I’m sure people would define “clean” food differently. Hopefully identifying “real” food is less of a conundrum. My definitions of each:
Clean Food – Plants from local, organic (or organic-esque if the local farm lacks certification but practices sustainable, chemical-free farming) sources and animal and dairy products that come from animals that have been treated humanely and allowed to graze or forage on the plants nature intended them to eat.
Real Food – Foods that are either in their natural state (fruits, vegetables, etc.) or if combined (i.e. salad dressing, marinara sauce) contain only natural ingredients I would have in my pantry and/or my daughter could pronounce.
While the above seems fairly simple, I’ve come up with a few rules to help guide me through the grocery store and market. These are by no means comprehensive, and will likely run afoul of many clean eaters’ ideas of what does and does not constitute “clean” eating. However, for me, these are the rules that make sense, give me a deeper connection to my food (and therefore my environment), and makes me feel that I’m doing right by my family.
- Avoid white flour and white sugar – Well, that takes most of what passed for “food” in our house right off the table. Creating white flour takes a somewhat healthy food, wheat, crushes it to separate the wheat germ, bran, and endosperm. From 9000 BC to the late 19th century, this is how flour was made. The nutrient dense germ and bran comingle with the starchy endosperm to create a surprisingly complete nutritional product. The wheat germ alone contains a substantial amount of protein, 23 separate nutrients, and has more nutrients per ounce than any other vegetable or grain.