Our Core Food Beliefs
Updated: Jun 1, 2019
There’s so much to know when it comes to food and so many opinions out there. So many "diets" you can choose from. It can be frustrating sometimes to navigate it all when everyone seems to have a different idea on what is "healthy." Add to that there are numerous companies with reps who offer enticing products that might help you lose weight, but when you break down what's in them, they're not actually not so great for you.
I've learned a lot over the past 10-15 years when it comes to food. I've learned from bigger names like Jordan Rubin, Dr. Mercola, and Michael Pollan and also from smart mamas and other food authors and experts. And based on what I learn, sometimes we'll change up what we eat. For example, there was a time when I would eat unlimited nuts and now I try to limit them. There are times when my family eats better and times when we are relying more on convenience foods. Food is our largest expense and we don't have unlimited funds to eat ALL the things that I know we should.
But despite the tremendous amount of information about what is healthy, my basic food beliefs, the core of what I believe about food remains the same. Here are five core beliefs that we try to stick to. Do we eat like this all the time? No, but it does guide us for what we choose to eat as much as possible.
1. Eat real food
Sounds simple enough, right? I think that most people think this is what they are doing. But it’s been shown that much of the typical American diet is processed food (31% more than fresh), or what many call “food based products.” Real food is as close to the source and original form as possible. It’s food that God created to be eaten as food. It means whole fruits and vegetables, raw dairy, whole grains, natural sweeteners, and grass-fed and pastured meats. Eating real food doesn’t lend it self to low-fat diets or fads. It simply means to eat what was created to be eaten as food. We add superfoods to our diet daily too.
2. Eat organic
I think there’s this premise some people have that eating organic makes you an earth-lovin’ hippy or that somehow you’ve mastered some secret of eating that makes you better than someone else. Eating organic food ensures that your food was grown without the use of pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics. It means that the farmers use practices to maintain healthy soil and treat their animals properly. It means that your food was grown in the purest way possible, ensuring you get the most nutrition from your food. Organic practices are how food was intended to be grown.Over 80% of food found in a typical grocery store contains GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms) and large corporations are fighting the need to label this for consumers! If there's one reason to go organic, it would be to avoid GMO products and the glyphosate that's sprayed on them. There's never been a better time to switch to organic when possible. We also use this product to get glyphosate out of our bodies!
3. Use traditional cooking practices
Food production has come along way from the time my grandmother was born in 1910. If you don’t want to make it yourself, you don’t have to! If you want to have food right now, you can! Just stop at a restaurant, fast-food chain, grocery store, gas station and wa-la! Instant food! The problem is that food is not meant to be a switch you can just pull and make it appear. It takes time to grow and time to cook well. Our bodies digest certain foods better, like grains, when they are soaked and fermented, which takes time. Our bodies need good fats like butter, lard, egg yolks and animal fat. Patience in food prep allows us to slow down and appreciate what we are eating, to think about where our food comes from, and why we are eating in the first place. Fermenting and soaking foods allow our bodies greater nutrition and promotes the growth of good gut bacteria. We love kombucha and sourdough!
4. Support small farms and local artisans
As much as we want to believe that buying some eggs at the grocery store is supporting some farmer somewhere because there’s a cute picture of a farm on it, the truth is that most of the food and food products you buy at the store are owned by several large corporations. Meat and eggs come from CAFO’s (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) where the animals are treated worse than you’d treat a stray cat. When you support local farmers and artisans, you are supporting a real family. You’re supporting local business and local economy. You’re supporting a family that believes in the importance of farming and spends their life committed to growing and sustaining our food system. You can talk directly to the farmer and gain a real connection to the food you’re eating. Sometimes you'll learn that a farmer isn't certified organic but is using organic practices. Purchasing local food sends a message that you want to know where and how your food is grown. Plus it tastes much fresher and hasn’t traveled the globe to end up on your plate.
5. Do the best you can (and then some more)
Lest you think we're perfect when it comes to eating, you'd be mistaken. I don’t think perfect exists. And I don’t think that we should strive to eat perfectly because we’ll end up feeling bad and giving up when we don't do things the "right" way. Eating well isn't always the easiest choice and requires some sacrifices, but it’s worth it.The best thing you can do is make small changes, one at a time. Educate yourself and find something you can do, something you can change. Give yourself a pat on the back, but then, find something else to change. Don’t get overwhelmed by what you can’t do; instead, focus on what you can do. Find a friend who wants to make changes too and do it together.
What are your core beliefs about food? I'd love to hear what you and your family believe in.