If you’re wondering “What is Real Food?” here are some guidelines:
Real Food is grown or raised with care and is eaten close to its natural state.
If it doesn’t have a label or come in a package, it is highly-likely that it’s Real Food.
Think about the beautiful, fresh food that you find at the Farmer’s Market, a butcher counter, or in the produce section of the grocery store.
Real Food is alive and vital – it contains natural vitamins, enzymes, and maybe even some beneficial bacteria. Not the chemically manufactured kind that food processors add in at the last moment to make a claim on a package. The complex type that nature provides to nourish life.
If the food went through any processing it should be minimal and done in a way that preserves as much nutrition as possible.
What’s so wrong with processed food?
Our bodies haven’t adapted to them. They either lack the nutrients we need, or the fake stuff becomes part of our cells, but it’s a decoy and doesn’t work properly. Over time this leads us to illness. First we gain weight, have digestive problems, or get depressed. Later on we end up with diabetes, heart disease, or cancer.
Here are a couple questions you can ask yourself at the grocery store:
Did this item exist as a food 100 years ago?
This isn’t an absolute rule because there was definitely food processing going on in the early 1900’s, but most of the so-called foods in the grocery store today did not exist 100 years ago. An example of something that seems more natural, but is actually highly processed is canola oil. It was invented in the 1970’s as a cheaper cooking oil, but it took manufacturers a lot work to market this an edible product. I’m sticking with extra virgin olive oil, a food humans have extracted naturally and eaten for thousands of years.
Does it contain ingredients that I can use in my own kitchen?
The simplest example of this is high-fructose corn syrup. Grocery stores don’t sell it to the general public, yet it’s listed on the labels of hundreds of products in these same stores. On the other hand, I can buy honey for my tea. Other examples of this are pretty much all the ingredients you see on packages that you can’t pronounce.