By now we can all agree that a good diet consists of food that is:
That means it does not come out of a mix-it-up-type box or a tin, you have made it yourself. An exception to that might be olives, anchovies, tomato paste out of a tube, pasta. I’m slightly intolerant to fresh / uncooked vegetables, which is an irony no-one in my family has failed to mention. That being said, I think the advantages of eating uncooked fruit and vegetables outweigh the annoyance of a little bloating. Eat fresh vegetables, boil them or roast them lightly. Deep-frying does not count as eating vegetables, and neither does ketchup.
Eat food made in your country, in your neighbourhood if possible. Food that has been transported in container ships does not count as fresh. Exceptions to that might include avocados, coffee, pineapple, mangoes etc. Eating local food means you do not have a carbon footprint as wide as a tennis court every time you sit down to eat.
I live in Japan where strawberries are considered a winter fruit. Actually, they are a summer fruit, but all strawberries in Japan are grown under a polytunnel. If it’s not in season, don’t eat it. Exceptions to that might be avocados (do you see a theme emerging here?), tea, rice etc. I hardly ever eat tomatoes in autumn, winter or early spring, and I never eat mushrooms in summer, nor root vegetables. It drives the people I cook for nuts but if they want to cook instead of me I’m happy with that.
Organic, or biodynamic for preference
I know it’s more expensive but it shouldn’t be. The more organic food we eat the more it supports organic agriculture, and the more organic food gets sold, the lower the prices are. Because I’m a cheapskate, I go to the bargain bucket of the organic vegetable shop and buy slightly past it veg. It’s aesthetically-challenged but in the case of root vegetables, for example, possibly better-tasting than what is on display elsewhere in the shop.
Not Genetically Modified
If you want to know why this is an issue, watch The World According To Monsanto, it’s free to view in almost any language on YouTube. Also go to the AVAAZ website – they are being sued by Monsanto because they reported on the horrible things that Monsanto does. Brrr. Just gives me shivers in my spine thinking about it. If you want to avoid allergies and worse, stay away from GMOs.
Does not contain monosodium glutamate, aka Chinese salt or flavour enhancer.
I used to teach English to a guy who works for Ajinomoto. His job was researching nano-transmitters, which are microscopically small transmitters. When I asked him why a food company wanted to develop nano-transmitters he wouldn’t answer. Plus which MSG gives you cancer.
Does not contain any additives at all
Check the packaging. Does it contain colouring, preservative or un-named “spices”? Do not eat that.
Does not contain High Fructose Corn Syrup
HFCS is the apotheosis of evil. No, not really. But it does give you diabetes, mood swings and a whole host of other nasties
Contains no or very little sugar
OK I live in the 21st century, but please just check the amount of sugar you eat. Living without sugar is totally possible. There is added sugar in everything including bread, sauces and more. Check the package if you think I’m wrong.
If you decide to have a sugar-free day, you will realise how pervasive sugar is in almost all factory-made food, because it’s a preservative. I basically never eat sugar or sweet snacks and when I do I get a really awful feeling like I’m trapped in a hideous vortex in my mind. This is what people feel like all the time, I realised, which is why they need ever more sugar to cover up those wretched feelings.
Is not stored in plastic
Plastic is porous, which means that the food wrapped up in it seeps into its structure. If the food contains any fats, such as vegetable or animal fats, to a certain extent the fats dissolve the structure of the food it is in contact with, which contaminates the food. I store all the food in my fridge in glass containers with clip lids that I bought from IKEA. I know IKEA is not the world’s best company, but hey, needs must.
Contains little or no animal products
Ok we’ve been through this before, and I agree not everyone thrives on a vegan diet. But please please, before you switch off, remember that over 51% of greenhouse gasses are emitted by the meat industry. And that means eggs and milk products also.
Plus, you never really know where the meat came from. Even if it says: “Freedom Food” or whatever, animal rights organisations are constantly exposing farms and abattoirs that are supposed to be ethical but are really not. And Halal is even more inhumane than other abattoirs. Please please please do not eat Halal meat. If you are Muslim just go vegetarian.
Was made by you
Learn to cook already. It’s not difficult. In fact it’s fun. You will enjoy it and feel better about yourself. The people I know who never cook for themselves, no matter how well they eat when they eat out, are depressed and stuck in a rut, and a whole lot poorer than they would be normally.
Think about it: if you eat junk on a regular basis, you are telling your body you think it is junk, you are telling yourself you are really not worth it. You want to live a long, healthy, happy life, yes? You don’t want to get cancer, diabetes or Alzheimers, am I right? Then eat properly.
Something about Weight-loss:
If you want to lose weight, the big no-no is a combination of fats, carbs and refined sugars. Anything that contains a combination of two or all of those is going to cause you to put on weight.