The #1 Grocery Item To Never Buy Pre-Made

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Homemade dinners often be overlooked in today's fast-paced environment. Grocery businesses handle this problem with pre-made dinners and other grab-and-go goods.

We've all made the mistake of buying a pre-cut fruit plate at the last minute or a pre-prepared deli sandwich during a brief 20-minute lunch break.

While these pre-made items can appear like a quick cure and a healthy option to using the drive-through, they aren't always what they seem to be.

To begin with, when you purchase ready-to-eat meals, you are giving up control over the ingredients and their proportions, which typically results in a dish that is less nutritious and less appetizing.

For these reasons, Chef Serge Krikorian, owner of full-service Arkansas catering business Vibrant Occasions, abhors all prepared dishes.

As a seasoned chef, Krikorian considers cooking a labor of love. Foods don't satisfy his criteria when he can't control salt, fat, or flavor.

Pre-made dishes have their share of drawbacks, according to other food experts with whom we consulted. The fact that these foods are frequently made with cheap and subpar ingredients is a common cause for concern.

Salads lose their fresh flavor and quickly become soggy, defeating the purpose of eating one in the first place. Freshness is one of the most important aspects of the quality of sushi, which is raw fish.

Sushi or sashimi can't sit out for more than a few minutes without losing flavor. Chef's cart probably won't have pre-cut fruits and veggies. He thinks they dry up faster than full veggies and fruits.

Another issue is cost. Pre-made products can cost as much as a restaurant lunch due to markups. Difference? Restaurants have fresh foods and good service.

Some consumers want to take a salad kit and make a salad in minutes, yet that extra five minutes costs hundreds more per year. If you bought fresh vegetables, you could eat fresher salads.

Recommend spending on goods that are time- or labor-intensive to make at home, such a rotisserie chicken. But cook basic meals.

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