What Not to Eat

I am no diet expert. But I am, as my ‘about me’ boasts, passionate about FOOD. I try to make sure we all eat as much food as possible, and by that I mean that we try to avoid eating food PRODUCTS. Things that the grocery store would like you to think will sustain you, but ultimately is lacking in nutrition and may actually contribute to your downfall. Junk food. Things ranging from ‘Doritos, now with Omega 3 Flax!” to a McDick hamburger to those wretched soy products made to look and taste like meat or cheese to enriched, enhanced bread with that seems to have everything in it but flour, eggs, yeast.

I call how I eat the D.E.S. Diet. Aka, the Don’t Eat Shit Diet.

When you get past the torment of scrutinizing labels and realize that what you actually want to eat doesn’t come out of a BPA lined can, it gets much easier. When you get past the “oh GEEZ they charge a premium for certified organic produce from South America in the grocery store” and start shopping locally, often forgoing certification because your boots have actually traipsed through the farm itself…. it gets easier still. Not to mention FAR cheaper. Eating well does not in any way have to mean your bill goes through the roof. (They sell giant bulk bags of organic lentils real cheap at my food coop and boy will they last you!) Check out LocalHarvest.org to find a CSA near you.

Your body is a machine. It needs good food to run. If this is not a priority for you, I would suggest some re-evaluation. Heart disease. Type 2 diabetes. Cancer.  People are not a very healthy bunch these days, and it is no wonder!

I would suggest to anyone interested in food to read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food. You can find it at Amazon or your local library. It’s a great read. Nothing new to any ‘Foody’ but he breaks things down nicely and I find him quite amusing. Pollan does not tell you what to eat. It’s not a “for breakfast have a slice of toast with an egg and some asparagus spears.” It does however clearly explain what you DON’T want to be eating, and if you still cannot figure out what you should be consuming, I think perhaps exercising your noodle (as well as your derriere) may be prudent.

Do take the time to watch this ultra inspiring video of Dr. Terry Wahls, a medical doctor who cured her MS through diet.  Tremendous.

How we eat:
We try to buy foods with no ingredient listing. This is a sure guarantee that what you are eating is actually a piece of food. It’s a tomato. It’s a piece of a cows ass. It’s an egg. It’s a brussells sprout. We eat a lot of eggs from chickens who actually get to eat grass and bugs. Unpasteurized milk and cheese. Meat from cows who amble on pasture and aren’t fed corn while standing up to their armpits in feces in a feedlot. And lots and lots of colourful fruits and veggies.

If we do buy foods that have an ingredient list on the packaging, first off, we read the list. If we can’t pronounce what’s on the list, it goes back on the shelf. If we don’t immediately understand what is listed on the ingredient list, if there are too many ingredients, if the product claims to be enriched to the gills or contains dubious acronyms we know that it is too processed for our liking and place it back on the shelf.

To keep out bills down we don’t shop very often at the grocery store. We grow as much as we can, for veggies, fruit, meat and eggs. Come spring time we’ll be getting milk from our goats. Past that, we start at our doorstep and move outwards. We get some sustenance from our most immediate neighbours. From a stand a couple concessions over. From another neighbours mother. From the farmer’s market. What we can’t get locally and an our own, we get from a food co-op. Things like breakfast cereal, oats, grape juice and other snacks. It does take more leg work than a one stop shop at the store, but not that much. And the satisfaction and enjoyment we get out of it makes it well worth it I think.


  1. Tara McIntyre · March 4, 2009

    Tell me about this food coop. I am totally interested in that and trying to change my families eatting. Our son eats pretty much all organic but we eat terribly… Yeah, I know thats idiodic but the truth.. Hope you don;t mind me asking. I just came accross this when looking at tattoos

  2. Twwly · March 4, 2009

    We are apart of the ONFC.ca food coop. There are food coops all over the place, ours is Ontario specific. It’s basically a buying club that charges a bit over wholesale for natural/healthier food options at more affordable prices!

    Under my FARM&FOOD links there’s the EatWellGuide & LocalHarvest – they ought to direct you to one in your area, and you could try Googling “Food Coop” and your state/province too! Good luck!

  3. jade · March 4, 2009

    I love your food manifesto, but I would suggest one slight modification.

    “Your body is a machine. It needs good food to run.”

    It’s poignant, but this metaphor doesn’t quite get at the importance of the food we eat. While true, a machine runs more efficiently and breaks less often if you use a higher quality fuel, a the matter in a machine’s “body” is not literally made of its fuel. The food we put in our bodies, while giving us energy a la machine fuel, also literally becomes the very cells that make us up. We really are what we eat.

    Great blog, BTW. I’ve been a city girl for the past two years and I miss the country quite a bit.

  4. Pam · March 4, 2009

    amen, sister!! i drank unpasteurized whole milk from the time i got off the teat until i left the farm at age 18. we raised or hunted our meat (i am a psuedo-veg now probably because of it… i feel if a person eats meat he/she should be prepard to kill it themselves ~ i lost the nerve a long time ago). anyways, thanks for that. it helped to reinforce my food goals for myself and my family.

  5. Angela · March 4, 2009

    I’m all about the slow food. Ive been working towards your diet for a while now but it’s taking longer to convert the hubby. I am a CSA share-holder, frequent the local Farmers’ Markets and try to buy meat from local farms either at the Co-op, Market or straight from the farmer. We just got four chickens of our own for eggs and next year I plan to till up the front yard and plant a garden in the whole thing. Anyway, I really enjoy your site and plan to be back soon!

  6. starbadger · March 4, 2009

    DES – so wise – so well spoken.

  7. starbadger · March 4, 2009

    I am in general so in agreement but reading about your current approach to chickens not 100% – instead of buying the dual purpose breed if you want an even better fryer – buy the males of an egg layer – leghorn or in ontario – shaver whites – these birds can fly – ieit nstead of those movable cages – built a roast or some trees they can nest in –

    They can fly and that alone makes them taste more like pheasant – ask Shannon about this – you can let the Animals be wild – esp pigs – but let them grow to 300-pounds or more of hard body pig

    You’re doing just fine already -

  8. geo35 · March 4, 2009

    I have a favorite scene from a movie where Meg Ryan says to Tom Hanks, “My father says that almost the whole world is asleep, EVERYBODY you know, everybody you see, everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake… and they live in a state of constant, total amazement.”

    It’s always nice to be reading things from people who are wide awake.

  9. Athena · March 4, 2009

    Awesome blog. So refreshing to read a blog from someone who is so similar to how I am as well. Glad to have come across your world. :)

  10. Kirsten · March 4, 2009

    Just came back to your site after a few years. And I just read Micheal Pollan’s Food Rules and went to a local Farm and Food Confrence. I love your D.E.S. diet and am moving towards that as fast as I can. All in all I think you’re pretty awesome and a true role model!

  11. Adriana · March 4, 2009

    Love this post. So true. Just moved to the country and now gotta start getting more self sufficient from our land and away from the one stop shop.

  12. Gail · March 4, 2009

    Do you know much about foraging?—-gathering herbs, etc. for teas and health reasons? Or anywhere to get that info? Would love to take a course on that, or recieve some mentoring.

  13. Sheila Mayberry · March 4, 2009

    Awsome article. I have been converting myself. I have raised chickens for the last 2 years. Living in the city and working full time gets into the ways of my plans but I am getting there. Faster now that my daughter is pregnant. She plans on raising a totally organic baby. She is going to breastfeed then switch the baby to raw goats milk and make her own baby food. I get upset that people are so misinformed about food. You say raw milk and everyone thinks OMG you are killing yourself. REALLY??? What do they think people did hundreds of years ago. I had one girl tell me she wouldnt eat my eggs cause they came out of a chickens butt. People are so removed from food that its insane. So keep you blog going, keep telling it like it is and maybe people will start to listen to we the people instead of we the government.

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