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'less bad' convenience foods.....

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......food items I have found at our grocery store. remember these are some of the better options I have found at the grocery as far as convenience foods go.  Ideally of course we would all eat whole organic food prepared at home and raised by ourselves or locals for both our health, economics and some other more abstract ideals. but realistically many people for whatever reason won't exclusively eat that way or can only do that for a portion of their diet and the options IMO should be narrowed down to the healthiest in that case. ie....if your going to eat frozen pizza from the case at your grocery.....which is the best one as far as health goes? if you have found something please add to the list!

  Skippys natural creamy peanut butter -  ingredients: roasted peanuts, sugar, palm oil, salt. Its nice to see real sugar and palm oil rather then hfcs and hydrogenated oils. It is smooth not grainy  and not greasy and not as seperated like some of the other “natural” peanut butters and is acceptable to the kid crowd..

Dinty moore beef stew- ingredients : beef gravy (water, beef, tomatoes, modified cornstarch, salt, potato starch, caramel color, *flavoring) beef, potatoes, carrots, salt.
I can feed this to my DH with a slice of cornbread and he is happy. Not bad for poured out of a can!!

Tony Chachere’s original creole seasoning (no MSG). : salt, red pepper and *other spices, garlic, silicon dioxide (to prevent caking.)
I admittedly use this on just about everything!!

John Morrell polish sausage- ingredients : Separated Chicken, Pork, Water, Corn Syrup, Pork Hearts And Beef Hearts, Contains 2% Or Less Of Modified Food Starch, Salt, Flavoring, Potassium Lactate, Sodium Lactate, Dextrose, Beef, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein ( ewwee), Sodium Phosphates, Sodium Diacetate, Sugar, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite. Contains Soy.  This certainly isn’t exactly a health food, I consider it an occasional treat, especially because I have to go to the big city grocery two hours away to get it. But at least it doesn’t have MSG directly added which I can’t say about any of the other brands I can find locally. They also make the only cocktail wieners I can find without MSG directly added. I actually like this brand of sausage much better then the other more popular brands and I don’t get an excruciating headache from it.   

J.C. potter breakfast sausage –  Pork (Including Hams, Shoulders, Loins, and Tenderloins), Water, Salt, Natural Spices, Sugar. The label states no MSG or preservatives! and its tasty. Not just for breakfast either. Great browned and mixed with black eyed peas and green chilis for a very hearty simple evening meal. 

Tombstone extra cheese pizza - Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese (Part Skim Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Wheat Flour, Water, Tomato Paste, Vegetable Oil (Corn Oil Or Soybean Oil), Contains Less Than 2% of Sugar, Salt, Yeast, Spice, Garlic. This is one of the cheaper pizzas. The fancy ones come with “fancy” ingredients including partially hydrogenated oils and misc. unidentified stuff. The ingredients are pretty basic. What I would use to make a pizza from scratch at home except I would change the oils. It’s still frozen pizza, but its edible. Kid and husband friendly is its biggest asset for me..

Wheat thins flatbread garlic and parsley flavored crackers – ingredients : UNBLEACHED ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), WHOLE GRAIN WHEAT FLOUR, HIGH OLEIC CANOLA OIL, SUGAR, CORNSTARCH, BROWN RICE SYRUP, POTATO STARCH, DEFATTED WHEAT GERM, SALT, MALTED BARLEY FLAKES, WHOLE GRAIN MILLET, WHOLE GRAIN RYE, WHOLE GRAIN TRITICALE, DRIED GARLIC, GARLIC POWDER, VEGETABLE COLOR (ANNATTO EXTRACT, TURMERIC OLEORESIN), NATURAL FLAVOR* Wow! A flavored cracker with No partially hydrogenated oil, HFCS or MSG. and they taste good! You can actually taste the garlic. My biggest beef is that they stick to your teeth…….. that’s just a cracker thing though.

Country crock spreadable butter -  Butter (Cream, Salt), Canola Oil, Buttermilk, Water, Salt, Vitamin A (Palmitate). It isn’t really as “spreadable” as it says but softens very quickly. Nice basic ingredients. Everyone in my household likes it best for on bread, toast etc…. and it is way better then the “healthy spreads” and margarines in taste and health imo. It actually tastes like butter and not something you would find pumped out onto movie popcorn. Bleche. 

Ghirardelli double chocolate brownie mix – ingredients: sugar, enriched bleach flour, chocolate chips (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, soy lecithin ( ) vanilla (yes, real vanilla not “vanillan”  ) canola or soybean oil, natural cocoa, cocoa (processed with alkali) wheat starch, salt, *artificial flavor, sodium bicarbonate. Ok yeah yeah I know…a boxed brownie mix? This is the only brownie or cake mix I can find at the regular grocery that doesn’t have partially hydrogenated oil in it. It also tastes waaaaay better then the others…and quite frankly way better then my scratch brownies! Fyi this only applies to “the double chocolate” variety. The other kinds of Ghirardelli brownie mixes that our local grocery carries do contain partially hydrogenated oil although they don’t carry all varieties Ghirardelli makes for me to compare.

* hmmmm? Non specific “flavoring” always irk me and this stuff certainly isn’t as healthy as you could make from scratch and not something that should probably make up a huge portion of someones diet ideally. But These products are significantly better then the other similar options at our local grocery based on their listed ingredients……. Imo of course. I would change oils often times and use coconut oil if I could but I will exchange partially hydrogenated oils for canola or soy any day if those are the only options.
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Location: France
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Oh I ADORE Skippy PB    I can only find it occassionally though.  As for the others on the list - maybe they ain't made it across the pond yet.
Leah Sattler
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I really like it too! unfortuantly I have been advised to avoid peanuts and tree nuts till I can get allergy tested so I have been staring at a brand new jar of skippys natural peanut butter in my pantry for over a month now! It appears I had a nasty reaction with hives from eating hazlenuts or pecans a while back. doc doesn't want to test me until I after I have the baby though and seemed to think it was prudent to avoid all nuts until I can find out for sure if it was the nuts that caused the reaction. I can't decide if that is overly cautious or not. so far I have been erring on the side of caution.sigh.  I had to take benadryl for several days and I hate to have to take any meds when I am pregnant. and I hate taking benadryl anyway....it makes me feel loopy.....in a bad way. I really really want some peanut butter balls.........but the thought of anaphalactic shock is somewhat of a detterent....
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