What exactly is #RealFood?
#RealFood is food we trust to nourish ourselves, our farmers, and our community.
The world of food is changing in front of our eyes. Just ten years ago, companies had total freedom from consumer oversight to create whatever would sell. Ingredients only mattered as a cost item. Cheaper = Better.
Campbell’s soup announced Monday, that they were removing 10 ingredients we can’t spell or pronounce from their chicken noodle soup. I wonder if they ever even remember why they had those ingredients in there in the first place? Likely it was added a long, long time ago, and turns out we don’t even need them after all. #RealFood is food we trust to nourish ourselves, our community, and our planet. When there are gazillions of ingredients we don’t understand, how can we trust it? Answer: We can’t.
Is a Big Mac real food? No. Why not? Because just the bun has the following ingredients:
Enriched Flour (Bleached Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or Sugar, Yeast, Soybean Oil and/or Canola Oil, Contains 2% or Less: Salt, Wheat Gluten, Calcium Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Ammonium Sulfate, Ammonium Chloride, Dough Conditioners (May Contain One or More of: Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, DATEM, Ascorbic Acid, Azodicarbonamide, Mono and Diglycerides, Ethoxylated Monoglycerides, Monocalcium Phosphate, Enzymes, Guar Gum, Calcium Peroxide), Sorbic Acid, Calcium Propionate and/or Sodium Propionate (Preservatives), Soy Lecithin, Sesame Seed, wheat and soy lecithin.
And the cheese has Milk, Cream, Water, Cheese Culture, Sodium Citrate, Contains 2% or Less of: Salt, Citric Acid, Sodium Phosphate, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Lactic Acid, Acetic Acid, Enzymes, Sodium Pyrophosphate, Natural Flavor (Dairy Source), Color Added, Soy Lecithin (Added for Slice Separation), milk and soy lecithin.
Ugh. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.
The desire for #RealFood is from the complete lack of transparency of industrial food over the years. While they could get away with it before the Internet, nowadays we can find out what’s in that burger in 15 seconds. That’s not something companies can market themselves out of anymore.
We trust #RealFood to nourish our bodies
We care more and more about what we eat. When we can easily identify what’s on the plate, that’s #RealFood. Michael Pollan’s description is perfect. When your grandmother can identify the food on your plate, that’s #RealFood.
When you are cooking the food, it’s #RealFood. Because if you can cook it (and I’m assuming you’re a normal Medium reader), it’s likely got a few simple ingredients that come together to make a kick-ass dish.
We trust #RealFood to nourish our Community
I love locally grown food. Not only does it nourish your body, but you know it is also nourishing your farmer and community. Food that is grown in our community creates jobs and supports farmers that are invested in their land and how their land impacts you. It is almost always food that you can buy, cook and eat. The more we support farmers in our community, the more they will grow; and over time, pricing comes down and more people are served. Local farmers grow #RealFood.
We trust #RealFood to nourish our Planet
Critical to the future of food is our ability to grow food and care for our planet. Agriculture creates up to 1/3 of the world’s greenhouse gasses. Even if we wanted to support industrial food, with our growing population the math simply doesn’t work. We run out of land, and we run out of climate. Both of which we would like to keep.
#RealFood takes into account how the food is grown and how it nourishes the planet. If your diet contains too much meat, by default you are in the industrial food category. I love a good steak every now and then, but if everyone did that every day — dead planet here we come!
Think color when you think #RealFood
A fun way to look at it was given to me by my mother, @mayemusk. Look at your plate. Do you see color? Do you see variety? A diet with only one variety is not enough to nourish you. All meat and potatoes all the time, and you’re up s&*t creek without a paddle.
Got kids? Tell them they can have anything as long as they can spell the ingredients. Very quickly they’ll learn how bizarre the food they crave is.
Cook at home! You pretty much can’t go wrong if you cook at home. The more you cook, the more you’ll learn what is going in your body. Sitting down with your friends and family creates memories you’ll keep forever. Now that’s #RealFood.
And that’s the thing about #RealFood, it’s enjoyable and it’s easy. What’s not to like about eating something you trust that tastes great with people you love? #RealFood is food we trust to nourish ourselves, our community, and our planet.