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There is so much edible stuff that masquerades as food but isn't. Two minute noodles spring to mind as do some crackers and many forms of confectionery and soft drinks. It is like feeding your child cardboard, only with more preservatives.
I come from a family of cooks. Both Mum and Dad prepared meals from scratch. We all watched and learnt by osmosis and for me, cooking the family meal is a normal part of the day. I prefer my own cooking to a jar prepared in a factory. Probably a bit too much if I am honest. But I want to role model to my children what food actually looks like and where it comes from.
We have our vegetables delivered and I usually top up at the local farmer's market or the stalls at the nearby farms. Local is best for sustainability, reduced travel miles and freshness. I can't always afford to buy organic, but I do when I can, especially focusing on the dirty dozen. Same goes with supermarket bought products; Australian made all the way.
When I get busy though, I start to take short cuts in the kitchen. A few too many 'easy dinners' creep into the menu plan and before I know it, the kids have been two days without a vegetable! Crumbed fish and bottled sauces are leading contenders. The mindfulness of connecting with the source of the food seems to slip away and meals become fast rather than slow food.
I have long been interested in the work of Michael Pollan, and more recently, his convert 100 Days of Real Food. I have shared a number of his food rules in the form of blog posts over the years. The man makes a lot of sense to me.
So as I am spring cleaning my diet and looking to improve my health, rather than selecting a 'diet' per se, I am trying to oust processed foods, increase fruit and vegetable consumption, and find the path to maintenance of weight. Prepared foods with more than five ingredients are off the menu as are foods with unrecognisable contents.
Over on the 100 Days of Real food blog they have a 14 week program to look gradually at different aspects of your diet to increase your real food consumption. We started it last year and got stuck after Week 1 because Week 2 means I have to address my love affair with Coke Zero and I may not be ready to do that even though it totally signifies all the badness there is in the food world in one neat little (recyclable) container.
But I am going to start again. Even if it means postponing Week 2 until the end.
What are your thoughts about real food?