Skip to main content

Sponsored Content

Understanding Processed Foods

Apr 20, 2015 04:40AM, Published by Family Features, Categories: Family Features Food, Family Features




With all the noise about foods you should or shouldn’t feed your family, it can be difficult to make a confident decision while perusing those grocery store aisles.

One type in particular – processed food – is often vilified in today’s food environment, but that shouldn’t necessarily be the case. Processing foods can have benefits to improve food’s shelf-life, reduce food waste, conserve resources and provide healthier and safer food for families everywhere.

“Defining processed foods has been challenging,” says Connie Weaver, Ph.D. and distinguished professor in Nutrition Science at Purdue University, who works to improve the communication and translation of health studies to the general public. “A common definition is essential so everyone can talk together and have a more meaningful conversation about processed foods.”

From a scientific standpoint, processed foods can include common kitchen staples such as bread, cheese, wine and yogurt. “To a scientist, processing is how many steps the manufacturer of the food requires to transform it from the raw materials into the food you eat,” Weaver explains.

Yet, people often misunderstand processed foods as those with empty calories or junk foods laden with sodium, fat and sugar. For consumers, it’s really not about the degree of processing; it’s about nutrient density or the formula of the food.

Advantages of processed foods
The nutritional value of processed foods depends on the formula or recipe, according to Weaver. Processing steps can be used to improve the nutrient content of a food. For example, manufacturers are reducing sugar, sodium and fat to improve the health of some foods, and adding or devising formulas for foods that have nutrients that people need more of, such as dietary fiber, vitamin D, calcium and potassium.

Some of the most important nutritional deficiencies in the world have been resolved because foods have been enriched and fortified with nutrients. For example, adding iodine to salt cured goiter, an enlarged growth in the throat caused by iodine deficiency. Similarly, adding vitamin D to milk in the United States has cured rickets, the bowing of legs in children due to deficiency. More recently, medical foods for people with diseases who can’t tolerate the risk of bacteria or infection rely exclusively on processed foods.

Soy beverages are another example of processed food. Weaver’s research team at Purdue University studied calcium absorption from a soy beverage enriched with calcium and found it just as bioavailable, or absorbable, as cow’s milk. That caused the U.S. Department Agriculture to allow calcium-fortified soy beverages in school lunch and breakfast programs as an alternative to milk.

Before eliminating processed foods from your family’s diet, it’s important to understand the true definition, as well as the many associated benefits, Weaver advises. Processed foods enable us to have safe, nutritious and affordable food available year-round. Additionally, to feed the world, every method will need to be considered, including processing, to feed the masses and reduce waste.

Consumers interested in learning more about food can visit www.bestfoodfacts.org, which houses information from more than 170 university-based experts and registered dietitians.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (woman shopping)

Sponsored by Center for Food Integrity


Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Around Concord's free newsletter to catch every headline



Family Features Family Features Food


  • Jazz in January

    01/20/2017
    08:00AM

    Join fellow jazz lovers for the Musicians of Wall Street Jazz Ensemble’s annual cabaret concert.


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    01/20/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    01/20/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Guided Gallery Tours

    01/20/2017
    12:00PM — 01:00PM

    Enjoy a guided tour of the New Hampshire Historical Society's historic Park Street building and e...


  • Exhibit: Art and Bloom

    01/20/2017
    05:30PM — 07:30PM

    Exhibit: Art and Bloom


  • The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Discovering New Hampshire

    01/24/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    01/24/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    01/25/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    01/25/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Decades Rewind

    01/25/2017
    07:30PM

    Take a trip down melody lane with Decades Rewind, featuring over 60 songs effortlessly blended in...


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    01/26/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    01/26/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Jazz in January

    01/20/2017
    08:00AM

    Join fellow jazz lovers for the Musicians of Wall Street Jazz Ensemble’s annual cabaret concert.


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    01/20/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    01/20/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Guided Gallery Tours

    01/20/2017
    12:00PM — 01:00PM

    Enjoy a guided tour of the New Hampshire Historical Society's historic Park Street building and e...


  • Exhibit: Art and Bloom

    01/20/2017
    05:30PM — 07:30PM

    Exhibit: Art and Bloom


  • The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    01/21/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    01/21/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Exhibit: Art and Bloom

    01/21/2017
    05:30PM — 07:30PM

    Exhibit: Art and Bloom


  • The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged


  • Setting the Standard

    01/23/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • The MET Live in HD: Roméo et Juliette


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    01/24/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    01/24/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    01/25/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    01/25/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Decades Rewind

    01/25/2017
    07:30PM

    Take a trip down melody lane with Decades Rewind, featuring over 60 songs effortlessly blended in...


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    01/26/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    01/26/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    01/27/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    01/27/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Greg Boggis Presents

    01/27/2017
    07:30PM — 09:30PM

    BOSTON COMEDIAN STEVE BJORK RETURNS TO THE HATBOX THEATRE ON FRIDAY JANUARY 27TH AT 7:30 PM. Ste...


  • Mostly Mozart: A Festival of Music and Theatre


  • Greg Boggis Presents . . .

    01/27/2017
    07:30PM

    Producer and host Greg Boggis has been a staple of the New England comedy scene for over 20 years...


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    01/28/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    01/28/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Mostly Mozart: A Festival of Music and Theatre


  • Mostly Mozart: A Festival of Music and Theatre


  • Setting the Standard

    01/30/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    01/31/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    01/31/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Exhibit: Love, Lust and Desire

    01/31/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Exhibit: Love, Lust and Desire


  • State Ballet Theatre of Russia: Cinderella


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    02/01/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    02/01/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Exhibit: Love, Lust and Desire

    02/01/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Exhibit: Love, Lust and Desire


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    02/02/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    02/02/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Exhibit: Love, Lust and Desire

    02/02/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Exhibit: Love, Lust and Desire


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    02/03/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    02/03/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Exhibit: Love, Lust and Desire

    02/03/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Exhibit: Love, Lust and Desire


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    02/04/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    02/04/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Exhibit: Love, Lust and Desire

    02/04/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Exhibit: Love, Lust and Desire


  • Setting the Standard

    02/06/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    02/07/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    02/07/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Exhibit: Love, Lust and Desire

    02/07/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Exhibit: Love, Lust and Desire


  • Inspired by "The Moth" series, audience members will put their name in a hat and will be called u...


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    02/08/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    02/08/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Exhibit: Love, Lust and Desire

    02/08/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Exhibit: Love, Lust and Desire


  • Story Pirates

    02/08/2017
    10:00AM

    Story Pirates


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    02/09/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    02/09/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Exhibit: Love, Lust and Desire

    02/09/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Exhibit: Love, Lust and Desire


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    02/10/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    02/10/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Exhibit: Love, Lust and Desire

    02/10/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Exhibit: Love, Lust and Desire


  • Noises Off

    02/10/2017
    07:30PM — 10:30PM

    Noises Off, an iconic farce and quite possibly one of the funniest shows ever written, follows a ...


  • Noises Off!

    02/10/2017
    07:30PM

    FUNNY!! FUNNY!! FUNNY!! Noises Off! is quite simply one of the funniest plays ever written! A s...


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    02/11/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    02/11/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Exhibit: Love, Lust and Desire

    02/11/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Exhibit: Love, Lust and Desire


  • Best-selling, award-winning children’s musician Laurie Berkner has been a longtime fixture on TV’...


  • Guided Gallery Tours

    02/11/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Please note that there are two tours, one starts at 2:00 p.m. and the other starts at 3:00 p.m. E...


  • Noises Off!

    02/11/2017
    07:30PM

    FUNNY!! FUNNY!! FUNNY!! Noises Off! is quite simply one of the funniest plays ever written! A s...


  • Noises Off!

    02/12/2017
    02:00PM

    FUNNY!! FUNNY!! FUNNY!! Noises Off! is quite simply one of the funniest plays ever written! A s...


  • Setting the Standard

    02/13/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    02/14/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    02/14/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Exhibit: Love, Lust and Desire

    02/14/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Exhibit: Love, Lust and Desire


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    02/15/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    02/15/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    02/16/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    02/16/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Greg Boggis Presents . . .

    02/16/2017
    07:30PM

    Producer and host Greg Boggis has been a staple of the New England comedy scene for over 20 years...


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    02/17/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    02/17/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Guided Gallery Tours

    02/17/2017
    12:00PM — 01:00PM

    Enjoy a guided tour of the New Hampshire Historical Society's historic Park Street building and e...


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    02/18/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    02/18/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Auditions, Other Desert Cities

    02/19/2017
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    Auditions for the drama, Other Desert Cities, will be held on Sunday and Monday, February 19 and ...


  • Setting the Standard

    02/20/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Auditions, Other Desert Cities

    02/20/2017
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    Auditions for the drama, Other Desert Cities, will be held on Sunday and Monday, February 19 and ...


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    02/21/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    02/21/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Exhibit: Valerie Hird

    02/21/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Exhibit: Valerie Hird


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    02/22/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    02/22/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Exhibit: Valerie Hird

    02/22/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Exhibit: Valerie Hird


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    02/23/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    02/23/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Exhibit: Valerie Hird

    02/23/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Exhibit: Valerie Hird


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    02/24/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    02/24/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Exhibit: Valerie Hird

    02/24/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Exhibit: Valerie Hird


  • Ray of Light

    02/24/2017
    07:30PM

    Ray of Light


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    02/25/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    02/25/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Exhibit: Valerie Hird

    02/25/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Exhibit: Valerie Hird


  • The MET Live in HD: Rusalka

    02/25/2017
    07:00PM

    The MET Live in HD: Rusalka


  • Ray of Light

    02/25/2017
    07:30PM

    Ray of Light


  • Ray of Light

    02/26/2017
    02:00PM

    Ray of Light


  • Setting the Standard

    02/27/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    02/28/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    02/28/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Exhibit: Valerie Hird

    02/28/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Exhibit: Valerie Hird


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    03/01/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    03/01/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Exhibit: Valerie Hird

    03/01/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Exhibit: Valerie Hird


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    03/02/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    03/02/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Exhibit: Valerie Hird

    03/02/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Exhibit: Valerie Hird


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    03/03/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    03/03/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Exhibit: Valerie Hird

    03/03/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Exhibit: Valerie Hird


  • Discovering New Hampshire

    03/04/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshi...


  • Setting the Standard

    03/04/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


  • Exhibit: Valerie Hird

    03/04/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Exhibit: Valerie Hird


  • Setting the Standard

    03/06/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to present Setting the Standard, a multi-media, fine craft ...


 

 

 

Weekly Recipes