We have to get real. We are hurting the planet, our animals and our bodies. No one’s winning in the ‘western diet’ where 80% of what’s in our supermarkets is processed food made by corporations who sadly do not have our best interests at heart. Real Food doesn’t subscribe to any particular diet. Once you’re eating real food, whatever food combinations work for you and make you feel fabulous within that amazing selection, then knock yourself out!
One of my idols in the land of real food, is Michael Pollan – Talk about a Real Food Rockstar – the guy literally wrote the book(s)! I can now say that I’ve not only read Michael Pollan’s books, but I’ve seen him speak and shaken his hand – *airpunch*.
Michael shared a lot with the audience during the too-short time he spoke at the Sydney Opera House this week. Here are my favourite bits along with my comments!
- “There is a flaw in nutritional ‘science’. We’ve been told that to eat well, you need to know the good nutrients from the bad nutrients. The problem is, that the definitions keep changing.” I say… This is so true. For decades we’ve been at the beck and call of nutritional fads – yes carbs, no carbs, fat free, high protein, green smoothies, juice fasts, gluten free, sugar free, different vitamins in vogue… The problem with these trends is that corporations take the trend and smack it on packet labels, enticing us to think that it will benefit us if we buy that product. We often neglect to look past the label and at the ingredients to find that while a product might well be gluten free or low carb, what it’s not free from are a host of additives, colours, thickening agents, high processed starches… Madness! When eating real food and from within that space, what really works for you and your body, there is where you find true happiness, free from feeling like you’re on a diet.
- “The farmers staying out of the big supermarkets, have carved out an alternate economy.” I say… True indeed! While many large supermarket chains do have the market stitched up for the masses, local farmers selling at growers markets and to speciality grocers or direct from farm gate, are liberating themselves and creating a higher touch community oriented market place, that many are flocking to. There’s hope yet!
- “We subsidise corn, soy and wheat, yet we don’t subsidise organic produce. Stop subsiding crops that are then highly processed and used to stop twinkies from going off forever and contribute to diabetic epidemic with sodas, and subidise the guy farming organic carrots. It’ll solve a lot of problems.” I say… Amen.
- “Chefs have the potential to become leaders of social change of the food movement.” I say… Absolutely. If you look here at Masterchef Australia and the conversations that families are now having regarding food, produce, quality and origin thanks to the popularity of the show, you can see that with a touch of celebrity used the right way, our chefs can really drive change. Jamie Oliver is probably the best Global example of this. What a legend.
- “Cultural Wisdom needs to be preserved – culture, being a fancy word for ‘mom’.” Absolutely. We’ve gone from passing on food wisdom to product preferences. Dangerous. Changing though, thanks to 1000s of bloggers connecting, sharing and growing communities, exchanging wisdom and recipes around the globe to get back on track. From an old Italian nonna comes ‘The Whiter the bread, the sooner you’ll be dead” – So simple. We need to get this wisdom back!
- Food manufacturers took the conversation that started to happen between men and women, when women started to work more and more, and made it go away. They said ‘we’ll take care of it’. I say… One of my favourite points of the night and I fully agree. For 2 generations now we’ve been told “there there you don’t have time to cook a chicken or get dinner ready, we’ll do it for you”. Problem is, ‘they’ have done a terrible job, and meanwhile, many of us don’t now know how to cook!
- “Conventional Farming still demonstrates better yields than GM crops. The promises they were making in the Biotech industry 10 years ago? We have yet to see them come to life.” I say… I like to think of GM farming as the Enron of the Agribusiness world. They’re futures trading on our food. On behalf of us, with no real idea of what effects or outcomes any of their actions are going to have.
- “Stop thinking you are annoying and allowing others to judge you for being a demanding consumer. Those questions you ask your waiter or butcher about Grass Fed meat and whether the chickens roam free in a field? They’re the questions that lead to change. Keep asking them.” I say… Thank you for a night that encouraged me to stay at it. Keep asking, keep educating and connecting with like minds to create a powerful force of change. Oh what the heck, another *airpunch*.
- “Even the fussiest of kids will always at least try something, if they’ve been involved in making it themselves.” I say… So true. For ages I involved my lil’ 3 year old on all the cooking. Now for some reason, I had just started to do sweet things with him. And what do you know? He’s getting fussy. This point has helped me focus, and get that kid back on as my sous chef for mid week meals – stressful though it may be on the mess front at times, focus on the benefits and maybe even just start with one night or a child getting picked each night as the helper if you have lots of kids! They could then introduce what the meal is to the other kids, all proud of their efforts. Now there’s a plan.
- “The soil can be made richer through farming – if farming is done in the correct way. Take Joel Salatin from Polyface farms for example and his rotation techniques. Using the sun and natural laws, he farms cattle and chickens on rotation and the soil actually finishes the cycle, richer than it started.” Loved this story. Amazing farmer.
Real Food. Happy Planet xx