9 December 2021
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An experiment - a week without preservatives

Sarah Green
12 November 2010

In the Sunday papers last weekend, Body and Soul reporter Aoife McGee wrote about her week without processed food. For me, the concept is easy but for Joe-and-Jane average, it’s a really hard thing. On the whole, our cooking skills aren’t what our parents’ were and we are used to having things now so the concept is even harder.

Aoife clearly struggled with the whole week but I felt her article just reinforced what everyone thinks – that it is all too hard. I know it’s not easy but maybe baby steps are required. Change is hard and to change it all overnight makes it seem impossible especially when kids are involved. That takes patience and that, in out busy lives, is hard to find.

I can find it hard with my kids too, especially with all the fast food that’s on offer and they grew up eating healthily!

So take the pressure off and realise that maybe a total processed food ban is too extreme. There is no use setting yourself up for failure.

At the moment, it’s the perfect time to make a start. The warm weather has us loving eating lots or natural foods.

Maybe make a target of a week without preservatives. Have some bread, pasta and yogurts (even ice cream) but just make sure there are no numbers.

Unlike some, I am fine with a bit of sugar I still think it is better than preservatives, so make a cake. There are plenty that are easy and yummy.

Here are some ideas to get you through the week:


  • Natural yoghurt with fruit and honey
  • Cornflakes with sliced banana and honey
  • Toast with avocado and hommus
  • Banana, mango and blueberry smoothie
  • Scrambled eggs


Kids’ lunch box

  • Little packet of natural sultanas
  • Plain rice crackers
  • Banana
  • Wrap with chicken and avocado or avocado dip
  • Home made banana cake or muffin
  • Apple


  • Steak on the BBQ with a jacket potato and green salad
  • Lamb loins
  • Chicken vegetable and cashew stir fry
  • Warm chicken salad with a yummy vinaigrette
  • Steamed fish with a lemon butter sauce and julienned vegetables


  • Strawberries with dusting of castor sugar and cream
  • Ice-cream
  • Fig and pecan torte
  • Lemon tart

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