What Real Foods Means to Me


Everybody defines real foods a little differently. I think in general, most people agree it is eating food as close to the original as possible without a lot of processing, additives, etc. I don’t have a specific set of rules, but here are the guidelines we use in our family:

– Organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible and not cost prohibitive, as fresh and local as I can. If it’s not in-season, or available fresh, I buy frozen fruits and veggies over canned

– 100% whole wheat flour instead of refined white flour – I bake some of our bread, and get some from a local bakery that has only 5 ingredients

– Brown rice instead of white, or often we sub organic quinoa instead

– We drink pasteurized but not homogenized whole milk from a farm near our home, I make yogurt from the same milk, and we eat local cheese & butter from the same farm, and local eggs whenever possible

– We don’t eat a ton of seafood, but I’m trying to incorporate it into our diets more as I learn to prepare it – when we do eat it, it is wild caught not farm raised

– We get all of our meat (pork, beef & poultry) from polyface farms, which they define as “a family owned, multi-generational, pasture-based, beyond organic, local-market farm and informational outreach”

– I use honey, Grade B maple syrup, or rapadura to sweeten things, and I almost always cut the sweetener in recipes

– I avoid high fructose corn syrup, refined sugar & GMO ingredients as much as possible

– We don’t often eat out – when we do, we try hard to eat real foods, but it’s not always possible. I need to get better about packing whole foods when we travel because that is probably when we slip the most

That’s where we are. It has been a slow evolution over the past 4 years switching everything over, researching local options, figuring out what this all really meant and learning to cook things unprocessed that I previously purchased canned, packaged or pre-made.

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