Is Real Food My Religion?

by lydia on February 7, 2012

Is it yours?

‘Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate to humanity to spirituality and sometimes to moral values. The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system.

I have such a passion for real food that I’d be considered more than just an enthusiast by most. More like a radical! And to some, perhaps a ‘legalist’ or zealot. I can live with that though, because that’s coming from those who live life thinking life is about rules. Or perhaps they just haven’t come to understand what my passion is all about. And that’s okay! If we humans never messed with the food supply so much in the first place, we wouldn’t need to be considered ‘real foodies’ now would we? We’d just be normal people, eating God intended natural foods grown in season etc, etc.(photo credit)

To those of you out there who seem to think that us ‘real foodies’ have made real food our religion, let me shed some light. Whenever you love something so much, you come to hate what is against it. Consider the gardener who loves to grow a lush and beautiful garden. Does that gardener not despise that which comes against her ability to allow her garden to flourish? Such as weeds, pests and so forth. Will that gardener not go out of their way to eradicate those pests? And what about the mother of many children, does she not despise anything that may come to harm her child? Will she not stand up and fight against that which may stand as a detriment to her precious children. So it is with us real food enthusiasts. I suppose since what stands against my love of real food is actually found ‘acceptable’ in society and by most, it makes me a religious zealot worshipping at the altar of nourishment. Yeah, sucks to be in THAT position!

Perhaps my passion is too overwhelming for some, perhaps it makes some feel guilty that they are not on the same path. Whatever the reason may be that others will find to ridicule or launch assault towards anyone who has turned their life around with real food, I really don’t care. I am not here to pander to the insecurity or discomfort of others. I am here to enjoy life to the fullest, live as wholesomely and healthfully as I possibly can and if others don’t want that for themselves – not my problem! That said, I will continue to share my passion in every way I can. No avenue will be unturned, because what I have found is life, joy, peace and vitality. If those sound like things that you want too, come join me. If you are happy in your ways then so be it, just let me be and I’ll let you be! It’s that simple!

Passing judgement is not the way of love. I don’t judge anyone for consuming processed foods or non-organic. Heck, I was raised my entire life on processed foods. ( And by no means is my diet absolutely flawless. That’s impossible.) I understand why we as a culture eat how we eat. I also understand how we get stuck in a rut of unhealthy habits. My biggest beef is with the mentalities that have for so long infiltrated our thinking taking us down a long and winding road of ill health. We are in a rut, a big ole pit, in this nation when it comes to our food consumption, and quite frankly the pendulum needs to swing the other way. I’d like to help push that pendulum along. I want to teach, teach, teach, like I’ve heard one of my real food heroes, Sally Fallon say time and time again. And teach I will! Right alongside the army of others that are sick and tired of being sick and tired, and fed up with the way our nation has been misled. With those who have found freedom in their own real food journeys. Freedom and life! (What on earth is wrong with feeling alive and free!)

So, if my passion has been mistaken for some form of ‘religion‘, well then I’ll have to live with that. I know my motives and I’ve walked a long hard road to get to this place. I will not go back, I’m only pressing on. I am sure there are so many of you that know what all the fuss is about, you’ve had your struggles too. You’ve searched and searched and tried and tried and dug your way out of the maze of confusion that is our current mindset of ‘healthy eating‘, or even just out of eating what lines your typical grocery store shelves.  Real food is real! It’s the truth, and it’s life! I don’t feel one bit burdened or encumbered by walking this path I am on!

Truth, pure truth, is always liberating. If you are not free in a particular area of life you can be certain you are believing a lie of some form. This applies to physical health and every other area of health as well. For example, say you believe that animal fat causes heart disease and obesity, yet you eat a low fat diet and have many health problems including weight gain. Don’t you think it would be appropriate to examine your beliefs about nutrition? And maybe the people who stand to gain the most from you eating a low fat diet might not be telling you the whole truth? This is so typical and rampant in our society. I choose to let my intuition guide me along rather than the diet dictocrats, government and Big Pharma/Agra, whoever!

I have no desire to eat processed franken foods ever again. If you try to convince me I should, then clearly you have bought into lies. Will one bite of it kill me? Certainly not! But that doesn’t mean I want to consume it. I simply do not feel good when I eat that way, so why should I cower to eat like every one else just to make them comfortable? I will just continue to quietly mind my own business when I am gatherings. I will choose what looks like it’s decent enough to eat and be just as peachy keen as I can be. No worries, I don’t expect you to cater to me. I am big girl, I can figure out how to live in a world of processed foods and still survive. Just know, that when you come over to my place, I will put out a spread for you that you will most certainly enjoy! I promise I won’t throw liver at you and make you eat too many weird things. But I do promise, that you WILL be able to eat what I serve. It will be real and it will nourish you! I won’t try to convert you or anything, I’ll simply lovingly share the beauty of what I have discovered. Simply this, that real food is my life, it gives me life and I hope it will bring you the joy it brings me!

If you’re still here after all of that, thanks for letting me rant. I needed to get that off my chest. I hope that this does not come of to you as arrogant or biased. It’s just my thoughts as I deal with being criticized or even teased. I am often the odd woman out, and I am getting used to it. Perhaps you have been harangued for your love of real food, and hatred of fake processed crapola and can relate to my little rant of sorts here. Perhaps you too, are categorized as a religious food freak and know just why I wrote this. I don’t adhere to any religion of any kind. I follow my heart and trust my conscience to guide me and lead me into things that are benefitting to me. Is real food my religion, nah it’s more of a way of life born out of the desire to be free from what once bound me and kept me from enjoying life more fully and healthfully!

This post contributed to Real Food Wednesdays.



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Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures February 7, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Great post! Some of us definitely can be pretty passionate about Real Food :)

Sherry M February 7, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Well said. Glad you got that off your chest! Yes, I too have been put in that category, but only by people who don’t know. If I have been made fun of, in a mean way, I don’t know about it, because anyone that would do that isn’t a part of my real life anyway!

Allison Bruner February 7, 2012 at 2:47 pm

I was really glad to read that. Kinda put tears in my eyes! Eating is one of those things that we have to do. People don’t realize that food can either be poison and detriment or the greatest from of medicine. It is so heartwarming that you want to help people by sharing this message of true food. Perhaps I am so moved because I feel the same way and I know what it feels like to be considered different in this way. But I would never give up being close to my food because it brings me closer to humanity and the earth, I think. By questioning processed food, lifting the veil and revealing what’s really going on there, well, it has changed my life, forever.

Tas' February 7, 2012 at 6:22 pm

“My religion is cooking. For me, my table, my dinner table is the alter. Do you know what I mean? That’s where we congregate. That’s where we argue. That’s where we cry. That’s where we laugh. That’s where we plan the future. You know? That’s a really powerful part of my house.” (Jamie Oliver)

lydia February 7, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Hey Tas – thanks for sharing that! I love Jamie Oliver – what a great quote!

Stephanie February 8, 2012 at 6:47 am

Sounds familiar to me! Although I haven’t been told it’s a religion to me, I have felt shamed that I am depriving my kids of special treats. I’ve gone gluten free for almost a year and it seems to make family hesitant or uncomfortable to invite me over for a meal. Like you, I tell them “I’m a big girl and can take care of myself. If you make something with gluten I’ll bring something I can eat!” Thankfully my mother-in-law who was the biggest critic has finally come around to understand what sugar does to our bodies and has stopped loading up the kids when they go to her house. It took about 6 years for her to get it, so there is hope.

Molly February 8, 2012 at 11:27 am

I have been told by my family to stop pushing my beliefs down their throats. I never meant to do that, I was just simply telling them the facts that I have learned over this past year. It has been a very tricky road to follow but indeed my husband and I have followed it. I am very passionate about it. But I keep it to myself now. I am older and wiser and wish I had known about this as my son grew up suffering the consequences of ADD. But I can’t and won’t go back now. And I keep following and learning from you all who have blazed a path before me.

Darlene February 8, 2012 at 7:22 pm

After reading your post,(or rant! LOL),the only thing I can say is this…AMEN!!!!!!!

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