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  • Writer's pictureamyk73

How to Find Real Food

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

It seems simple right?

Seems a dumb thing to write about because doesn’t everyone know how to identify food? It’s the stuff you put in your mouth when you’re hungry (or just want it) that you then chew and swallow. Why is this a question? This how to identify food thing that everyone from birth to death needs and figures out pretty quickly? We after all have stores filled with things called food so how hard can it be to actually find food?

Deceptively hard.

It is actually incredibly hard these days to find real food. Despite the aisles of shelving holding incredible amounts of packaged and prettily displayed things, finding and identifying food is not as easy as we are led to believe.

How I found out my family couldn’t identify food

My 11 year old son likes to go on errands with me. We make it an adventure and while it may only be a trip to the grocery store or other random Saturday chore, he thinks its fun. His outlook on errands has actually influenced me over time to consider that errands can actually be fun sometimes too.

I try to use these adventures as part learning experience for him. How to use a credit card, how to pay for things with cash, making purchasing decisions, and how the world generally works. On one of these Saturday adventures, we went to the grocery store and I asked as we were walking in, could he identify real food?

Being the bright young man he is, his answer was, “Mom, we’re in a grocery store, everything is food here.”

Well, not quite so I told him. There is distortion when it comes to defining food that has led us to sometimes not recognizing food in its many disguises.

At the heart of a lot of our problems, is the very lack of ability to recognize and consume real food. – Amy Kramer, Dragonspit Apothecary

This created a grocery store trip unlike any I have ever experienced and one my son is likely to never forget. We proceeded to spend the next couple hours doing the family’s grocery shopping and having a continual conversation of what is food throughout the store.

Grocery Aisles of Food?

In the first section of our store is the produce section. My son proudly believed this section was what I was talking about when we talked of real food.

Yes and no I explained.

Certainly, there were foods in this section that were considered real food and that were nourishing to us but not everything in this section fit that definition.

Confused or concerned I couldn’t quite read his face in that moment. Did his mom just say some vegetables weren’t real food? Is she the coolest mom ever or just crazy?

If we apply the definition from that says: Food, substance consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrate, fat, and other nutrients used in the body of an organism to sustain growth and vital processes and to furnish energy. The absorption and utilization of food by the body is fundamental to nutrition and is facilitated by digestion.

Then through this definition, potentially everything in the grocery store could be considered food but upon deeper looking we realize that definition is a little too broad for seeking out real food. That is because we cannot see the thresholds by which protein, carbs, fat and other nutrients from food qualify it as food. Our body’s absorb a lot of things in a day, good and bad, does that mean it is food, even when bad?

Is Food Only Good or Bad for Us?

Categorizing food as good or bad comes directly from the diet industry. It is meant to help guide in food choices that are more nutritionally whole and helps our weight and waistline. However, long term this line of thinking has been detrimental to not only our health but mental weight as well.

A scale is the fastest way I know to add 20 pounds to your mind.” – Amy Kramer, Dragonspit Apothecary

I believe food is neither good or bad. Certainly there are foods with more vitamins, nutrients and things our body needs but at the end of the day, food is food. Where we have deviated is in consuming ingredients of food that are chemically based and alter our body’s ability to process and absorb what it needs from food. The better determination of food is in the quality of the ingredients rather than labeling it good or bad.

When manufacturers of food changed to cheaper ways to mass produce, grow and create food it changed the aisles of the grocery store. Shelves became full of manufactured food that are filled with sugar, real and artificial, chemicals to help them last longer and changes in tastes. The result?

Grocery stores on average having only about 40% real food contained within them.

When you consider what real food is compared to manufactured food you see the problem is much deeper than good or bad.

What is food?

The lesson in all of this adventure was the understanding of the definition of food. It should be simple and yet like many things, mankind has complicated it and created versions of the truth that blind us at times.

Food is what we consume to fuel our body, mind and spirit. It is the substances that create the ability for our cells to convert it to energy, replenish vitamin and mineral levels and allow life to occur. Food is essential to our very being. It is medicinal, therapeutic and supportive.

At the heart of it all, food is rather complicated and simple at the same time.

For help improving your nutrition and reclaiming your health, book a holistic health consultation with me at

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