Prepared fruit and vegetables have been getting a hard time in the media of late due to some questioning the point of these products as preparing the raw ingredients is relativly simple.
Whilst I feel it is right to challenge our industry as waste for waste sake is not sustainable, taking these issues at face value ignores sectors of the population that find these products enhance their lives and eating habits. This point has been extremely well made by twitters own @One_Angry_Chef in the Sunday Times this weekend (See Link to Article Here).
I have seen first hand how my own grandparents have found the increase in choice of freshly prepared vegetables, salads and food products has allowed them to keep eating 'fresh' foods rather than having to reach for a ready meal. My grandmother is a lady that knowing one of us was popping over for lunch, would produce a full roast lunch or steak and home made chips at a minimum, so preparing food and cooking was never an issue. However as time has passed she and my grandfather haven't been able to cook from scratch and had resorted to 'ding meals' as she called them.
She now loves to run through her latest prepared discovery in her faveroite retailer (won't say which one but it ends with 'rose') with me and has become an expert on prepared mash potato. I have even thought about offering her the role of 'NPD Manager' within the business!
Joking aside these products have allowed them to still feel like they are preparing a meal but in an accessible way so well done Angry Chef for taking such an open viewpoint on this.