Real Food Defined


Real food is food that is closest to nature and its original form. Real food is food that is found on a local farm, food that is pulled from the earth or plucked off a tree. It is food that is produced in an environmentally-sustainable and ethical way.

Some people find it easier to learn about real food by understanding what it isn’t.

Real food is not processed, made in a factory, sprayed with chemicals or genetically-engineered.

Real food does not contain scary ingredients that are hard to pronounce and it never contains:

  • artificial colours / dyes, flavours or preservatives
  • artificial sweeteners like aspartame
  • natural or artificial thickeners or fillers, like carrageenan
  • genetically-modified organisms
  • antibiotics or hormones
  • pesticides or herbicides
  • polyunsaturated oils like canola, corn and soybean oils and hydrogenated oils (trans-fats) like margarine
  • high-fructose corn syrup / glucose-fructose (the name given to high-fructose corn syrup in Canada)
  • MSG (monosodium glutamate)
  • refined carbohydrates and sugars



Reasons to Choose Real Food


To Thrive

Because our body needs real food to thrive. It is as simple as that. Processed food is virtually devoid of nutritional content. By the time it’s been created in a lab, sold to the farmer for ongoing fees and royalties, doused with pesticides, sliced, diced, irradiated, ultra-heat treated, had all kinds of dodgy dyes, flavourings and preservatives thrown in, chemically-extended, prettied up in plastic, canned in BPA-lined tins, dressed up in cardboard, flown from Timbuktoo, driven along endless highways and dropped off at the loading bay of your grocery store, it is basically dead food and virtually unrecognizable from its original form. Convenient and cheap, yes. But best for our health and our little ones’ bods? That would be a resounding NO! We need nourishing, nutrient-dense food. And this cannot be found in processed food no matter what the box or the TV commercial says.



Food is Supposed to be Organic (and your body knows this!)
Many years ago, all food was organic. Yes, there may have been less of it and certain fruits and veggies weren’t available all year round (or at all) but we had the basics to ensure the survival of mankind to this point in time and it didn’t require a ton of predatory advertising companies, genetic-engineering, synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, industry-driven interest groups, government subsidies and fast food, not to mention in-your-face food labels boasting low-fat, calorific content and nutritional claims.

Our body knows the difference between green leafy kale and yellow-dyed macaroni boxed dinner. We think it’s all so confusing and scientific and that we need a nutritional expert to help us get through the day. But it’s really not.


Food is not Science
There’s a place for scientific advancement, but when it comes to food itself, even if scientific advances have aided production and increased the amount of affordable food, it is not an advance when that very food is of no nutritional value and could actually be harming our health and our soil. The industrial food system is not doing us, or our planet, any favours.

Proponents of ‘organic’, ‘real’ and ‘whole food’ believe science does not really belong on our plates. Yet, the work of scientists and chemical companies within the food industry is often loudly defended as ensuring the world has enough to eat at an affordable price and that without them we would all starve. It is a convincing position to many who feel they are no match for scientific research and evidence. The presumption is that science and technology is always beneficial and superior to alternative ways of knowing and understanding, such as natural processes, traditions and cultural behaviours. Science is fab and fun when it contributes to responsible advancement of our society but when misapplied, it is downright intrusive and just messes up the ‘natural’ balance and harmony that is supposed to exist. Does science really have a place in food? Should a few types of chemically-grown foods be mass-produced and subsidized by governments so that food can be cheap, processed and addictive and, at the same time, make us unhealthy? Or should we spend a few more dollars on a variety of whole foods grown locally without chemicals that provide nutrient-dense meals for ourselves and our children? Science belongs in vehicle propulsion, operating theatres, essential medicine, gadgets and electronics. Real food puts paid to the place of science on our dinner plates.

Although our governments are there to represent us and to look after our best interests, they are sometimes conflicted and don’t always put our individual interests first. Our food system is politicized to protect corporate industry and agriculture. These groups have deep pockets and vested interests. One glaring example is the treatment of genetically-engineered food in both the US and Canada which the governments deem to be “substantially equivalent” to its conventional counterpart. This means that no independent safety testing of this lab-made food is required, yet that same food is deemed to be unique enough to be patented, thereby affording the chemical companies that develop these foods special ownership rights and privileges. It’s all very complicated. And food just shouldn’t be!


louise-homeLouise is the founder of Real Food Actually, a non-profit dedicated to promoting real food for families. It is her firm belief that there is a direct connection between the food we eat and our families’ health. Big disclaimer though: Louise is not a nutritionist or dietician. Louise is actually a corporate lawyer who, when it comes to food, has always leaned towards more natural, whole foods.