Well , it does seem that all of us know what Real Food is.We know it is healthy ,fresh ,organic ,whole and tasty. But then every once in a while ,when I see a wide variety of " healthy foods" being lauded ; I do a double take and wonder are we really on the same page wrt to Real Foods ? Or do we need to take a closer look ?
That's why I decided to draw up the "It Ain't Real When ..." list :
1. It is Out of Season.. Mangoes in December,Apples in May . It is probably preserved ,shipped from halway across the world or grown in a green house -cum lab with heaps of pesticides and fertilizers.Waxed and coloured to look perfect.Real Food Love does mean living with nature's rhythms and nature's bounties .Seasonal and mostly local stuff has highest nutrient scores - make no mistake.Even if it is only turnip and mooli you get to eat.That mooli is indeed one up on Kiwi !! 2. It is out of a Package ! Except for frozen veggies and fruits which retain nutrients -all that comes out of a package or a can has been played around with in not too healthful ways. 3. It is Ready to eat but not a fruit, vegetable, seed or nut .Or a combination thereof.In our quest for portability,shelf life and taste we use a few token healthy things say a vegetable,herb or fruit and smother them in white flour,refined oil,margarine and sugar ,salt and call it REAL.These are what I call TOKEN REAL foods - Brittania fruit cakes,Garlic fried snacks ,kaju Barfi ,Maggi . 4. It is Ready to Drink but not just Water or Milk or unsweetened juiceOk I will add green tea to that .But the more elaborate the beverage the less real it becomes . 5. It has Fake Fats.I know , I repeat this a lot . But it needs repeating.All the aforementioned snacks and Bakery products with their generous use of margarine,refined oils,Hydrogenated oils,Crisco ,fake cream decorations /fillings .Your cells say EEEEKS to them ! And you better listen to them. 6. It has colours and Textures that do not occur naturally. That too red sauce the shiny green chutney -purple icecream , yellow sandesh, the super flaky crunch in fried chicken and the super soft cake.Real foods are honest and somewhat imperfect like Real People :))
7. You can not really say / believe what it is made of !!! Ahem -those non-dairy creamers in your cafe-frappe .The mystery processed meats/ processed vegetable ready to fry things sold at the super market that are sooo convenient. .Most dog and cat foods too :) 8.You can say what it is made of - and it is mostly Fractions of what once used to be Food.It has white flour - a whole grain derivative ,it has corn or soya starches ,it has extracted sugars - HFCS ,Maltodextrin ,assorted syrups, flavours and scents.Skim milk and low fat curd. 9. You can go on eating it regardless of hunger.True ! you can't just have one of these kind of made-up foods !! It is designed that way ! 10. It's calories are divorced from Nutrients. It maybe high cal or low cal but its calories while striving very hard to stay happily married to Nutrition are in fact Divorced or in advanced stages of getting separated from Nutrition :))