What is Food Philosophy?
There is someone I admire very much in the Holistic Nutrition world who considers herself a food philosopher and when I first read that, I just fell in love with this term. It got me thinking about my own food philosophy, and how one could begin to develop their own. I know food can be philosophical as it reflects on the ethical, political, social, artistic and identity-defining aspects of life.
So what's my food philosophy?
I've broken it down.
I believe in balance in nutrition. Since we live in a modern time full of processed foods, which we can't always avoid, balance for me does not equate to denial. However, the real deal is in whole, real foods, traditionally prepared foods that offer a myriad of flavors, textures and nuances.
Wholesome, pasture-raised meats offer concentrated sources of vitamins, minerals and wholesome, healthy fats. Vegetables, fruits and plant foods offer antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Grains, while not well-suited to every person, can offer micronutrients when properly prepared to make the nutrients better available to the body.
Eat your meat – as much as you can ensure it’s pasture-raised or grass-fed. (My favourite place for this is Ogopogo Meats in Summerland.) Eat your grain – just make sure it’s soured, sprouted or soaked. Enjoy plenty of vegetables prepared in different ways for their flavor and subtle, unique beauty. Eat raw food, eat cooked food, eat fermented food – just eat whole foods.
You can have it all - healthy, organic and delicious.
I believe that farmers should be fairly compensated for their work. When I spend my money locally, and purchase from the farmers' market or farm-gate, I ensure that the agricultural roots of my community are well-fed and that the farmers, themselves, not giants of the agricultural industry or middlemen, profit from their hard work – tilling the fields, harvesting crops and raising animals properly.
By connecting directly with food producers, I can talk to them about how it was grown and decide if it's close to my optimal standards. It's great to see passion in farmers' as they talk about what they do. That feeling excites me and the ensuing purchase motivates our movement.
Sustainably produced food and grass-finished/organic meats nourish the earth by properly feeding the soil and improving the variety of native flora. Moreover, foods grown locally, sustainably and picked fresh offer their peak nutrition to the consumer. Better nutrient density, better for the environment and better for the farmers.
I believe in unprocessed, unrefined, whole foods as per the healing education at The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in Vancouver. The math is simple, people + more real foods = healthier, better feeling people. Industrial processing strips foods of their natural nutrients and value, and by consuming foods in an unprocessed state our body is missing nutrients.
Check out nourishing, wholesome recipes from local chefs, books or blogs that feature natural, unrefined foods like sprouted grain flours, organic nuts and seeds, unrefined olive oil, organic meats as well as plenty of fruits and vegetables. Even those on a budget can enjoy natural, whole foods on a budget because you won't be buying as much junk food. "Eating healthy is expensive" is a myth.
I believe in raising, growing and preparing our foods through traditional methods – as close as we can to how they would have been raised, grown/prepared prior to the industrialization of agriculture. By following the methods that nourished our evolution, we optimize the nutrients they contain. The habit of fermenting vegetables, as in sauerkraut and kimchi, was born of practicality – a way to preserve the harvest well into winter but serves another purpose of increasing beneficial bacteria, food enzymes and vitamins. By preparing foods traditionally, we maximize their nutrient density and make our body better equipped to digest them well. Using whole foods and traditionally prepared foods were practices that were reawakened in the 1960s counter-culture, and we are continuing that revived tradition.
I believe in community involvement. The only way to improve the state of our own health and that of our community is to take an active role in advocating for sustainable agriculture and real food. Ways you can be involved (growing your community and social limbs is healthy for your body & brain too!
//Plant a community garden, be involved in one that already exists.
//Volunteer at your local farmers market.
//Organize (or find in your area) a CSA.
//Hold a community potluck featuring wholesome, local foods.
//Celebrate and share your local farmers' produce with your friends and family, and photos of it on social media to spread the word
//Support nutritional advocacy groups like the Weston A Price Foundation, Food Revolution Network, or Organic Consumers' Association. If you can't send money, spend time with local food organisations like here in the Okanagan we have the Fruit Tree Project, Soup Sisters/Broth Brothers or One Big Table.
As per the view points of Lutz Nutrition, I believe you can find the root cause of issues with awareness of the body and preferring traditional foods rather than the over-use of supplements.
I believe there is a level of responsibility of personal development through dietary modifications. Self-improvement and self-development are ways we find and learn about ourselves and we can do this through food as well.
All these philosophies not only deepen our understanding of nutrition, they also serve to enlighten our body to a healthier way of life! Taking some or all of these into our lives can create transformation that feels so great.
Thank you for reading my food philosophy. Now tell me, what's yours?