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Cut veges: Boon for busy cooks or the ultimate in laziness?

It was interesting to read recently about the initiative of a couple of New World supermarkets: putting chopped vegetables into the produce section.

The veges are in self-serve bins, so people can help themselves to as much as they need. See more here>>

While it’s ideal to prepare our food ourselves at home – and an argument could be made that veges sitting around, already cut might lose some nutrients – not everyone has the time to prepare meals from scratch every night. Life is busy; we have a lot going on in our lives and families and work, and sometimes healthy eating falls by the wayside. This seems like a clever, entrepreneurial idea that follows the lead of overseas supermarkets (already prepared everything is the norm in the UK) and gives time-pressed shoppers another option for dinner.

I was a bit shocked to see some of the online comments about this development. “The ultimate in laziness”; “Seriously, it take a few seconds to cut veges. How stupid/lazy are people?”; “Good way to teach the kids they really don’t have to do anything anymore”; were some of the comments I read.

A few things about this. Firstly, when did we start getting so judgmental about how other people live and eat? Really, why waste time worrying about the eating habits of other people? If we all took a little more care of ourselves and those we love, we may all be a bit healthier.

And speaking of being healthier: I think anything that helps people buy and eat more vegetables should be encouraged. If the thought of chopping veges is a barrier to eating them, why not overcome that by buying something that’s ready to go into a stir-fry or a salad? A third of us still don’t get our ‘five plus’ a day, a measure which is really the bare minimum; if there are things we can do to boost that intake, they’ve got to be good things.

I don’t buy the argument that this demonstrates laziness. People still have to cook with the veges when they get home. They’re still going to be able to get the kids involved in that. And they’re still going to be able to share that home-cooked meal around the table. It’s still a lot better than a takeaway or a ready meal.

Other benefits are less obvious but no less important. There’s no waste with this scheme – no soggy uneaten veges to throw out at the end of the week. And for people who struggle with arthritis or other conditions which make it difficult to handle knives and chop bulky veges, this could be a real boon.

So I say: well done, New World. The more supermarket space that’s devoted to making it easier for us to be healthier, the better.

(Photo courtesy of Ari Eats, Health/Wellness)

First published: Nov 2015
Last updated: April 3 2017
Last science review: October 10 2016



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