I was writing an article the other day and whilst writing it prompted me to ask myself ‘what is food?’ Remember the quality of your life is based on the quality of your questions and so I went digging to see if I can bridge this gap between what food actually is and the food selection people are making.
Here’s what I found…
Food is a basic necessity for life along with shelter and clothing. And, if we don’t eat eventually, we starve and death can then be upon us. Food enables our bodies to function when it contains nutrients like fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Nutrients enable our innate intelligence to take care of growth, repair and the maintenance of our cells and it also helps with the regulation via our nerve system of all our vital processes too.
However, food as we know it today is not like what, for instance, my grandparents thought food was…yadda yadda… you know how it goes – soil erosion, chemicals, herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, GMO, farming practices and so forth all raping the land which means ‘food’ that is produced is subpar. It lacks the necessary nutrients and general ‘wholeness.’
Well, what then constitutes a food in today’s more ‘modern world?’
Most would say it’s something we eat. If you said that to yourself, then you would be incorrect. Why? Because, ‘something we eat’ could include chips, chocolate, soft drinks, ice creams, lollies and mass-produced snack items…notice how I didn’t say snack foods…all full of ‘empty nutrients.’
Food is defined as follows…
“any material that is absorbed by a living organism and contributes to positively continuing that organism’s life or growth.” (1)
“any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink or that plants absorb in order to maintain life and growth.” (2)
The key in both of these definitions is ‘life and growth’ as long as something you eat is providing ‘life and growth’ then it can be called a food!
Okay so now we have that sorted…what about the lollies, ice cream, chocolate, soft drinks and so forth that are more than likely inhibiting your growth and shortening your life? Are they foods? And if they aren’t then what do we call them?
Well they’re called ‘junk foods,’ ‘frankenfoods’, ‘processed foods’ ironically all with the word ‘food’ in them. No wonder people are confused about what real food is and what junk food is. They may as well be the same and that just might be why the processed industry is perpetuated.
I personally wouldn’t put those two words together…that is kind of like an oxymoron. What I would call those non-organic highly processed things people purchase is ‘junk items.’ Items that don’t contribute what-so-ever to the life and growth of your self or your child. Junk by definition is considered to be useless or of little value (2).
So next time your shopping on your own or with your child remember to remain out of the centre isles of the supermarket. Just do the peripheral shop for the fruit and veg. Supermarkets nowadays stock a range of organic items or better still find a local farmers market, a co-op or a ‘green space’ that only sells food that will positively contribute to your growth and life!
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