Beware the factory fluffy food

May 2009

When asked, at the end of an interview on for one piece of advice he’d offer to readers looking to eat ethically, Australian-born philosopher Peter Singer said: “Avoid factory farm products.” We don’t always agree with Professor Singer, but here he’s spot on. Case in point:

We recently received a press release  about “Heinz good stuff frozen vegetable wedgies” which, it informed us, was about: “Getting kids to eat good stuff” because it can be a “real chore”.

These little numbers are made from “a combination of finely chopped vegetables and soft, fluffy potato in a light, crisp crumb packed with goodness.” They come in combinations of chicken or cheese with potato and corn. Aside from the fact that I never knew chicken and cheese were vegetables, I did a quick calculation.

In the supermarket, a pack of wedgies weighs in at 133g and costs $5.59. That works out to just $42 a kilogram. I rang my local greengrocer, Galluzzo & Sons, and asked Damien how much corn was — around $1 a cob, four cobs equal to a bit over one kilogram. And the most expensive potatoes? Kipfler, at $5.99 a kilo. The only vegies up near the $42 mark were habanero chillies ($30). Do your kids — and your pocket — a favour and cook real vegies for them.

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