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Real food for real lives

Tags: Nutrition

Real food for real livesCelebrity chefs, food writers, environmentalists, health experts? all seem to be giving us the same advice: eat more fresh, nutritious food produced by ethical and sustainable means. "The message is all around us that good food, nutrition and health go hand in hand, and we must eat more fresh, unprocessed foods," says food campaigner and environmentalist Graham Harvey, author of We Want Real Food.

Grow it or buy it – we can all enjoy real food

Statistics on retail sales of organic products and edible plant seeds suggest that a growing number of us are prepared to pay higher prices for food produced by natural methods, and devote more of our time – and garden space! – to growing our own fruit and veg.

According to the Soil Association, organic food and drink sales hit £2 billion for the first time in 2006, while the Horticultural Trades Association reports that sales of vegetable seeds and other edible plant seeds are outstripping those of flowers.

But what about those of us who rely on supermarkets or high-street shops for most of our food? Regardless of where you shop, everyone can enjoy healthier, tastier food by choosing more fresh and fewer processed products, says dietitian Azmina Govindji. She advises:

  • When you eat real food, you have a better chance of knowing what you’re eating. The simpler the ingredients, the better.
  • Eating more fresh and unprocessed food gives you a better chance of meeting your fibre needs and cutting down on salt.
  • If you look at the label of a ready meal, you might find a long list of ingredients. Opt for those products that have fewer ingredients – you might find they're tastier too!
  • Fresh foods tend to have an attractive natural colour – think of juicy red tomatoes, bright orange peppers, purple beetroot and green broccoli. Having a variety of colours on your plate means you’re more likely to be getting a range of nutrients.

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