Thursday, September 04, 2008

Eating Real Food

When I was a child, we ate a much lower proportion of prepared foods. Our mother made most of our meals from scratch with fresh vegetables and meats. Of course, we did eat some prepared foods, including bread, ice cream, cake mixes, butter and TV dinners. We also had an occasional meal at a fast food restaurant.

Today, between eating out and the multitude of packaged foods, it seems easy to have most of our foods already prepared. When we were both working, prepared foods offered an opportunity to save time when having meal. Although convenient, prepared foods do not seem to be as beneficial as eating fresh foods that we prepare ourselves. Over the past few years, we've been moving back eating a higher proportion of unprepared and natural foods.

Here are the choices we are making:
  • Organic and natural. We're choosing to buy vegetables that are organically grown and meats that are both organic and grass fed. When possible, we buy from local farmer's markets. We've noticed that organic and natural foods often taste better, especially when we can get them locally.

  • Whole wheat grains. Of course, it is nearly impossible to avoid all prepared foods. Although we want to continue to reduce processed foods high in carbohydrates, we try to choose the healthier options when eating them. For breads, crackers and cookies, we are choosing whole grain varieties.

  • Fresh vegetables. We have started getting some vegetables from weekly farmer's markets. In addition to better taste, we expect to get better nutritional value.

  • Home cooking. About 90% of our meals are prepared at home, guaranteeing that they are both nutritious and delicious. Of course, we still do eat out occasionally, both for convenience and entertainment.
  • We have not gone as far as growing our own vegetables, as my father-in-law and sister do. For now, we aren't planning on starting a vegetable garden because we can still get a good variety of products from farmer's markets. If the availability of local produce declines, we may consider starting a small organic vegetable garden.

    For more on Crossing Generations, check back every Thursday for a new segment.

    This is not financial or nutritional advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

    Copyright © 2008 Achievement Catalyst, LLC


    Unknown said...

    Do you ask the local farmers if their produce is organic? If not then I would say you're no better off than buying from the store. Maybe the vegetables are fresher but not necessarily better for you.

    Super Saver said...

    Good question. At our local market, a farmer's signage will specify if their produce and meat is organic, with many being certified organic. About half of the booths are selling organic products.