Guest Blogger, Jessie Cuthbert: Sulphites are best saved for wine

Last week I reached out to my childhood friend and neighbour, Jessie Cuthbert, a fabulous Chef based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. This girl has taken her current restaurant, Bellissimo, by storm; fine tuning specials and garnering adoration from clients and food critics alike. When I asked her if there were any topics surrounding food that she’d like to address, I offered her a couple of examples… to which she replied, “Oh no, I already know what I’d like to write about.”

So, with out further pause, Jessie Cuthbert:

The first TV dinner ever was created in the 1960’s by Swanson and sold over 10 million units in their first year. It has since grown and morphed into a wide variety of sulphite, preservative, and saturated fat laden products. Yum. Sure, it’s convenient, cheap, and fast (which I guess is the same as convenient…); but what are the effects it’s having on our culture, our bodies, and our mindset? Ok maybe TV dinners as a threat to society as we know it is a bit extreme, but when it comes to pre-made vs. homemade, are we making the right choice?

As a Chef I like to imagine people have limitless time to cook up these fabulous, and healthy meals for their families every night. As a person who works 45 hours+ a week I understand the need for a quick, easy meal. So, why not reach for that delicious looking turkey dinner in its neat little compartments? Glad you asked! A standard “lean” pre-made meal boasts 15% saturated fat per 250 g serving. Now, if that’s not enough to make you put down the box, think of the sulphites (sulfites)! If you are asthmatic, this can be a serious health concern for you; you need to stay away from sulphite-rich foods/drinks. If you are not asthmatic, chances are you would rather do as I do and save your preservative intake for wine.

In the past 10 years a rash of sulphite allergies/sensitivities have sent many to hospital prompting regulations to be put in place to reduce the risk. However, pre-made meals are full of them, and while I personally haven’t felt any adverse issues with them yet, I’d rather limit my intake where possible.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is: wouldn’t a meal plan be better?

Planning your meals means that you produce less waste, save money and can better prepare your meals in advance so that they really are as convenient as store bought pre-made foods.

Cook your own food and know what’s going in it. Cooking gives you and your family the opportunity to learn and be creative together. I don’t know about you, but working alongside my mom and my grandma on those day-to-day meals is how I learned to cook.

So, if I were to say anything on the topic of lifestyle and food, I’d say: Get out there and cook! And drink wine!

But, that’s just one person’s opinion.