When you learn to cook in America, anything goes. Cereal for dinner, lunch in the car, breakfast at the desk- and I'm not even talking about work desk, but elementary school desks these days... food has become so convenient and easy to carry around, most people forget how important and sacred it really is.
Part of that sacredness is how it interacts with our body as a whole. The whole act of preparing, sitting down and eating a whole meal.
This sacredness does not include the foods that the media and the "latest research" say is "good for you". Follow that mantra, and you are doomed to eat badly for life.
Follow the mantra, and you will follow it straight to the processed food industry. They will give you exactly the processed foods that they say it's good for you- at that moment, that is. One day butter is bad for you and margarine (margarine!!!) is in- processed food. Then all fats are bad, and carbs are good- more loads of processed food (cereals, processed bread, snacks, snack bars, cereal bars...) Then carbs are bad, and protein is in- more processed food (Go-gurt, cheese sticks, smoothies to go, cheese to go, canned tuna, hot dogs, you name it). Then fat-free protein... (all of a sudden you can't even think of buying milk from the farm, becasue your milk must be fat-free- only the dairy industry can help, then, which means... more processed food: fat-free milk, 1% milk, 2% milk, chocolate milk... think about it, it is really just nuts how many kinds of milk they have "invented"). Berries are good, or carrots, or pomegranate- more processed stuff (pomegranate juice, blueberry extract, blueberry cereal, pomegranate shampoos)... not to mention all the supplements and vitamins made from all this "good for you" stuff.
In truth, ALL of food is good for you, all of it. When you eat it how you were made to eat it- in its natural state, and in its traditional way of cooking. The way that our parents and grandparents, our ancestors, ate. Unprocessed food, real food. Whatever tradition you decide to follow, if you do a little research, you will find the same common grounds. You cook your own food, you sit down for meals, and your entire family together partake of the same foods. That means the kids too. There is no such thing as "kid food"- that is POISON, just pure processed food that the industry somehow has made people believe is the only thing that the poor little kids will eat. God forbid you make them eat real food. Or worse yet, let them go hungry for a meal or 2 until they truly are hungry enough to appreciate something other than chicken nuggets, burgers, pizza, or... snacks, which seems to be all that kids eat these days- loads and loads of completely processed, ready to go, snacks.
So, back to real food. That would be anything that is not messed with, in its real state, and not produced artificially. Vegetables grown without pesticides (organic vegetables), found FRESH-not frozen, not canned, not in a packaged soup can or container- FRESH.
Milk that is not boiled beyond recognition (pasteurized), then separated (fat-free etc), then put in a bunch of synthetics (vitamin D etc)- that is not milk, and should not be drunk- if you wish to drink it for health, that is. It's just dead matter, dead milk.
Fresh eggs from chickens that really do roam the farm grounds (not just the factory "free-roaming" enclosure). Fresh local, truly farm roaming meat and poultry that really eat the stuff from the ground (pasture, bugs in the case of chickens etc). Not stuff made in factory farms with hormones, pesticides, fungicides, antibiotics. That is not food that our ancestors would recognize.
And grains and beans, of course. Not carbs, but whole grains, and stone-ground, whole-wheat products such as fresh bread and/or pasta... (NOT pulverized and factory super-heated stuff like cereals and cereal bars, not pop-tarts, not sandwich breads that contain more ingredients than the label can accommodate, not Gold Fish "now with whole wheat!", not high-protein bars, not "calcium-rich" chocolates...)
All that stuff is "made". And this is the key word here: the only one making any food should be us- folk at home, the people eating it. Not factories! Remember that, and cook to your health and that of your family. Whole meals made at home that nourish the body and spirit.
Turn off the TV, and you will never again see commercials for the food that is "good for you". Instead, take that TV time, and go to the farmer's market to support local, small businesses and food that you will never see advertised as "good for you", but downright scary- like "raw" milk or cheese, full of bacteria that our bodies so desperately need, and all that "dirty" produce full of unsanitary bugs. If the bugs and bacteria are in it, that means it is still alive, and it will nourish and make you healthy throughout your life.

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