Martlesham Heath Country Market

Home-baked is better for you
There are plenty of videos, podcasts, books and support groups to help you bake and cook and lots of us have been making more home-cooked meals and treats over the last year. Does an appreciation of home baking make you look at prepared and processed food differently?

The basic ingredients of a sponge cake are butter or butter substitute, sugar, self-raising flour and eggs, plus lemon, chocolate or whatever flavour you prefer. So why does a well-known supermarket’s cake contain over 30 extra ingredients? Yes, it’s cheap, almost no effort to buy, and it comes in a pretty box, but it’s got preservatives to keep it safe to eat for a longer time, humectants to keep it moist, emulsifiers to keep the ingredients bound together, and this cake has already been frozen and defrosted to give it a longer shelf life. (An egg is an emulsifier but I’m referring to the extra chemical agents that are added to mass-produced processed foods.)

Factory-made food like this ordinary cake contains many chemicals which are added specifically to make it last longer in transit from its place of manufacture and on the shelf, to keep its flavour and, of course, its appearance. We demand regularity and consistency, though I defy any new or inexperienced baker to turn out two matching cakes in those first attempts. Palm oil production destroys natural habitats unless it is sourced responsibly. Other ingredients have been linked to chronic diseases, diabetes and even over-eating. Much processed food is specifically designed to make us eat more of it; those sweet and salty crisps and tempting snacks that never seem to fill you up.

Some foods are made of virtually unrecognisable ingredients: these are called ultra-processed ‘edible food-like’ substances. They include innocent-seeming vitamin-fortified breakfast cereals and protein bars, ‘diet’ drinks, vegan foods, almond and other non-dairy milk. You might think a ‘low-fat’ yogurt is a healthy diet choice but it would probably be better to consume natural yogurt with added home-made jam or local honey. Look at the labels!

Our local Country Market artisan cooks and bakers can tell you exactly what goes into their delicious nutritious food. You can order your favourite cakes, treats and ready meals for the family and for special diets, and pay safely with a card. We can deliver in and around Ipswich, Martlesham and Kesgrave.

Contact Margaret Gayfer to place your order: 01473 623849
Find Martlesham Heath Country Market on Facebook.
Read Professor Tim Spector’s Spoon Fed for more food facts.

This article runs in the February edition of Kesgrave & Rushmere which you can read in full by clicking on Magazines.

Shotley and Erwarton WI

Are supermarket premium varieties really superior? Can you taste the difference? This is what we set out to find out at our December WI  


Got a story to tell or News to Share?

Contact the editorial team by emailing

Note: To be included for consideration in print, editorial must reach us no later that the 10th of the month.