What is ‘REAL’ food?
It’s food that has only itself as an ingredient:
Onion vs battered onion ring. Roasted chicken vs chicken nugget. Baked potato vs potato chip.
It’s food that you could grow or raise yourself:
You might not want to or have the space, but you could grow lettuce and you could raise a cow.
It is highly unlikely that you have access to a laboratory to synthesize instant cheese sauce.
It’s food that comes in its whole natural form:
A chunk of beef and fresh vegetables rather than a frozen dinner entrée of beef pot pie. It’s chicken broth and cream instead of a can of cream of chicken soup.
There are a variety of people who read this blog. Some are able to maintain a budget that allows for the best of ingredients and others are trying to get by with what came in the box from the local food pantry. Because of this, ingredients listed on the blog will only be stated in their simplest form, i.e. ‘carrots’ rather than ‘sustainably raised heirloom organic carrots’.
I often times find myself getting frustrated when I read recipes. Not because I wasn’t clever enough to create them, but because of all the extra words. When a recipe has a dozen ingredients and the word organic (or pastured or grass fed or free-range or wild caught, etc.) is listed before each ingredient it gets tedious and cumbersome to read, and it makes me feel bad at times because those options aren’t always part of our budget.
Don’t get me wrong. The ideal of organic, sustainable, local produce and meat is great! I am 100% for it! It just isn’t attainable by everyone.
Cooking needs to be approachable by everyone!
In some contexts, labeling everything as organic or grass fed or pastured or heirloom or heritage, etc. comes across as elitist. In other cases, those descriptives are necessary when talking about the health ramifications that come from agricultural practices that are standard in our nation at this time. It’s a fine line between the two for me. In my mind cooking skills and recipes are separate from health instruction. What you cook impacts your health, and the more you know about health the better cooking choices you make, but they are separate subjects in my world. It is important to know the source of your food, but it isn’t imperative to a recipe’s success.
Your world may be different.
The food choices that work for my family may be different than the food choices that work for your family. We eat produce and protein, no grains or legumes. It’s what works for us. You may eat rice and beans because that is what works for you. If you are looking for healthy diet guidance, you are better with another source than this blog. Regardless of what you find works for you, make sure you JERF!!!
The one thing that all diets can agree upon is to eat less sugar, eat more vegetables and eat less manufactured foods. In other words – JERF!!!
Whatever your circumstances, rich or poor, skilled or just learning, cooking and feeding yourself is a fundamental skill that everyone should posses. It saves money. It is healthier. Cooking from scratch is just as easy as making a blue box of bright orange mac n cheese -which is cooking, by the way, just with really low quality ingredients that don’t offer much nourishment. The recipe is printed on the box instead of in a book or a blog... you still have to measure and time things!
Choose the best ingredients you can.
Buy REAL food.