The hunt for real food

When I was young my mother would take me to the market. There, she would carefully, slowly, with keen concentration, select green beans individually. One by one. Green bean by green bean. She’d then move on to mushrooms. One mushie at a time. Quality assurance. You might think I hated this. And you’d be right. It drove me nuts. Why couldn’t she just grab haphazard handfuls like everyone else’s mother? The greengrocer would be staring at her and I’d feel like fleeing to Equatorial Guinea. Shopping trips would take three hours. I’m a very impatient person.

Now in my 30s, I’d like to thank her for this unusual behaviour. Because of her commitment to only the finest of green beans, I have an appreciation for quality produce that I don’t believe I’d otherwise have. And over the years, this appreciation has grown into a love of real food, organic food, whole food, slow food.

I’ve made the commitment to eat real food.

Only real food. Nothing with additives, nothing highly processed, nothing manufactured. That pretty much wipes out most of the products on supermarket shelves.

In all honesty, I’ve been trying to do this for the past couple of years, but geesh, it’s harder than it sounds. Processed food is everywhere and it can be hard to avoid. You have to work at it, you have to be organised. Snacks have been an issue.

So what are my options? I’ll be exploring real food, and offering tips and ideas of how to break free from eating crap.

Real food (or slow food) is unadulterated, non-processed, unrefined. It’s better for us (our bodies don’t know what to do with preservatives and artificial colours), and it’s better for our environment. Which makes it better for us all over again. Real food saves energy and reduces pollution. Contrary to popular belief, it’s also better for our hip pocket.

Carlo Petrini first defined the slow food movement in 1986 out of his hometown in Italy, Bra. Yes, Bra. Slow food is an idea. A way of living and eating. It’s based on three simple principles - Good, Clean and Fair.

GOOD as in the food we eat tastes good and is good for us;
CLEAN grown and produced in a way that doesn’t harm the environment, animals or our health;
FAIR prices for consumers and fair conditions and pay for producers.

It’s almost spring. Soon enough, we’ll come out of hibernation and throw off layers of heavy knits. We’ll want to feel light, airy, free. It’s the perfect time for cleaning up our diets (and conscience). A bit of an internal spring clean. In the non-invasive way.

Join me in the real food campaign.


3 comments:

  1. It's hilarious you mentioned the picking produce one by one. Only this weekend at the local farmers market I mentioned to a friend how in the past you would have to pick through your fruit and vegies but now you can walk into a supermarket and everything is stepford-wives perfect in colour, size and shape.

    You have inspired me a lot recently and I've slowly but surely been emptying my cupboards to make way for foods free of additives and preservatives. I've begun visiting local farmers markets and making time for cooking from scratch. If I want cake...then I have to make it. The great thing is....it has become easier and easier as when I am faced with eating something processed it tastes markedly different to something made from scratch and you don't get half the pleasure. I still have a way to go to weed out all the 'easy' options....but I know i'm doing something good for my body and the environment. Here's a nice quote for you..."As I see it, every day you do one of two things: build health or produce disease in yourself" Adelle Davis.

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  2. Hi Anonymous, you are so right. And everything is so shiny! Who wants shiny apples?

    It's wonderful to hear you've been inspired! I know, it's not easy to begin with is it. I'll be exploring some simple snack options to have in the house that are also body and planet friendly. I've struggled with it a lot too. I don't keep snacks in the house and most often than not I've begrudgingly ended up snacking on a carrot or eating a handful of nuts in place of biscuits. Every time though, I've ended up feeling really glad that I've done that.

    Keep in touch, would love to hear how you are going with it all! Great quote btw.

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  3. I was pushed into eating real food after discovering I am hugely intolerant of artificial additives & colours. It came on suddenly in my mid 40s, hugely swollen eyes, face covered in horrendous eczema & took 18 months to diagnose. Multiple specialists had no clue but dogged net surfing found me The Food Intolerance Network & "Fed Up". I have always had a veggie garden & been a keen cook of healthy food but this has really pushed me on. Your words "Processed food is everywhere and it can be hard to avoid. You have to work at it, you have to be organised" are so true. Long haul travel is tricky.Despite this I am embracing the challenge, happy I am feeding my family healthier food. I look forward to reading your blog & further educating my family & friends.
    And for the record my mother & I have always chosen our beans one by one:-)
    Cheers
    Kate

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