Ultraprocessing veggies makes them bad for you

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2024/06/11/ultraprocessing-veggies-makes-them-bad-for-you.html


Health gurus are 99.9% grift.

Sounds like the problem with whatever he’s talking about is adding too much salt and fat to something to make it taste good (often sugar too). I’m inclined to think “no shit” but then a lot of people think this way: Veggie=pure=good=healthy… so veggie is healthy no matter what, like a talisman. This thinking persists despite labeling laws. I mean, people believe in magic every day.

The thing I see usually though is that talk like this just basically kicks off another round of grift where people buy some bullshit or enroll in classes about managing their health run by people who daydrink. I think people would do best to learn to read the numbers and just avoid the paragraphs and videos personally.

By the time they agree on their buzzword an AI will probably have swooped them with a better one.

IDK. It’s eat or die anyway but it always ends on die no matter what you eat.


More than 4 syllables you say? Then a banana is out: Ingredients of an All-Natural Banana | James Kennedy


Ba-na-na. 3 syllables. 3<4. I are confused.


Processing ain’t cheap. They’re doing it because either/both: it makes it last longer on the shelf or it has more “damn that’s tasty” (often sweet) 'hook the customer on the product’ness. (some would say ‘addict the customer’ but that term really ought to be held for other conditions) Sooo, there’s almost never anything about “processing” which is nutritionally good, (knew one person who was sure that Pasteurization was ‘processing’ which muddles things a bit). Therefore buy your veg fresh, wash off the pesticides (with water with no lead in it -sigh-), and eat more of that than you eat pizza and chocolate. selah.

Glucolactonized Sodium Psychopentasiloxane

hah! knew an organic chemist who fussed over little besides cyclopentasiloxanes

(“but i’m ‘addicted’ to pizza and chocolate!” …i know, me too)


Yeah “ultra-processed” as a term stood out to me as well. When that word starts to sound anodyne and commonplace I expect the next round of alarm will call it “super-duper-no-really-a-lot processed”.

What would be actually helpful is if they gave examples of real world foods that have this issue. I mean, are Trader Joes goyozas ultra-processed or merely processed? That would be actually useful.


Seriously. We have a big garden, and can, dehydrate, freeze and pickle a ton of food. My daughter has at times raised concerns over our “processed” foods. And, I guess, these are indeed processed, in a strict definition sense. I would take these over what passes for “fresh” store-bought out-of-season veggies, though.


According to the definition that they are using, a loaf of bread counts as Ultra-processed food.
The whole thing is a meaninglessly vague piece of junk “science” with absolutely no rigour or causal mechanism behind it. I’m glad it’s getting pushback already.


Click andyf’s linky.


tell your daughter (who’s heart is certainly in the right place) that an itinerant old phd biochemist (see my pointy hat?) says: “can(ning), dehydrate, freeze and pickle” isn’t ‘processing’ it’s preserving. you’ll outlive most of us.


Their first album was a triumph, but it was all downhill from there.


But the ones that have to be processed to make them non-toxic, or at least fully edible, are okay, right?


I tried to figure out what “ultraprocessed” means a few month ago and found it quite difficult to pin down, which is unfortunate. also, things like this :

" They have no real resemblance to group 1 foods [minimally processed foods], although they may be shaped, labelled and marketed so as to seem wholesome and ‘fresh’. "

Are irritating because they are so effing non-specific. As Purplecat said, that applies to a loaf of Dave’s Killer Bread. Perhaps the food scientists are afraid to cite Name Brands because of potential backlash? Also, they better not come after my corn tortillas.


Drink more vinegar and salt, got it. /s


I did actually see someone take issue with for example, chickpea chips, where they had taken chickpea flour, then added in several other flours, emulsifiers, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, sugars, salt, and so on. He said straight up roasted and salted chickpeas would have been so much better.


My mom has friends who believe a lot of food woo. The raw milk thing has me angry and paranoid about eating out there. I trust her but am kind of scared to eat anything a couple of her friends make. I can already hear the jokes people would make about a “Texas Female” dead from raw milk bird flu.

IMO these people are trying to control their uncertain environments and more existential fears with obsessive compulsive food behaviors.


Cassava was my first thought. That one is highly toxic unless cooked/processed rigorously.


They were selling maca as a superfood in health stores not long ago.
Afaik eating that raw is like eating dried raw potato.


I’m partway through this book, which says much the same thing, but Bittman (who knows a thing or two about food) goes into a lot of detail about food processing and agribusiness as they developed in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the profit motives behind them. His suspicion of “ultraprocessing” is not aimed at methods of preserving food or making it palatable/nontoxic, but at the creation of food-like substances by corporations that will appeal to our taste buds while offering no nutrition (ie junk food) for profit.

I haven’t reached his conclusions yet, so I don’t know if he argues that the Neolithic Revolution was a huge mistake.


He must have meant banananyas…

Just look at them!