A CLOSER LOOK AT TERMS OF THE REAL FOOD MOVEMENT

We are slowly beginning to understand the importance of eating real, whole food. Natural foods used to have a stigma, but as we begin to understand more about what goes into processed foods made in large factories, real food is becoming much more appealing.

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Right here in Newtown, CT Butcher’s Best Market is striving hard everyday to ensure that our customers have access to wholesome, real, natural, whole foods to serve their families. The result is great tasting all natural meat, prepared foods, sandwiches, produce, and dairy. Our cooked foods, like our deli prepared dinner and lunch meals, are made with pure, simple ingredients from local and high quality, natural farms and purveyors.

In an effort to better understand the terminology associated with the real food movement, following are definitions of the more popular terms.

Natural
This is a term that we all know, however it’s worth looking closer at because of the way that industrial food manufacturers are using it improperly. Meat producers, for example, are labeling their chicken “natural” because the USDA gives them permission to do so with conditions. If the meat, “contains no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed” then it can be labeled natural. The problem is that the definition does not take into account how the chickens are fed or raised. Furthermore, the definition does not require chickens to be free of steroids, which many factory farms use. Put simply, natural foods should have no additives, and be made with only simple, real ingredients.

Processed
Processed meats have gotten a bad wrap for a good reason. Processing changes meat and other foods from its original form. Most all grocery store deli meats are processed in some manner. Some of the worst offenders are our favorites, like ham, turkey, salami, and bacon. Processing infuses artificial colors and flavors, preservatives, dyes, sugar, large amounts of sodium, and more. And these foods aren’t just in the deli and meat departments. Most grocery store foods today are heavily processed, and stripped of nutritional value.

Whole
Whole foods are unprocessed, or very minimally processed. They are ingredients that have not been manipulated or added to. Whole foods are highly regarded for their health benefits because they have not been stripped of their nutritional value, and they do not have added artificial ingredients or preservatives. At Butcher’s Best we refer to whole foods as “real”.

Local
Local foods have taken off in the past few years, and for good reason. Local meats, produce and dairy typically come from farms that use natural, organic, and/or humane growing methods. And buying local is a great way to support your community. Butcher’s Best suppliers from CT towns like Litchfield, Oxford, and Sandy Hook, are producing real, fresh, and delicious ingredients and meats for our butcher shop and prepared meals.

Meal planning and cooking can be difficult amidst our busy lives. The more we consider what goes into our lunch and dinner, however, the easier it is to justify taking that extra step towards buying real food. Your body will thank you for it down the line.