Lots of times we talk about the “how” of real food. How to do this, how to do that. But how often do we consider why?
The “why” is often more important than the “how.” It gives us the motivation for all that we do, including how we prepare and eat foods.
This may come as a shock to some who haven't actively pondered the “why.” Whether we realize it or not, everyone has a “why” lurking behind the scenes. For example, the “why” for the family that eats lots of boxed foods might be convenience. (I happen to think the idea that boxed foods are more convenient is a myth, but I'll save that for another day.)
12 Reasons to Embrace Traditional, Real Foods
Before I start the list, I want to clarify this. I start with the assumption that real foods are traditional foods. In other words, they are traditionally prepared and nutrient-dense. For example, contrast these two types of real foods:
Sugar cane. It is real, definitely. But a diet of sugar cane to excess is not a healthy one.
Traditional food preparations (like culturing dairy or souring dough). Real, yes. And healthy because the preparations make the foods highly digestible and nutritious.
In the benefits and reasons listed below, I primarily focus on the second type. Of course.
So… here are my top twelve reasons for embracing real food… aka GNOWFGLINS.
1. God's foods are real foods.
Before there were factory farms and processed foods, there were nutrient-dense foods prepared traditionally. These whole foods came from the field to the table with very little processing, other than traditional preparation methods.
Though we have studies to show that traditional cultures were more healthy than people today, let's not turn this reason into a scientific debate. Let's embrace real foods simply because they are in the form our Creator gave them.
We honor Him by honoring His design. It's that simple.
2. Real foods are nutritious.
Real foods contain vitamins, minerals, enzymes, probiotics, fiber and more — the stuff we need for healthy bodies and healthy minds. Processed foods are basically empty calories and do not support health.
3. Real foods taste good.
Your picky eater may not agree. Yet.
For most of us, real foods are unparalleled delicacies when compared to their commercial, processed counterparts.
Recently, I gave a half gallon of raw milk — with a cream line 4″ deep — to someone who helped us. That evening, he grabbed the regular milk jug to serve his son a glass of milk. But his son saw the mason jar of real milk peeking out of the fridge, and he asked for that instead. He'd tasted our real milk once before. Clearly, it made an impact.
4. Your kids get to know their food.
Many kids (and probably adults) are so removed from reality, they have no idea their food doesn't grow on a grocery store shelf.
When you embrace real food, your kids see/read/hear/discuss farming, learn that carrots grown in the ground, that eggs come from chickens, and that milk comes from real cows not a plastic jug.
This is exciting, mind-blowing stuff for children. They love it. 🙂
5. Working around allergies or health issues? Real foods to the rescue.
When you're cooking from scratch with whole, real ingredients, you don't have to worry about the unpronounceables that cause allergies, reactions, side-effects or general illness. Work around them with whole food recipes, tailored to fit.
6. Real foods support Liberty.
I know you're a lover of Liberty. When you support local farmers growing real food — or you grow your own — you're supporting the idea that people have a right to choose, grow and prepare the foods they desire.
Former presidential candidate Ron Paul is a supporter of individual Liberty, including raw milk freedom. He believes individuals should be able to make their own choices about food (and other things), rather than be told by the government what they can and cannot eat or buy.
7. Real foods support local, simple food transactions.
When you purchase whole, real foods from local farmers, you're helping them and your local economy. When you grow your own food (and perhaps share with others in your area), you're helping yourself or others get off the industrial food machine.
8. Real foods put you in touch with God's world and seasons.
To grow or purchase local, whole, real foods is to get to know your world better — the world God created. He is the author of the seasons, of planting and harvest, and even of rest. I believe that getting to know His world helps us know Him better.
9. Real foods = return to tradition.
People of old knew how to bake with sourdough, create ‘good-for-you’ crunchy and sour pickles, make farmhouse cheeses and churn cultured butter. They lived close to the land and its bounty and passed their knowledge down from generation to generation. When you embrace real foods, you return to those roots and old-fashioned skills. Good stuff.
10. Real foods help you learn real skills.
In your pursuit of real food you may garden, raise chickens, or milk a goat. Or at the very least, you may visit with your local farmers who do these things or more. You'll be soaking up skills whether you desire it or not! For me, there's not much more excitement in life than learning about traditional food preparation!
11. Real foods slow you down.
Tending to a batch of cheese, cutting curds, milking a goat or cow, churning butter, kneading dough, packing cucumbers in a jar for old-fashioned pickles — these are simple, nourishing, enriching tasks. They add up to a slower, satisfying life. A life more in tune with natural rhythms and God's providence.
12. Real foods introduce you to cool people.
I love the people I've met through my family's traditional, real food journey. From the Farmer's Market, to co-operative gardening, to reading comments on this blog, to visiting with eCourse members on our forums, the people behind real foods are fun to know. I love you all.
What would you add? Please share in the comments!
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