Even though food is an everyday part of our lives, the effects of our diet on our health is a relatively new science. There is no one clear definitive answer on what we should and shouldn’t be eating.
It’s hard to sieve through the mountain of advice relating to food. Think about how often a new ‘fad’ diet or last months nutritional ‘fact’ is conflicted by another new diet or fact.
Despite what some people might like you to think, no-one has all the answers. I’m sure that time will change this, but until then, we each have to make our own decisions regarding our food choices and values.
We base our decision to eat Clean on these food values:
1. Food is big business. What goes into processed food is decided by profits. Processed food accounts for the majority of most household’s food budget. So, don’t be fooled by the packaging. Your family’s health is not a priority to the major players in the food industry. Food ingredients are now more science than food. Chemicals and additives manipulate taste, texture and smell to make processed foods highly addictive and profitable. They are cheap to make and – we love them. It’s the perfect product. The more we eat, the more profit is made. I don’t want my family to be a number on a balance sheet. I want to be the one who decides what ingredients goes into the food that I put on their plates.
2. The diet of a modern Western family is clearly affecting our health and the health of our children. According to Michael Pollan, four of the top ten chronic diseases “can be traced directly to the industrialization of our food”. Obesity is soaring, the increase in many childhood ailments like eczema and asthma are now being linked to the diet we feed our kids. And this is just the beginning. Processed and genetically modified foods are new in terms of human evolution. We are only seeing the short term effects at the moment, we have no idea what our diet could mean for generations to come.
3. I value the significance of science and research, but when it comes to my family’s nutrition I try to keep things simple and resist the urge to follow the latest diet advice or new food obsession. Whole foods have been around, well, before us. Varieties may change from place to place, but at the end of the day, I’m willing to trust God and Nature well before anyone else. So, unless grains, dairy, or other whole food ingredient affect our health or our personal values, I’m inclined to include them in our diet regardless of any latest trends.
4. Clean Eating is about caring where our food comes from. Not only are the foods of industry detrimental to our health, but our environment is also struggling under this ‘modernisation’ of our food. Land, air and water are being polluted by the practices of unsustainable food industries. I don’t want to be part of the problem.
5. Our family loves animals. Whilst we are not vegetarian, we do not condone cruelty. Animals are suffering at the expense of our food system. At some point we each have to choose whether or not we are going to condone this by supporting a food system that elects profit over conscience.
One of my favorite quotes by Edmund Burke goes like this: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. We can’t pretend to be ignorant anymore.