Setting the Table: An Introduction to my Food Philosophy

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Not all of my food choices are based on the nutrition they provide. While my foundational knowledge of food comes from my science background, we must remember that food connects us with our roots, our taste buds, and our wallets. It is an expression of our culture.

I ask myself three questions when I make a food choice:
1. Who makes it?
2. Is it balanced?
3. Where does it come from?

Please note: I am an imperfect person. While I do follow a food philosophy, I stray from it periodically, and I’m ok with that! What is important to me is that I act intentionally with my food choices. I hope this post gets you thinking about your own food philosophy.

Question #1: Who makes it?

In general, my meals come from my own kitchen. I eat mostly non-processed foods. This means that I buy most of my groceries from the outer aisles of the grocery store—fruits, vegetables, and sustainable dairy, eggs, and fish/meat. I venture into the inner aisle to choose frozen or canned fruits and veggies, whole grains, and liquid fats like olive and canola oil. I do this to reduce the amount of hidden ingredients (like sugar, sodium, and fat) that are found in some processed foods.

Question #2: Is it balanced?

On Sunday afternoons, my spouse and I collaborate to plan the meals and grocery list for the week. We choose meals and snacks while thinking of the five food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein.
Here’s how I approach these five food groups

1 & 2. Fruits and Vegetables
I construct my daily menu with veggies and fruits in mind first. Why? Because fruits and vegetables come in a wide a variety of flavors and colors. And, healthier people eat more fruits and vegetables because they are rich in nutrients and low in calories.

3. Protein.
Next, I take a look at my protein for the day. I emphasize eating mostly plant proteins like beans, nuts, and seeds. And, I do eat some animal products grown sustainably.

4. Dairy.
I focus on low fat organic dairy—mostly milk and yogurt, with cheese as an indulgence. Dairy gives me a nutrition boost, keeps me feeling full, and is tasty.

5. Grains.
And, I certainly don’t forget whole grains. I eat whole grains to give me energy to exercise well and think clearly. And, they also complement the vegetable proteins I am eating throughout the day.

Where does it come from?

The food from sustainable farms is not only a healthier choice, but it also creates an environmental and social impact I support. The eggs, dairy, and meats I buy come from sustainable farms. However, not all the fruits and veggies I buy are organic. In general, I follow the Environmental Working Group’s list, called the “Dirty Dozen,” which recommends the fruits and veggies to buy organic.

What makes your food philosophy unique? Let me know by commenting on this post!

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  • What makes your own food philosophy unique?