Almost every month you hear of a new supplement, drug or diet that claims to improve your health. Such a flood of information about healthy products and fad cleanses are beginning to feel more overwhelming than helpful. It makes living healthy seem time-consuming, expensive, and exclusive to only a capable few.
Eating right, shouldn’t be that way. We believe the simplest way to eat and live healthy is by reconnecting with your food.
What do we mean by reconnecting?
Reconnecting with your food simply means that you are aware that someone, somewhere, planted, grew, and harvested that grain in the bagel you’re eating. It seems obvious, but we can forget that food comes from the Earth.
The steps between harvesting plants and having food on your plate generally involve plenty of processing and shipping. Especially today where we rely on large corporations to provide us with food. These corporations have the power to add preservatives, sugars and chemicals that you wouldn’t otherwise find in fresh, local food.
Local food, on the other hand, generally takes less steps to reach your plate. The result? It requires fewer preservatives, and tastes fresher, while also supporting your local economy.
Once you know where your food comes from, your diet almost naturally will improve. For example, instead of buying french fries the frozen aisle in the grocery store, you can grow your own potatoes, store them, and pan fry the potatoes yourself, whenever you want. Doing this you will have made fries that are much healthier since you know these fries only have three ingredients: potatoes, salt and oil. Not to mention tastier.
It may seem like a daunting task to reconnect with your food after that example, but it really isn’t. All you have to do is take the first step. How?
Here are some easy first steps to get you on your way to reconnecting with your food:
Find places that practice it
Go meet your fellow locals. Find a shop that uses only fresh, local ingredients. Start with one thing, buy one vegetable, meat or sauce. Use it for a special occasion, you may notice the difference.
Image of from Fable
Fable is one of the restaurants on that list, and is located on West 4th Ave. If you are unsure where in your area serves local food, here are some phrases to put in Google to get you started: local food, locally grown food, or farm to table restaurants.
Prepare lunches instead of buying them
Prepare your own lunches to take to work instead of buying them. By preparing your own lunch you are actively engaging with your food in a way that is removed when you simply exchange money for something pre-made. Try out a new market or store that sources local produce for your salad, or the butcher shop that sells locally sourced meat.
Image from Fitness Magazine
Making your own lunches sounds daunting, but it’s really easy to do if you have some inspiration. You’ll find that it doesn’t even take any time at all once you get started. So check out some mason jar lunch ideas from Fitness Magazine here.
Be your own source of food
Plant some lettuce on your balcony for your salads or grow a herb to add depth to your pork chop. Growing your own food may raise your awareness about what it takes to produce food, at any scale, and you’ll get the freshest and cheapest lettuce ever. Anyone can do this, you just need a small pot, some soil and sunlight, and water. More info about growing lettuce can be found here.
Image from Chron
Lastly, and most importantly, reconnecting with your food should be a social endeavour. When you’re buying from your local grocer or farmer, ask them about their vegetables: where did they grow it, what else can they grow. There is no better way to reconnect with food than hearing the story directly from the hands that cared for it. They can even give you tips on picking the best meats, vegetables and fruits.
Reconnecting looks different for everyone, but the one commonality is taking that first step, which is a lot easier than you think.
Header photo from Karsten Würth