ingredients (natural antioxidants and/or man-made antioxidants) based on what they know will deliver the best flavor, while keeping foods safe and fresh.

To help simplify all the information from the briefing, ConAgra Foods shared a link to a video entitled "Mental Floss: 6 Facts About Preservatives” which I have added below:

Overall, what I took away from the briefing is that, unless we go back to growing, canning and freezing our food supply like my parents did, adding antioxidants in foods is how food makers keep our hard earned groceries from spoiling too soon.

But like any good consumer, reading food labels and doing research is key to making sure we understand what is in our foods and what is safe for our consumption.


Follow FREEISMYLIFE on Facebook
blog comments powered by Disqus