What is Real Food?
I love this explanation and definition about what we mean by real food. I often battle to adequately define what it is the Organic Natural and Whole Food Emporium stands for at heart. It is so much more than organic, it’s equally about an attitude towards natural food and towards farmers that preserve the fertility of our soil for future generations. It is equally about how we consume and our attitude towards the damage or contribution we decide to make through conscious consumerism. It is equally about understanding the true cost on the planet and on all affected health systems including our own when we don’t eat locally and seasonally.
As we define this on thisspecial Jozi journey of ours, we equally embrace all those who make an effort to get our dependence off industrialized and mechanized food and that broadens the horizon somewhat, we embrace the artisinal baker as much as we do the organic farmer.
We meet so many food heroes doing things in different capacities that make a difference.
Organic isn’t the only valuable contribution to our vital food revolution. The artisan who makes cheese with milk from her own grass fed cows and sells it locally using no additives and preservatives may not be using organic milk, but she’s still making a contribution to reviving great food and her cheese is still going to be so much healthier and have so much less of a carbon footprint than the conveyor belt version made with milk from conveyor belt cows living on antibiotics and growth hormones. Buying local is a critical value in the food revolution equal to buying from farmers who don’t poison soil and water with pesticides. I’ve learnt that sometimes the tomato brought from your local small farmer has a greater impact than the certified organic bananas in your retailer that they flew in from Israel.
I’ve learnt about the complexity of factors that determine whether produce has a total positive or negative impact on the health of the environment as well as yours.
So we need to look deeper sometimes. We have to be as concerned about how produce is transported and the carbon miles it incurs as we are about whether it was farmed without pesticides and artificial fertilizers.
We have to equally be as concerned about how the labor is treated on the farm. IFOAM (the International Federation of Organic and Agriculture Movements) defines the fair treatment of labor as an organic principle just by the by – http://www.ifoam.org/about_ifoam/principles/index.htm.
The jam maker who uses naturally grown fruit and adds no preservatives or artificial additives and just serves jam with 3 recognizable ingredients is making as much of a contribution to our health with her creation so that we don’t have to buy the conveyor belt version that has more chemicals in it for shelf life than real food.
I could go on and I think that I should this year so that we strengthen this journey and really make it more meaningful, more impactful, more significant and more valuable. We have to be comfortable with being able to weigh up the complexity of factors that bring a product to our doors and to be educated enough to bring a calbre of thought to our decisions that balances all green revolution values.
I found this incredible poster that really helps us do this simply. It’s from a group called ‘Two The Root’ – an Education website designed by health care professionals committed to getting people the resources they need to understand the link between real food and real health and to see how real food is the real medicine – http://www.twotheroot.com.
I’ve written out the principles from their poster for you. I’ve enquired about getting an order from them so that we can get them onto our fridges. I’ll let you know as soon as we have them.
This is what I mean when I say that The Organic Natural and Whole Food Emporium is committed to the promotion of REAL FOOD..:)
Everybody seems to have their favourite one – I must say that mine is ‘Real food brings people together – it connects, it inspires and it is something worth celebrating..’ because that combines two of my greatest passions in life, connecting meaningfully with others and great food.
- It nourishes our bodies and minds.
- It supports us in living vibrant healthy lives.
- Real food is real medicine.
- It looks beautiful, smells great and tastes delicious.
- It is something you grow in your yard, on your patio, or from your balcony.
- It is something you harvest from your garden, find in your CSA box, barter, swap, or purchase at the farmers market.
- It is picked fresh and enjoyed seasonally.
- Real food rots.
- Real food connects us with culture.
- It helps us to remember our ancestry.
- It is the food of our grandparents and all those who care before them.
- It is the recipes handed down, re-imagined and reinvented.
- It is something you prioritize and prepare.
- Real food is something you share, with family, friends, co-workers and neighbours.
- It is something for which you give thanks and something to savor.
- Real food brings people together – it connects, it inspires and it is something worth celebrating.
- Real food deserves a real future.