10:45pm Tossing, turning, not sleeping. ”Real food…..real food…..real food. How to explain real food…” Mmmmmm, fooooooood…
11:03pm Hunched over my sink like a rat — chowing, mowing — definitely not sleeping.
“Real food…..real food…..real food.” Mid-bite and with possibly two chicken legs hanging out of my mouth (true story), it suddenly dawns on me: I actually have to explain what “real food” is! WTH? How did our world get so screwed up that there is anything other than real food even available?
11:17pm Wardrobe change — somehow my chicken legs cascaded down my shirt. I can’t write while smelling like chicken; I have enough distractions. But, before I change my shirt, I should probably reorganize my bar. How can I write with my vodka sitting next to the bourbon?
11:34pm Bar alphabetized? Check.
11:51pm Somewhere between The Beam and Kettle One, I come up with the best explanation of all time.
REAL FOOD = NOT CRAP
Said differently: REAL FOOD = NOT KRAP
In another language: EALRAY OODFAY = OTNAY APCRAY
If pig latin doesn’t clearly explain it, try this:
What is REAL FOOD? Real food is food that is as close to it’s natural state as possible. Starts with a single ingredient, ends with a single ingredient. Simple. No chemicals. No hormones. No antibiotics. Happy. From the earth. From something that eats things that come from the earth or eats things that eat the things that come from the earth. Nourishing.
BENEFITS OF REAL FOOD
It tastes better.
We feel better.
You look better.
It’s what our bodies need and nothing they don’t.
It’s the only medicine without side effects.
Humans are designed to eat this way.
Your kids will back-talk less and listen more. Truth!
What is FAKE FOOD? Fake food is “food” that is a far cry from nature’s intention. Processed beyond recognition. Starts with a single ingredient, ends with multiple ingredients comprised mostly of words and chemicals you can’t spell or pronounce. Complex. From the lab. From a scientist who works in the lab being told to create something that resembles real food because if the public knew what it really was, they wouldn’t touch it. Addictive.
BENEFITS OF FAKE FOOD
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE
Our bodies are designed to be perfectly functioning bad-ass machines. In nature’s design, our hearts will never skip a beat, our lungs will never forget to breathe, our bones will never lose integrity. So, do you want to keep moving, breathing and living? Then fuel with quality food, Dummy! Simply stated: Eat crap, krap or apcray on a regular basis (or hang with Carrot Top) and you’ll eventually become fat, sick or dead. The end.
Am I exaggerating? I don’t think so. Just look at our country’s growing epidemic of disease, cancer, obesity and the whole slew of existing ailments. In the ancient past, even as little as 100 years ago, we simply did not have these problems in mass quantities like we do today. Is it any coincidence that our food system has changed more in 50 years than in the past 10,000? 100,000? I think not.
BUT, IT SAID IT WAS GOOD FOR ME!
Big food companies LOVE to confuse the consumer. “It’s healthy!” “It’s low fat!” “It’ll save your life!” “This box of cereal will actually raise your children and pay for their education.” Don’t fall for it folks. Anything claiming to be good for you is most likely bad for you and certainly not a real food. If you don’t believe me, walk up to a head of lettuce and see what it has to say. You might be there a while.
A REAL FOOD VS. FAKE FOOD MEAL — SIMILAR, BUT OH SO DIFFERENT.
I’m dumbfounded by the complexities of simple real food being stripped of it’s natural vitamins, minerals, and nutrients just to be fortified with man-made crap from Dexter’s laboratory. Am I the only one who finds this a little nutty? Oatmeal is a great example. In it’s natural state, oatmeal is one ingredient: Oats. How about adding some apples, cinnamon and grass fed butter for a total of 4 ingredients. 4! That’s a real food meal.
Apparently that wasn’t enough. Here’s the other version that is found in most cupboards across the country:
Ingredients: Whole grain rolled oats (with oat bran), sugar, dehydrated apples (treated with sulfur dioxide, sodium sulfite, and sodium bisulfite to promote color retention), salt, cinnamon, calcium carbonate (a source of calcium), natural flavors, citric acid, guar gum, niacinamide, vitamin A palmitate, reduced iron, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, thiamin mononitrate, folic acid.
How many ingredients is that?? I mean, at least there’s that amazing health claim “Reduces cholesterol!” Not to mention, who wouldn’t want to look like that sexy Quaker?
MORE THINGS TO SCARE THE BEJEEZUS OUT OF YOU
SO WHERE DID WE GO WRONG? OH, I DON’T KNOW…
Somebody is hungry all right and it’s name is Big Food Corp. Somewhere down the road (around 60ish years ago) food developers decided that it was much cheaper and easier with higher profit margin to start lacing our food with hydrogenated oils, chemicals, preservatives, artificial colors and everything you can imagine to make them taste good and stupid addictive. Remember Lay’s famous slogan, “Bet you can’t eat just one…” NO kidding we can’t, because it’s drug-like reactions on our systems makes it impossible to stop. We are already predisposed to craving salt, fat and sugar. Thanks Frito Lay, but you’re just not helping the situation. Real food doesn’t do that. Do you recall going back to the kitchen and eating 2,3,4,10 apples, chicken breasts or heads of chard? No way! Nature is no dummy. Real food is designed to nourish and be done.
SO WHAT DO WE DO?
We get smart!! We get educated!! We stop being lazy and stop making excuses!! We spend an extra 10 seconds and think about what we’re about to shove in our Dorito hole, and it better not be Doritos either. We ask questions. We do our research. Not all animals, not all veggies, not all food is created equal. Even if it’s a single ingredient, know where it’s coming from and know who grew it. That’s where farmers’ markets, co-ops and CSA’s come in handy. They source from legit local farms and ranchers.
If you choose to shop at grocery stores rather than haul a wagon to Farmer’s Market, check out this handy flow chart!
Remember: Keep it simple. Real food is as easy as it gets. Take a meat. Take a plant. Cook. Consume.