Monday, October 4, 2010

I Am a Practical Real Food Person

Ever since my post last week I have been thinking about defining myself as a Practical Real Food Person. Since I can't say that I belong to any one existing food group. I just thought I would make my own. Oh well, if you can't join 'em, beat 'em. Just kidding, this isn't about beating anyone, I just don't always fit in. This ain't the first time...

I am a Practical Real Food Person.

I believe in real food, food with no additives, foods with only one ingredient, food in which every ingredient is food. I believe in food that goes bad in it's normal time cycle. I believe in food that is made with good nutrition in mind instead of shelf stability, a company's bottom line or sellability.

I believe in farmer's markets, CSA's, direct from farm sales, U-Pick farms, home gardens, friend's gardens, family members' gardens. I like buying things from the hand that made them, or from someone who knows the hand that made them. I prefer to buy things that have no packaging. I don't mind buying food that has been hand-wrapped in saran-wrap.

I believe in traditional foods, from scratch foods, fermented vegetables, homemade cheese, home canning, seasonal eating. I believe that natural bacterial cultures are very good for our tummies.

I believe in cooking.

I believe in baking, sauteing, frying, braising, broiling. I believe that if we, as Americans, don't start cooking more we will eat ourselves to death.

I believe in vegetables, meat and nuts and seeds. I also (but less emphatically) believe in fresh lightly pasteurized dairy and whole grains. I believe in traditional fats, butter, olive oil, beef tallow, coconut oil, lard. I believe that meats should be pastured. I believe that vegetables and grains should be organically grown, whether they are certified or not.

I believe in healthy food for kids. I believe that the government should be supplying healthful foods to anyone receiving food from a governmental program, or they are complicit in the obesity problem. I believe in bringing kids into the kitchen whenever we are able and allowing them to do more than mixing or pouring batter into muffin cups.

I am a modern eater. I love buying from farms, etc (see point #2) but I still need to shop from grocery stores to purchase all the things that I need to live. So I believe in high quality grocery stores that offer a wide variety of product at various prices so that I may make the best selection for my family. I value grocery stores that cook high quality whole foods additive free for their customers. I believe in grocery stores that ethically treat the vendors from which they purchase.

I will not sweat the small stuff. I will guide my children toward health food, not force them. I will allow my children to eat conventional cupcakes and pizza at birthday parties. I will not stress that the roll in the restaurant is white flour. I will allow my child to eat the snack that is shared with them, and not worry about what it contains. I will not worry about the foods that we come in contact with outside the home, however I will not choose ridiculously unhealthy foods when we are out and about just because we CAN.

I will make sure that the food in my home is up to my own high standard and that 90% of the time we are eating food that has been prepared in or brought from the home.

I will accept others for where they are in their food journey. I believe that we all have something to improve upon, and it does not help anyone to judge. I will not disregard someone else's personal food rules just because they don't jive with my own. If you just can't give up American cheese, but strive for natural in all other aspects of your food life, who am I to judge? I will not deride anyone for not being absolutely perfect. None of us truly are.

I will be a skeptic. I will not believe everything I hear, even if it is from a trusted source. I will take the time to investigate claims that I hear on the Internet or in a book and especially if someone has told me without being able to cite where they heard it. I will draw my own conclusions from a study or a bit of raw data. I will share what I find.

And I think that pretty much sums it up. Did I miss anything?

I am a Practical Real Food Person.


  1. OK, I'm ready to sign up! Truly, this is exactly where I am now. (My husband won't give up American cheese, so that's totally true, too.)

  2. I can't remember how I found your blog anymore, but I'm so glad I did. You're inspirational. I agree with so much of what you say here. Actually, I think I agree with everything you say here but so far I have not made my own cheese because I can't buy any (grass-fed or certified organic)milk that isn't ultra-pasteurized. And that is a crying shame because I live in Wisconsin. Maybe you could send me some in exchange for cranberries ;) (Something tells me the milk wouldn't ship very well . . .)

  3. I only like homemade food for myself and my family using the freshest ingredients and homegrown herbs in recipes, I'm particularly fond of roasting vegetables and making my own stock for a variety of recipes. For me learning to prepare a meal without having to run to the store is the best.

  4. Sign me up too! Great post!!!

  5. Thanks so much guys! I am glad you like what you see. The most important thing to me is that I want all to feel welcome in reading my words. The last thing I want to do is discourage anyone from eating healthful, nutrient dense and local and organic foods just because they are new to the ideas.

    Thanks so much for reading. We can keep improving our diets and farms and communities together!