Most of the things that are killing us these days — whether it’s heart disease, diabetes, obesity, many, many cancers — are directly attributed to the way we’re eating. But how do we know what to eat? Seems like an absurdly simple question – but clearly the way we’re eating today isn’t working for us. I would like to introduce you to an approach that is truly nourishing and good for the soul! It is SOUL Food where SOUL stands for:- Seasonal, Organic, Unprocessed, Local. Not only is it good for you by maximising the nutritional value of the food, it is also good for the environment, it is more sustainable by supporting the local community, and creating a bridge between the producer and the person who finally consumes the food.
SEASONAL food is fresh, is full of nutrition and tastes better. Typically it is also cheaper as it will be readily available. Another benefit is that it leads to diversity of diet – typically many fruit and vegetables are only available for a period of time in your local area – so you get a change of produce available through the seasons.
ORGANIC food is grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, artificial fertilisers, genetically modified organisms, and a host of other nasties. Not only are some of these compounds known to be carcinogenic (cancer forming), they also create havoc on local ecosystems. Organic farmers are looking to work with nature rather than against it. Many studies have shown that organic foods are more nutritious, and almost universally, people believe organic food tastes better. In addition you can be assured that they don’t contain any GMOs.
UNPROCESSED food retains all its nutrients and doesn’t include had a host of additives (colours, flavours, emulsifiers, antioxidants, etc, etc) – many of which have been shown to be detrimental to your health. Basically anything in a sealed box, plastic bag, jar or can has been processed to a greater or lesser extent. Michael Pollan, a well-known food writer, is quoted as saying “Don’t eat anything with more than three ingredients or ingredients you can’t pronounce”. This is quite a simple and effective approach. Basically, consume food in its natural state – an orange rather than orange juice out of a bottle, an apple rather than an apple tart
LOCAL food is grown in your local area. It can be picked at the peak of its ripeness – not picked unripe so that it can be transported vast distances. This also saves on greenhouse gas emissions associated with transporting food interstate or overseas and the huge amount of packaging that is often involved. It also means the food doesn’t need to be treated to either slow down or speed up ripening, sprayed with fungicides and bactericides to prevent deterioration while in transit, or irradiated or other processes used when food is transported internationally. Buying local also supports your local community, including your local farmers With minor exceptions, you don’t find SOUL food at the local supermarket – farmers markets, organic grocery stores stocking local produce, local food hubs and co-ops and, in some cases via the farmer direct, are all places to hunt down SOUL food.