Why Do You Eat Real?

Why Do You Eat Real?

Tue 29 Jul 2014

Story by The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation (USA)

At the beginning of each month we give our Food Revolution ambassadors a set of challenges, and at the beginning of this month we challenged our ambassadors to tell us why they eat real.

We received some amazing and inspiring answers, some of which are highlighted below. Take a look and be inspired to let us know why YOU eat real by posting on our Food Revolution Community page, or tweeting us @foodrev.

Why Do I Eat Real Food?

Joanna Kaczmarczyk, Krakow, Poland

1. Because it is healthy. While eating whole foods like vegetables and fruits, you do not eat all of the preservatives, additives etc. You do not eat overwhelming amounts of added sugars. You eat lots of fibre. Because of these reasons you prevent obesity, many chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease and cancer. You stay healthy and increase your chances of living longer.
2. Because it is tasty. Real food smells, tastes, have bunch of colours. And it is natural!
3. Because you can eat it a lot! When you eat lots of vegetables you do not have to worry! They are nutrition dense, so you bring yourself lots of vitamins and minerals but in the same time, you bring small amount of calories.
4. Because you can show younger generation your attitude to real food and protect them from the obesity epidemic and an addiction to processed food. Our voice is really important for the future generation.

Marcela Senise, Turin, Italy

1. Because I grew up in the kitchen observing my grandma cooking her meals.
2. Because I loved the idea of going to farmers market with her or dad and trying all sorts of fruits and veggies.
3. Because we sat over a table almost every Sunday if not home at restaurants or friends place to have meals together and share a great experience.
4. Because good food, real food was part of my growing up, it was normality. It sounds so crazy to think or say such thing today but that's it, a normal love for real food and a love for ourselves.

Julie Cockburn, Bend, Oregon

My relationship with food didn't start off that great...
I grew up in the processed food generation. My mother (who has in recent years become an amazing cook, and is, by the way, a wonderful mom) did her best with what she knew how to do. Which in the 1970s and 80s meant a lot of packaged mac & cheese, canned soup, and instant chocolate milk. We were taught that this was the best way to eat.

I was reasonably healthy, athletic, and thinner than most, but I was plagued with a persistent feeling of brain frog, often felt fatigued, and had painful stomach aches so often that I actually carried antacids with me in case of an all too often flare up.

But even with this less-than-ideal relationship with food growing up, I actually found healing through real food.
All of those stomach aches when I was growing up drove me to look at my food habits as I became an adult.
I started making conscious food choices, began learning how to cook, and started seeking and making the real foods that I truly enjoyed. I discovered not only how real, healthy food can nourish and heal my body, but how it can actually create wonderful connections in my life, and create a pathway to receiving joy, beauty, and pleasure.

Real food for me became the point of entry into real living - towards being awake, and alive, and engaged in life. Real food connected me to my body, my senses, my desires, my culture, the people around me, and even the world around me.

And that connection, joy, and pleasure led me to make even wiser food choices that naturally supported me, my body, and my health - a very positive, upward spiral.

So for me, real food is about healing on a physical level, and creating deep and joyful connections on a mental and spiritual level.

Terri Salminen, Haarlem, The Netherlands

Cooking fresh every day fulfils my responsibility to my family’s needs, weaving a legacy of good health and good memories centered around the kitchen table. Eating real food is a necessity and not a luxury. There is simply no other way to do it, no alternatives or compromises. Seeking out good and reliable food sources, working with a budget and setting up a balanced pantry are all part of building a healthy relationship to one's surroundings and connecting with the world. Doing so sets a good example for my children and is part of their building blocks towards a grown up future.

I truly believe in the importance of lowering the threshold to the kitchen, involving both men and women and their children in one of the most socially significant activities possible. It's not just about putting something on a plate. The kitchen is the key to creativity and happiness. There is nothing more important than making real food from one's own hands and feeding it to loved ones.

Read more stories from Ambassador Amy in Arizona, Ambassador Veronic in Quebec and Ambassador Mardi in Toronto.

Why do you eat real? Is it the way you were taught or a realisation you had later in life about your kids and health? Or do you just love cooking from scratch with real foods? We want to know!

Tweet us at @foodrev or post on our Food Revolution Community wall

Here’s to the real food revolution!

The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation (USA)

Images: Ambassadors Julie Cockburn, Amy Wambold, Debbie Thorpe, Jimmy Boswell


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