UNDOUBTEDLY FOOD

Welcome the section for food ideas and recipes: undoubtedly_FOOD 

I’ve decided to add a food section to my blog. I was looking for a space where I could offer bits of information and advice that I’ve been gathering by trial and error.

I will post some easy recipes, but mostly I will share ideas to inspire you to make a difference in your eating habits by introducing small shifts and changes. I believe that redefining the way we conceive of our diets and routines will lead not only to a better quality of life but also to a more sustainable environment. I’d say the point is to look for a lifestyle that will prove worthwhile in the long term, bearing in mind any possible resource constraints.

Having had some health struggles in recent years, I started going through different sorts of nutrition theories and trying different kinds of diets in the hope of finding the one that would suit me. I’ve been looking for the healthiest option that would both fit my lifestyle and supply me with the greatest amount of energy.

In fact, it took me a long time to figure out that most pieces of advice or guidelines out there are not only useless but also quite often harmful. After a lot of research which included due reading and experimenting on myself, I came to the conclusion that I should just eat ‘real food’.

Sounds very simple. So what’s the problem?

Well, the best answer to this I found in Michael Pollan’s work, especially in the book In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. (for a shorter version you can have a look at his article in The New York Times Unhappy Meals)

In the mentioned texts, Michael Pollan explains why following his advice to ‘eat food’ is not that simple. One of the reasons, as he mentions, is because: “Once, food was all you could eat but today there are lots of other edible foodlike substances in the supermarket.” In other words, we are virtually overflooded with highly processed products from the food industry that are meant to be food but in fact are not. These, in my opinion, should be at least banned from ever being called food. Ideally, I would have them banned from being produced and sold. Yet, here we are, eating them.

A very interesting concept that Michael Pollan has popularized in his book is Gyorgy Scrinis’s definition of the ideology or paradigm of ‘nutritionism’, which had emerged from the reductive focus on nutritional composition and the obsession about nutrients as the key indicator of healthy food. The author discusses the rise of this tendency and the consequent impact that it has had on our eating.

Many of us can see how a distinct loss of touch with nature, our surroundings and even our bodies has left us numb to our innate intuition. As we welcomed new bad habits, we abandoned valuable knowledge that had accumulated over generations. We used to be instinctively and culturally programmed to know what to eat, how much and when. What once was an easy common thing, today is wrapped in confusion and often turned into dogmas, strict ideologies or food religions. It’s funny how sharing a meal, which was something that gathered people around, became a topic of disagreements and discussions both in scientific circles and in the coziness of our dining tables.

No wonder most of us end up close to cluelessness. We are not even sure that we can tell what real food is, let alone what the real healthy choices are. I guess we need to go back to our instincts and get our cravings and food-related addictions under control. But, to do that, we need to start by becoming truly conscious and mindful of what, where, when and how we eat.

Finally, as sustainability is the leitmotiv of my blog, the one that is inspiring and binding together all different sorts of topics, I would like to touch on what I identify as the relation between sustainability and food. When thinking about food as a part of my lifestyle, these are the two main questions that come into my mind:

  1. In what way do our eating habits affect the quality of our food and our environment as well as its overall sustainability?
  2. Once we have established our values along with our desired lifestyle, how can we work around the existing constraints in order to ensure sustainability on the long term?

Firstly, we might not be fully conscious but the choices we make on our everyday routines are both directly and indirectly affecting our environment. We should never underestimate the power we have to encourage and actually support either good or bad practices (be it from the farming, production, transportation or selling sector). By choosing one product over another, we are choosing what kind of impact we are going to make. 

Secondly, a very important aspect of leading a sustainable life is making our lifestyle work for us in spite of any resource constraints. Be those related to time, money or energy among other. We should always be able to prepare and enjoy a variety of satisfying and tasty food options either way. The key is to pay attention to our surroundings and look for those practices that will make up the habits and routines that fit our particular circumstances.

Ultimately, I would say that this matter is all about constant learning. It is a growing process. In fact, I do not have all the answers and I’m only glad I don’t: that’s what drives me to explore even further and that’s what keeps me going, generating ideas.

Here’s me hoping that some of these ideas will help you find your own way towards your own sustainable and enjoyable lifestyle. 

A book review for Michael Pollan’s book In Defense of Food – click here for the link

Gyorgy Scrinis’s book Nutritionism – The Science and Politics of Dietary Advice – click here or the link

Michael Pollan’s articles for NY Times:  

In Defense of Food – click here for the link

Unhappy Meals – click here for the link

 

 

 

Photos by Mili 

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