Beware the factory fluffy food

May 2009

When asked, at the end of an interview on Salon.com 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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