For some time now I have been thinking about the concept of ‘eating well’. It’s what us folks here at Pipers Farm talk about, around the farm and in the office, on a daily basis. You see we are all food-oholics. Addicted to talking about food, gazing at pictures of food, eating food and thinking about food. We live it, breathe it, farm it and eat it.
The modern world has given us great tools to encourage our addiction. Instagram, my favourite for voyeurism.Pinterest to feed my aspirations. Then there’s twitter, to listen in on other peoples conversations. It is the latter that had me pondering deeply this idea of ‘eating well’.
There are so many people socially sharing their diets using hastags such as #eatclean and #healthy, it’s a subject on everyone’s mind. Fuelled by the media who seem to have a constant need to tell us what we can and can’t eat and to expose the rights and wrongs of food producers. They brought us horsemeat, no more ready meals, ok. Then we were all allowed to eat butter again, yey. Then suddenly no carnivore is safe as we might all unwittingly eat halal, boo. And so it goes on.
Now don’t get me wrong it’s incredibly important that these stories are discussed in an open forum. Consumers absolutely have the right to know what they are eating. The problem is we all constantly have the wool pulled over our eyes. We go from one shocking headline to the other. The only way to get out of the cycle is to remove yourself from the mainstream. It’s not such a scary prospect, I promise.
Our definition of eating well at Pipers Farm is relatively simple. It’s a combination of a few simple steps that will hopefully get you to feel confident in taking control of how you spend your money and how you feed yourself and others.
Eat less, but eat better
Eat less meat but eat better meat. Cut portions of meat in half and substitute with a larger portion of colourful, tasty veg.
Instead of buying chicken portions, buy a whole chicken and make several meals from it, use the carcass to make stock to bulk up soups, stews and risottos. Make gravy with the giblets. Don’t waste a drop.
Instead of buying 5 chicken breasts for £5, buy a whole, contented bird, that has been reared properly, isn’t pumped full of crap and will deliver higher protein levels and nutritional value. Trust me you’ll make more satisfying meals too. Find out more about this idea in Hattie Ellis’ book Planet Chicken.
This doesn’t just apply to meat. The same goes for dairy and alcohol too.
It’s a no brainer.
Count the chemicals not the calories
It’s hard to avoid processed and mass market food, but if you want to eat well you simply have to cut anything processed out of your diet all together. There is not enough evidence to disprove that even the packaging alone isn’t causing serious health risks.
Choose wisely where you shop
Most of us buy produce from supermarkets where chemicals are king. The simple way to eat well is to avoid these places like the plague.
There are more and more businesses like ours who are getting much closer to rivalling the convenience that supermarkets are so clever at offering. Shop by the week rather than by the day and plan your meals. You’ll spend less and have access to better quality food.
We don’t grow vegetables here at Pipers Farm, as we simply don’t have the space. However we do get a veg box every week packed full of locally grown, seasonal produce to eat alongside our meat.
We buy fish from Gibsons Plaice in Magdalen Road, freshly caught that day, but often stored it in our freezer for another.
We are so lucky to have amazing food producers in this country, take advantage of them and help support your local community.
Buy whole foods, cook and enjoy
By ‘whole foods’ we literally mean whole pieces of food, whole potatoes, mud and all, not pre washed, diced and dipped, chemical rubbish. A whole slab of meat, not processed ham full of stabilisers, preservatives, flavourings and other nastys.
Cook the meal yourself. You can control what goes into it, how much salt, butter, sugar. You also, I hope, won’t have a cupboard full of E23, Xanthan gum, Ammonium Sulphate etc.
Spend as much time eating a meal, as it took to prepare it. Enjoy your food. You’ve gone to the trouble to buy it and cook it.
Use your freezer, if you don’t have one buy one
This will not only help you eat better and eat less, but will also save you money. A freezer will enable you to buy food when it’s in season and store it using nature’s cleanest preservative, ice. When food is in abundance it is normally cheaper too.
Freezing good food will not diminish the nutritional value of the product. It will simply keep it safe to eat for another day. You will waste less and get more value out of your food.
Eat the rainbow
Good food is packed full of amazing nutrients that can cure and ease so many aliments. Nature is an incredible thing. Fill your plate with various hues, they will each deliver a different vitamins and minerals to support your body naturally. This works seasonally too, eat what’s good now and feel the benefits.
If you would like any help or advice to get on how to ‘eat well’ get in touch with us, we are more than happy to help. Keep checking back for more posts like this one.