I love this photo of my granddaughter Violet doing her shopping, when she was about 3, rushing nilly willy down the baking aisle.
Have you ever thought about how and what you shop for and what your personal food philosophy would be?
Now that my course to become a Culinary Nutrition Expert has begun, this is one of the assignments I have been given and it has been enlightening.
Over the years I have adopted different food strategies, low fat, low sugar, more veggies, etc, etc, etc. All those health washing ideas printed on the packaging of processed foods that I purchased, but I have never really put it all together, and wondered if it was good for me and my family.
I know all too well, that as my children were growing and I was busy working, getting meals on the table was the most important thing. Then getting to the end of the week so that we could relax for a couple of days before it all started again. Even though I am a planner by nature, it all just never came together to think about our overall food and eating habits.
I have also been overweight most of my life. When I think of the different diets I tried, lost weight then gained it back when I went back to my old habits, it was a downward spiral.
Maybe if I had a food philosophy back then it might have been different.
If I knew some of the things I have learned over the summer doing the pre-reading for my course, things might have been different. I accept that I cannot change the past and I am now in possession of some knowledge that I think will help me walk the future at a healthy weight.
So what is a food philosophy?
I would say that a food philosophy is an overall strategy that governs how you shop and make decisions regarding the food you purchase for consumption. As well, it goes to whether you process the foods yourself or purchase already processed. Sometimes it also goes to what you are willing to do, have the time for and what you feel is out of your wheelhouse of skills to do, like growing your own, or preserving, making jam, baking, etc. It is also something that will always be changing and evolving.
Previously I would have said my food philosophy was that I am a “Gluten Free, Vegan who eats Meat” with food sensitivities. If I think about that I guess it makes me an oxymoron but the statement covers off a lot of my sensitivities. Now however I have realized it is more than just that.
Although I was already eating whole foods, I now find that I am eating even less processed foods than I used to and when I do purchase them I look for organic, Non-GMO products where sugar is not in the first five ingredients. I consume grass fed, pasture raised meats and poultry, raised without the use of antibiotics and hormones as my budget allows. I prefer wild fish whenever possible, but if not cost effective I look for farmed fish raised without antibiotics. I also try to purchase local foods when they are in season.
I think that the biggest influence on my latest food philosophy, would be Michael Pollan’s book In Defence of Food. I agree with him that real food should be our source for nourishment, vitamins and minerals before looking to supplements to achieve optimal health.
I would say my current food philosophy is that I am a “Gluten Free, Vegan who eats Meat”, still an oxymoron, that is sensitive to gluten, eggs, dairy, peanuts, almonds, banana, and pineapple. I try to purchase products that are organic, Non-GMO and whole foods that have been humanely raised, without antibiotics and hormones. I also prefer to do as much processing of food at home where I control the ingredients.
That is mine! What would your’s be? Is it something you have given some thought to? Or is it something you have not really been concerned about?
Please let me know in the comments on my blog, I would love to hear what your food strategy is!
This is such an amazing journey, I have grown so much already!I look forward to further exploring the world of food with you.
Stay tuned, there is still lots coming to share and ponder on.
Food Sensitivity Coach and food lover passionately exploring the world of food.
I hope you have been enjoying my journey to get ready for my Culinary Nutrition Expert program that begins in 2 short weeks. Yikes!
It has certainly been an interesting journey for me so far. I have read books and viewed documentaries I never would have thought to read or watch. I have learned so many things that I knew were out there, but never had the time to explore or become passionate about.
I can’t believe how much this new learned information has already changed my life, and look forward to more to come.
You know when you are going through daily life, sometimes you just have to get to the end of the day, then rinse and repeat. It takes time to think about things differently and decide what fits into your life and what doesn’t, at least not yet.
It all began with a desire to help my clients with food sensitivities be able to approach their food lives with a positive spin. Focusing on whole, not processed products to heal and become healthy once again.
But then it all changed and this journey became not just about my clients but about me and the food choices made in my home.
The information I was reading and watching began to have a huge impact on my everyday life and the decisions made in my home. My husband jumped on board watching documentaries with me.
We began to question what we had done for so many years. I think that is amazing.
So what are some of the changes we have made?
1. We don’t worry so much about eliminating fat as possible from my diet. We eat healthy fats, including some saturated from animal products. We try to use the appropriate fats to compliment each of the foods we are eating. Olive oil for salads or cold dishes, avocado oil for foods that are being cooked at a higher temperature. We stay away from canola, soy, corn and cottonseed oils that are most likely from GM crops.
2. I now realize that big business has really done their best to make me crave the processed foods in my cupboards that I just couldn’t leave alone. So I have eliminated many of those foods and opted for whole foods that will keep me satisfied. I have to say it was hard at first, but now I don’t crave those foods even when I see other people eating them and that has made a huge impact.
3. One of my big wake up moments was the day I realized that this is not a diet, this is a choice. This is a choice to fuel my body with foods that will keep me full, healthy and give me the energy I desire.
4. I have to say the documentary King Corn had probably the most profound effect on me, and it has little to do with corn. Instead it is all about feedlots and how cattle are treated while they are being fattened up for my consumption. Fattened on GM crops that yes I would prefer to avoid, but more importantly, I want to consume meats from animals that have had a good life, in a pasture with sunshine, that eat the grains and grasses they consumed long before GM crops were around.
5. I have been revolted by the photos of plastics in our oceans for quite a while, but just hadn’t worked out how to replace them in my home. I now use beeswax cloths to store vegetables and left overs, as well as glass containers. My tooth brush was a big problem until they began to sell bamboo tooth brushes where the handle can be recycled once the bristles are removed. I also now look seriously at the packaging my food products come in, and that enters into the decision to buy or not to buy. Even a small step can make such a difference.
6. Previously I never really felt the organic label on my food was worth the cost, but after learning more about how organic foods are never GM, and that being grown in the soil with weeds, and pests, those plants have to work harder to grow and thrive and there is a reason. They may not provide convenience for the farms, but they may provide more nutrition to me. The jury is still out on that one.
There are more changes as well, but I will leave the list at that.
Suffice to say, I have found the spark and the passion again. I am excited to begin my program and move into a whole new world of food. Hope you will continue the journey with me.
During this challenging and amazing time, what has given you a spark of inspiration? Please put a comment on the blog post to let me know.
Food Sensitivity Coach and food lover passionately exploring the world of food.
From birth we try to protect our children from so very many things. Some things are easier than others. What they eat is at the top of the list for many and that food is controlled by our choices good, bad, informed or blissfully ignorant. I must admit that some of my choices in the past were blissfully ignorant.
If you want to start a controversial conversation, you just have to say the word GMO and it is amazing how many people have a passionate opinion.
The next documentary I chose to watch as my Culinary Nutrition course start date draws closer was Genetic Roulette - The Gamble of Our Lives by film maker Jeffrey M. Smith released in 2012. Let me say, that I realize that this was released 8 years ago and there have been a significant number of changes in research since that time.
Genetically modified does not just mean taking the genes from cows and putting it into pig DNA to get a tougher hide on the pigs. Today it also means changing the DNA of seeds to be pest resistant.
When scientists first started looking at GM, it was to produce hardier crops, or to get a desired effect. One idea was to make crops less susceptible to weeds and pests, so that the farmer didn’t have to spray crops with insecticide. Many farmers at that time suffered health consequences from spraying toxic chemicals.
A friend reminded me that there are some good things that have been GM, and I try to remember that documentaries offer an opinion for you to research and decide what information you choose to accept.
This film taken at face value is enough to scare the pants off you! It covers a lot of territory regarding GMOs, but I am going to focus on the insecticide Bt (bacillus thuringienis) which occurs naturally on leaves and in soil around the world. It is approved for use in Canada and has been deemed to not pose unreasonable risks to human health.
Interesting phrase, ‘to not pose unreasonable risks to human health’. What does that mean?
Today, corn and a number of other crops have been modified (GM) to produce the insecticidal proteins that occur naturally in Bt.
So how does Bt work? When the insect takes a bite of the crop, the insecticidal proteins work to rupture the insects stomach to kill them and to protect the crop.
My response to that was WHAT about when humans eat the crop????
This is where it got interesting for me. If the insecticidal proteins break holes in the guts of insects, what does it do to us? As a person who suffers with food allergies and sensitivities, this is a big question for me.
When Leaky Gut occurs, holes in our gut allow food to pass into the blood stream that has not been properly digested for the body to use. The body then can identify the undigested food as a foreign body (which it is) causing an immune/allergy/sensitivity response.
Incidents of Leaky Gut or gut issues have skyrocketed in recent years, could this be the reason? And how many other diseases and conditions are made worse by the use of Bt? Could something that naturally occurs in nature be the cause? Or is it something else.
According to the film , of the top 10 GM crops today and the derivatives of those crops, more than 70% of the processed foods on our grocery store shelves today potentially contain ingredients that are GM without us knowing it.
As of today, there is no mandatory labelling of GMO products in Canada or the US. When polled 80% of Canadians and 90% of Americans today want to have that labelling.
The top 5 GM crops today are soy, corn, cotton, canola and sugar beet. How many processed foods do you currently consume that contain those ingredients or ingredients made from them?
I would hazard a guess there are many in your cupboards.
From my previous reading and blogs, I have learned that when the big money is behind a cause, and some researchers start saying that something those companies are promoting is harmful or incorrect, the researchers are often discredited to the point of where their reputations are shredded and their research buried. Such was the case in The Big Fat Lie, regarding saturated fats, that we now have learned some years later is not as harmful as originally designated.
When I started to do a little research on my own to see what was being said about this documentary, what I found was a lot of reviews that slammed what was being said, and questioning not only Jeff Smith but also the experts that he had on camera in this film. Literally, I did not find one review of support, which brings to mind that similar situation, and considering most of these reviews were done by researchers and universities that are dependent on the money from large corporations that deal in GM seed. Makes me wonder…..
Are the risks to our health being whitewashed in favour of big money and more profit once again?
As with everything, you need to make your own personal decision about what you consume, but for me this issue is too glaring, not to sit up and take notice. While I can’t vouch for the research used in this documentary, what was being said mades too much sense to me just to discredit it without further consideration.
Did you know that any product marked Organic cannot be genetically modified?
That makes me feel better, and there is an app from the independent agency called the Non-GMO Project that certifies products Non-GMO. You can also look for their Verified Non-GMO labeling on food packaging.
Sometimes, in the World of Food you find things that are a bit unexpected. Good and Bad!
What are you feelings on this blog, and/or the GMO issue? Please post a comment on the blog and let me know.
Exploring the world of food with you.
Food Sensitivity Coach and food lover exploring the world of food.
diane Couse, Food Sensitivity Coach
I am passionate about exploring the world with a view to food allergies and sensitivities. I look forward to sharing with you what I find, from books, blogs and websites to recipes, hacks, inspirations and opinions, join me in a journey to live your best life.