Ready to eat meals are one of the most convenient ways of easing life, also known as RTE or Convenience foods, they are fully cooked (then it will require only heating the food item) or partially cooked while packaging.
These foods are usually consumed at places where there is a shortage of food and by people who need to reach very remotely or interior areas such as by defence people, disaster victims, trekkers, and hikers. These are also sometimes used by Catering Services in some events.
Although the city people also have started indulging in its use due to their busy schedules, while ready foods are conveniently available they are not as healthy as the other food is.
There are certain pros and cons of ready-to-eat meals, this article discusses both.
Pros of ready to eat meals:
- Always in stock: ready-to-eat meals are always in stock because a lot of many companies ensure efficient supply lines for a good business. Another feature is that the sellers differentiate the brands to the buyers, thus, ready-to-eat meals are well recognized by both the buyer and the seller.
- Low prices: ready-to-eat meals are low priced because they are not freshly prepared and do not need to be stored as carefully as freshly prepared food needs to be stored. Also, menu options are limited therefore, they are more expensive as compared to ready-to-eat meals, as they are already packed and just need a little cooking or are based on heat to eat phenomenon.
- Ready to eat meals are ever ready: ready to eat meals are a very fast option for the ones who do not like to spend hours in the kitchen, instant food mix or heat and serve food is the perfect option for days when lethargy overpowers oneself or when one has a shortage of time to prepare a meal.
- Time and energy saving: besides the fact that ready to eat meals are consumed by people who live in remote or high altitude areas, this is a fact that ready to eat meals are time-saving as traditional cooking consumes a lot of time cooking and its availability in remote areas is just not because of its sufficient availability but also for its feature of saving time, it also saves energy as at the time of packaging this food is already partially cooked, so it takes lesser energy and time to fully cook the food as compared to other food items.
- Value for money: ready-to-eat meals are low in price usually and when divided into smaller portions, it becomes even cheaper, therefore, it is worth every penny spent.
Cons of ready to eat meals:
Unhealthy: the ready-to-eat meals are partially cooked, certain preservatives are added to retain the food for a longer duration which decreases its nutrition content. No matter what recipe was used to prepare the food, when the food is left packed for days and weeks, it still does not provide our body with all the vitamins and minerals.
Unbalanced nutrients: ready-to-eat meals are poorly balanced, whether they contain too much amount of starch or none at all. Due to this in balance, the food is there a container contains a lot of carbohydrates and fats, which is why people who consume such food put on weight very soon.
Servings include less amount in a portion: the portion size of one packet may contain a lesser quantity of food items than that would have been served if the food was cooked at home, such as meat, fish, chicken, etc. But sometimes it has value for money as when the same food is being prepared at home for more than 3 people, the cost of total material divides into frequent use of it or the frequent number of consumption times and in smaller portions.
Often low-quality products: even when it is a fact that some economists explain the law of demand, sometimes people come across doubt over the quality products that are accessible at a lower rate, but sometimes this can be correct, therefore, due to this fear of people that it may contain low-quality ingredients, it is a questionable thing.
Increased cooking time: equal time is consumed in melting, thawing, and cooking the food as that would have been spent as that in cooking the food traditionally. But besides that additional steps are added to cooking the food that also increases the cooking time.
Where on one hand ready to eat meals save our time and effort, they do not offer a healthy option, sometimes, in very urgency, it is right to consume such food but it is equally vital for all of us to strike the right balance between health and lethargy.