Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Definition of Real and Traditional Foods

Once upon a time, living healthy was not such a complex subject. People hunted and fished for food, reared their own chicken and ate the eggs whenever they hatched, ate vegetables grown in their backyard, picked fresh fruits from the trees in season, and drank raw milk from healthy cows. There was no such thing as organic or non-organic. There was no such thing as pasture-fed or grain-fed animals. There was no such thing as wild or farmed fish. There was no such thing as vitamin pills. People were strong, healthy, and free of modern day diseases. They had perfect eyesight, strong teeth and bone structure. That was the only way of life. The terms "organic," "pasture-fed," and "wild" in our modern days were once the norm. They were supposed to live that way, just as God had created and intended them to be. They cooked meat over fire, not microwavable frozen food, ate fresh fruits and vegetables, not juice. They ate food in its most original form, natural, and unadulterated. Nothing was artificially added or changed and food was not in cans, bottles, cartons, or plastic packaging. They ate real food.

What happens today? What was once the norm, it no longer is. We eat fried food, fast food, canned food, convenience food, junk food, dairy products from animals raised in unnatural conditions, crops grown in pesticide-filled farms, genetically modified food, artificial food, fake food. Margarine for butter, egg beaters for real eggs, lemonade mix for fresh lemons, and vitamin pills for naturally-occurring vitamins from real food.

Dr. Weston A. Price, the author of this amazing book, Nutrition and Physical Degenerationtraveled the world studying the diets of non-industrialized people. As a dentist, he wanted to find out how diets affected health problems, including tooth decay, crowded and crooked teeth, tuberculosis, arthritis, growth problems, and fatigue that arose from the modern diet based on sugar, white flour, and vegetable oils. He explained that without vitamins A and D (which are catalyst to mineral absorption and protein utilization), you cannot absorb minerals, no matter how abundant they may be in your food. Traditional food, as he explained, is the foundation of strong and healthy bodies.

What is Traditional Food?

"Traditional foods are those whole and ancient foods that have been eaten for centuries and even millenia. They are the foods that your great-great-great-great-great grandmother and grandfather would have eaten. They are simple, naturally grown or raised, nutrient-dense, thoughtfully prepared." (source)

Traditional Food (vs. Modern Diet)

- Foods from fertile soil (vs. foods from depleted soil)
- Animal fats (vs. vegetable oils)
- Animals on pasture (vs. animals in confinement)
- Raw and/or fermented dairy products (vs. pasteurized and homogenized)
- Soaked/fermented grains and legumes (vs. refined grains)
- Bone broth (vs. MSG and artificial flavorings)
- Natural sweeteners (vs. refined sweeteners)
- Lacto-fermented vegetables (vs. canned vegetables)
- Lacto-fermented beverages (vs. soft drinks)
- Unrefined salt (vs. refined salt)
- Natural vitamins in food (vs. synthetic vitamins added)
- Traditional cooking (vs. microwave)
- Traditional seeds/open pollination (vs. hybrid seeds, GMO seeds)

That means, traditional food is eating whole, unprocessed foods, meat and eggs from pasture-fed animals, wild seafoodfull-fat milk from pasture-fed cows (raw or fermented), homemade bone broth, use animal fats and traditional vegetable oils only (such as extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and palm oil, eat organic fresh fruits and vegetables, eat soaked whole grains, legumes, and nuts, include enzyme-enhanced lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits, beverages, and condiments, use unrefined salt, herbs and spices, natural sweeteners, and consume only natural, food-based supplements. Eating traditional food will maximize nutrients while modern diets minimize nutrients. 

If you are interested to learn more about traditional food, you can start your learning at The Weston A. Price Foundation website.

What areas of real food do you find it the hardest to include in your diet? And what areas of modern diet do you find hardest to give up?

Disclosure: This post includes an affiliate link.

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