News Room: Consumer Reports Rates Frozen Meals
Monday, March 5, 2012
Happy Monday, friends! Today this ABC Chicago headline caught my eye: Consumer Reports: Fast Frozen Meals. Obviously I’m drawn like a moth to a flame anytime I see the magical words “fast” and “meals” in the same phrase. But in this case I was also a little intrigued about the fact that Consumer Reports had tackled this project. The story didn’t have a lot of meat to it, so to speak, so all I really learned was that Contessa makes what Consumer Reports thinks is a mean sesame chicken. I decided to investigate…in the five minutes I had between packing my kids’ lunch and leaving for school.
Apparently Consumer Reports tested 19 chicken- or shrimp-based frozen meals, and rated them for taste, basic health issues, and cost, and then rated a handful of them Best Buys. For me, that process is a little questionable. I’d like to see a survey like this evaluate health factors beyond just the fat and sodium levels—what about the quality of the ingredients, particularly the meat? Are pesticide-laden foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce worth the Best Buy tag?
Those are questions every convenience-loving mom has to answer for herself. Luckily for gals like me who would rather fill our tummies with foods we know we can trust, there are a few frozen options out there who I know can deliver. Amy’s got a bevvy of frozen meal options and Garden Lites makes a mean veggie souffle—and both companies use natural ingredients and aim for maximum nutritional value in their foods. Oh, and last but definitely not least, the ones I’ve tried passed my taste test too.
This is not to say Consumer Reports’ picks are necessarily unhealthy for you—it’s just that I’d like to see reputable groups like CR consider more of the angles I think are important when they come up with food-related rankings like this. What do you think? Should organic ingredients and comprehensive nutritional value be counted when we measure the value of the food we eat?