So why processed food?

I’m just starting to read Marion Nestle’s Food Politics after months of reading her blog- I know, I know, I should have read Food Politics ages ago.  It’s quite an eye opener- she has a knack for explaining things clearly and concisely.

One thing I’ve found particularly interesting is her explanation of processed foods’ dominance in food marketing.  Not only does processing allow companies to stand out in a sea of overabundance, but food processing means that the products are value-added:  you’re not buying raw greenbeans and uncooked rice, you’re buying a microwaveable meal that’s ready in a matter of seconds instead of minutes.  Greenbeans and rice are pretty much similar no matter where you’re getting them- but if you’re buying Lean Cuisine Greenbeans and Rice(tm), you’re buying a product, not a commodity.  You’re paying for the convenience, and the food industry is profiting from that.

So the question is- is that a bad thing?