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The Importance of Real Food

The Importance of Real Food

A few days ago, I had lunch with a friend of mine at Good Earth, an organic grocery story in Fairfax, California. It has an amazing prepared foods section that is more like a cafe than a supermarket deli. Everything is prepared with organic ingredients and much of it is local, vegan, and gluten-free. The grocery section is incredible, as well. The produce and meat are organic and local and, with items like yeast and cashew butter, the bulk section exceeds any other I’ve seen.

On the drive home, my friend and I were discussing the value of places like Good Earth. We arrived at this conclusion – that this is the way food is supposed to be. What is food, after all, but nourishment for our bodies? It should be nutrient-rich and free of harmful chemicals and artificial ingredients. Food should help us, not hurt us. And the fact that products like Jell-O and Funyuns are considered food demonstrates how disconnected we are as a culture from what we put into our bodies.

And, of course, since food comes from nature, this means that we are also disconnected from our natural environment. We lead a synthetic existence. Much of our time is spent staring at screens, breathing air expelled from an air conditioner. We get around in cars and forget the use of our legs. Our bodies, our food, and our natural environment are all intimately linked, and it is time we return to an understanding of that interconnectedness.


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Sarah Cooke

Sarah Cooke is a writer living in California. She is interested in organic food and green living. Sarah holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University, an M.A. in Humanities from NYU, and a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University. She has written for a number of publications, and she studied Pastry Arts at the Institute for Culinary Education. Her interests include running, yoga, baking, and poetry. Read more on her blog.


+ add your own
5:41AM PDT on Apr 6, 2013


5:48AM PST on Jan 25, 2013

good to know

10:16PM PST on Nov 16, 2012

Thank you :)

8:24AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Organic food is wonderful but one has to be careful about labels as some companies use the word "Natural" a lot and it really isn't. So many unhealthy foods out there, when fruit and veggies are slathered in pesticides it is a horror show for wildlife and humans. The same with factory farms, toxins, antibiotics and hormones. Free range organic farming is the best solution. Growing your own veggies/fruits/nuts when you can is also wonderful especially if one is not living in a large city.

Genetically modified foods are unnerving and when growing one's own food finding a reliable source for seeds that are heritage/heirloom is important so that Monsanto does not win. The food is also more flavourful when not GMO.

With pets much of their food is not organic especially the dry foods which is totally unnatural. With wet food beware if the first ingredient listed is "meat byproducts" as that generally means ground up beaks, feathers, blood, heads and all the other non meat sources which is anything remaining after the meat is off the bone. If grain, wheat, corn are one of the top ingredients on the label that is just as bad.

Huge companies specializing in making people and animals ill for decades!

5:15AM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

Fresh and local are also important things, thanks.

2:17PM PDT on Jul 17, 2012

Thanks Sarah for posting you and your friend's perspective on what real food should be.

12:45PM PDT on Jul 17, 2012

very true!

9:33AM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

If only wholesome, organic food were the only food available... The way it should be!
It's so strangely wrong to me, that we have to pay MORE money for food that's not GMed, laden with pesticides, or processed factory-food.

3:36AM PDT on Jul 15, 2012

I just finished my lunch of fresh baked sweet potato covered with olive oil fried tofu and soya sauce. It took all of 15 minutes to make and it was delicious. Good wholesome food is the best.... and most times quick too.

10:38PM PDT on Jul 14, 2012

And its the way all food was before 1970...

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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