What’s really in our free from food?
The One Show’s report on free from food
So following my reminder post who watched last week’s episode of BBC’s The One Show where the cost and content of gluten free products was given some air time? If you didn’t the programme showed a video of the programme’s reporter Dan Donnelly at last month’s Allergy and Free From show in London.
The overwhelming theme was how “unhealthy” free from products can be and how costly they are. Anyone who’s bought a free from product will be aware of the latter but how many of us knew about the former? I know that I am usually so grateful to see the free from label that I rarely check the sugar or salt let alone calorie content of many products. Compared to the time I spend checking out the content of food for my gluten eating family!
Postie turned The One Show Reporter, Dan showed a pasta sauce that had five times the amount of fat than a regular sauce, a loaf of bread with two and a half times the fat and cost four and half times more than it’s glutened alternative.
He went on to show two baskets of “standard” products both from the same supermarket. One was a basket of free from products and the other it’s glutened alternatives. The regular basket cost £7.09 whereas the free from basket was £15.40 more than twice as much. This is not news to most of us. However on average most of the free from products had one a half times the fat content of the regular alternatives. But on a weight for weight basis they actually cost three times as much.
I know we all want cheaper free from food but I also appreciate that there is a cost involved in making specialist products and that’s a massive subject in it’s own right. But what about all this fat and the calories?! Although I make a lot from scratch like pasta sauces etc and never buy ready meals, I do buy free from bread products, pasta, cereals etc. From now on I am going to be comparing and contrasting the fat and calorie contents on every item. But what’s the alternative? I like most other people lead a busy life and need to have some staples to rely on rather than making everything from scratch.
Have you checked what’s in your free from products recently?
You can view the download of the programme on BBC iPlayer here tune in from about 01.55 minutes in. Be aware it’s only available for a limited time.
©Maria Brannigan 2013