This is my kids great grandmother, Hannah Wallace, with my Dad as a baby. She recently passed on at the grand old age of 97! In loving memory x
Michael Pollan is an American journalist and author who has taken a particular interest in our modern relationship with food and nutrition. He has some great quotes such as:
'Eat food (meaning real food), not too much, mostly plants'.
'If it came from a plant eat it. If it was made in a plant, don't'.
'Cooking (from scratch) is the single most important thing we could do as a family to improve our general health and well-being'.
For me, he has such a way with words when it comes to talking about food. And the best thing is, it's just basic common sense. There's so much guff written about food and nutrition these days that you'd be forgiven for throwing your hands in the air shouting 'to hell with it all' before tucking into a cream cake!
You don't need to be a nutritionist to know how to eat well. You don't need spirulina powder, a juice cleanse and chia seeds. You just need to use a bit of common sense.
Which brings me on to probably my favourite Pollan quote.
'Don't eat anything your great-great grandmother wouldn't recognise as food'. It's so simple a concept isn't it?
I should add a slight caveat here: our great-great grandmothers and grandfathers here in Ireland probably ate nothing other than potatoes, turnips, cabbage, a small amount of meat and if they were lucky, some carrots as a treat! Well these days we have many more healthy and interesting foods available to us. We have tomatoes and sweet potatoes and basil and lemongrass. What I would be saying is "Don't eat anything that a Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican great-great grandmother wouldn't recognise as food".
Why great-great grandmothers? Well they were around before the advent of processed foods, packeted foods, foods with stupidly long shelf life, foods with preservatives, colourings and added sugars.
This week's tweak is a simple one then. Next time you're in the supermarket filling your trolley, stop and think 'Would my great-great grandmother recognise this as food'? If not, well you can still buy it, that is your prerogative. But your trolley contents should be mostly made up of foods that people 3 or 4 generations ago would recognise.
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