These don’t stick to the usual, obvious health reasons, such as that processed food is high in fat and calories and lacks nutritional value. These also examine the marketing aspects of food – how ultra-processed foods are pushed on people, and how corporations design this low-cost junk to be habit-forming.
This is very much in line with Michael Pollan’s observation that “Instead of food, we’re consuming ‘edible food-like substances,'” and that the ways we consume food have also changed to our detriment. Even the act of nutritional sustenance has now gone postmodern.
It is the 21st century lifestyle corporations have imparted on us – We’re overworked, pressed for time, and lazy. This creates the need for quick, low-cost caloric intake. Less exercise and more stationary work have turned us into mere consumption and production machines. Combine this with ultra-processed foods designed to be sold anywhere at any time, and you have a recipe for an overweight and under-nourished population.
Don’t expect to see the widespread availability and consumption of ultra-processed foods to go away any time soon. The lifestyle which leaves us little time or energy to prepare food, and the society which prices processed food cheaper than real food, are spreading and entrenching, rather than going away or facing resistance.