Is that organic? Is that GMO Popcorn you’re serving? Do you have almond milk for my coffee?
These are all questions you might hear me ask if you spent a day with me. Some people may find my questions irritating, or classify me as a food snob, but really, my beliefs are pretty basic: I simply think we all deserve to eat food that’s not doused in chemicals or laden with GMOs. I think food should taste good. It should be simple. And not to sound too foodie cliché, but I try to live by Michael Pollan’s food rule, “don’t eat something your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”
(In fact, I try my best (it can be hard!) to live by most of his ten commandments.)
My transition into the world of healthy, wholesome, and mostly-organic food began about four years ago. Although I’ve been a vegetarian since I was twelve years old, I wasn’t always a holistic eater. If you peeked in my cabinet in college, you’d see a big box of honey nut cheerios and some canned corn. In my freezer? Vegetarian imitation chicken nuggets. You’d also find me eating at the dining halls, filling up on mac and cheese and white pasta quite often.
My food choices shifted over time, however, and since I began working at an organic food company five years ago, it’s been impossible to escape knowledge about our country’s highly industrialized food system. The more I learn, the more I decide I don’t want to be a part of that system.
I choose differently for the environment. For the farmers. For the animals. And most importantly, for my own health!
I’m definitely not perfect. Although my pantry looks a bit different these days (insert: organic wild rice, organic beans, fresh spices, and tons of whole, organic grains) I definitely “cheat”. Admittedly, if I’ve had a stressful week I’ll probably chow down on some Cheese Its. And I still dine out a fair amount– which can be a challenge in my small, not very hip town. But at the end of the day, my goal is to find, enjoy, and share wholesome ingredients and foods that make me, my friends and my family a little bit healthier. I like to celebrate food, not fear it.
Which food rules do you try and live by?