the WGV « Philosophy

criminally simple Lentil Soup

This Wicked Good Vegan is a supporter of food. I vehemently disagree with the FDA’s definition of food, and I think that Americans should be outright angry about it, and what it means!

What is food?

To me, food is anything edible that is also nourishing, wholesome, sustainable, and easy. I personally have pretty strict requirements for these four things, but your opinions may differ. I support local food, as it is almost always wholesome and sustainable (and cheap!). I love cooking from the garden, as well as from local farms (especially Atlas and Sienna around here).

Here’s how I define the aforementioned qualities of food:

nourishing |ˈnʌrɪʃɪŋ| adjective

(of food) containing substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition

Nourishing food has to be nutrient-rich. Foods that are lacking in some department should be combined with complementary foods to form nourishing meals. A great example of this is a dish that combines grains, tofu, vegetables, and a sauce to create a dish.

wholesome |ˈhəʊls(ə)m| adjective

conducive to or suggestive of good health and physical well-being

Wholesome food should make you feel healthy, and shouldn’t pour toxins into your body. Everyone finds wholesomeness in different areas, and we all react to foods differently. Eating simple, wholesome foods as a wonderful way to cleanse your system and enable your body to be the best that it can be. Drinking water or tea and getting enough sleep will also do wonders, as will a few quiet moments of meditation in the morning, before bed, or both. As I said, we’re all different, though—e.g. I’m not really a big fan of gym-type exercise, and I think that raw foodists are crazy, but I respect them.

sustainable |səˈsteɪnəb(ə)l| adjective

able to be maintained at a certain rate or level

It may be easiest to define sustainable by giving examples of things that are not sustainable. Factory farming is not sustainable. I think that the disgusting amount of food that we throw out daily is also unsustainable. People eating without thinking about where the seed came from, who grew it and where, how it travelled to your plate, and how it was prepared is unsustainable.

easy |ˈiːzi| adjective

1 achieved without great effort; presenting few difficulties

2 (of a period of time or way of life) free from worries or problems

If you can’t pronounce the ingredients in something, then it isn’t easy. If you can’t find where it came from, then it’s not easy. Something isn’t hard just because your roommate can’t identify it; in fact some of the easiest foods are often overlooked in our commercial food society. Most people eat only corn, potatoes, and lettuce for vegetables, without ever experiencing beautiful things like celeriac, sunchokes, and kale.

Our way of life is anything but easy. For a civilisation enjoying the highest standards of living in the history of humanity, we overcomplicate production and create markets that harm the environment, other species, other human beings, and ourselves. This is cause for both worries and problems. How we go about alleviating that anxiety in ourselves and what solutions we find to those problems is a matter for individual consideration, but it’s too dangerous not to be educating yourself, and this education process should make you feel slightly uncomfortable as your learn more.

When someone asks you about the food that you’re eating, instead of getting defensive and confrontational, open up to a discussion. Answering that you ‘don’t want to know’ or eating something with the only redeeming quality of ‘tasting good’ is harmful. Think about it.

It may not seem simple to live a nourishing, wholesome, sustainable, easy lifestyle, but it’s much easier than the alternative, as the alternative is something that the planet and all the animals and people in it just can’t afford.

the Wicked Good Vegan

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