Could you take the six ingredient challenge?

fruitVegOver on Reduce Footprints, our host has us shopping with a difference for this week’s Change the World Wednesday.

She’s challenging us to eat more whole foods; but she’s making it fun. According to her, if you buy foods with more than six ingredients on the label, the chances are it’s not particularly good for you or the environment.

In other words, the less processed a food is, the better it is for the environment – and you!

Small footprints says “This week, buy only foods with 6 or fewer ingredients” and she shares a great tip: “shop the perimeter of the store rather than the center isles”. We’re also encouraged us to say no to high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils and to choose non-GMO foods.

I have to say this is pretty simple for me – here’s what I ate yesterday:


Porrage made with 1/3 soy milk and 2/3 water, natural bio yogurt, apple and apricot smoothie

Mid morning:

Home made smoothie made with blueberries, apricots and apple.


Jacket potato with roasted beetroot, steamed carrots and broccoli with a portion of home made dahl


home made soup made from leek, garlic, kale, Brussels sprouts and chickpeas

If you don’t buy processed food then you’re onto a winner. However I DO have some stuff in the freezer for those ‘can’t be bothered to cook’ moments. And Little Miss Green is getting more and more of a taste for such things. I sometimes make dishes such as lasagne, fish pie and stews and casseroles, but I also know my limitations and have processed food on standby.

Having said that I do pay attention to the brands I buy and the ingredients they use. While I don’t pretend the food is good quality or full of nutrition I do stay away from chemical flavourings and colours. For example, the ingredients in the fish pie are:

Potato, Milk, Smoked haddock 15%, Salmon 6.5%, Double cream, Tomato, Plain flour, Butter, English mustard, Lemon juice, Fresh parsley, Sunflower oil, Salt, Pepper, Nutmeg.

No different to the ingredients I would use for a home made dish.

While the casserole contains:

Potatoes, Lamb, Carrot, Water, Peas, Onion, Flour (Rice, Potato, Tapioca, Maize, Buckwheat), Butter, Lamb Stock, Tomato Puree, Sea Salt, Mint, Black Pepper.

Apart from the ‘lamb stock’ which doesn’t stipulate the ingredients I feel that’s ok as an occasional meal too.

If I wanted to step up to the mark then I could plan a batch cooking day and fill up the freezer with our own ‘ready meals’. I know that I always feel good when I’ve put the effort in, I can make organic dishes for the same price as non-organic shop bought AND it’s better for Little Miss Green’s health.

That’s my Saturday planned then – thanks Small Footprints!

What about you? Is there a processed food you could swap for home made?


  1. Zoe @ecothrifty on February 21, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    What a great challenge! Good idea to put brussel sprouts in soup. I still have some lurking in the freezer from Xmas. I’m usually pretty good about avoiding processed meals, but I have my vices which include baked beans, fish fingers and chips plus I buy some processed condiments and snack foods. My ultimate aim is to learn how to make alternatives so that I don’t need to buy processed foods at all! I guess it wouldn’t be that difficult to make and freeze my own chips, so you have inspired me to tackle that. Plus I keep meaning to try making my own tomato ketchup. Fish fingers are tricky as I think they are cheaper to buy than to make, but that isn’t a good excuse really – I’m sure I can find a way to make them cost effective!

  2. Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking on February 22, 2013 at 12:30 am

    I want us to come to your house and eat!! All of this sounds so delicious. I love Reduce Footprints challenges each week and I am excited about this one.

  3. Mairi Stones on February 22, 2013 at 8:47 am

    All sounds good to me, and I think having a list of easy quick meals for those ” can’t be botehred or don’t have time days” is a good idea so we don’t resort to packaged stuff. After all it’s not just the ingredients we need to be concerned about, what about all the prcessing and packaging too?
    I love the idea of batch cooking. I usually make huge pots of soup and freeze half and then eat the rest over a few days but haven’t got the batch meals going yet, thanks for the encouragement. X