I’m on the email list for this cool organization called Food Myth Busters, which provides videos and other resources to help educate consumers about the food industry and promote a sustainable, healthy food system. I got this one email from them the other day asking me to pledge to join Real Food Fridays. I wanted to share this because I think it’s a really neat idea. According to the website, pledging to join Real Food Fridays means that on Fridays, you will only eat food that:
- supports fair farmworker wages,
- is free of genetically-engineered ingredients,
- has had little to no processing,
- supports local markets/vendors and isn’t transported long distances to get to my plate, and/or honors fair trade principles when I buy from other regions,
- and if you so choose to eat meat and dairy, that it comes from animals that are not raised on a factory farm but raised humanely and on real food themselves—not genetically engineered crops or other questionable feed, drugs, and antibiotics.
When we hear about all these problems in the food system, it seems like we’re supposed to overhaul our diets all at once. This notion is overwhelming and probably not very effective in getting people to change, because oftentimes I think people feel that if they can’t do something perfectly, they shouldn’t try at all. The idea of starting to change your diet by incorporating positive changes one day a week is much less intimidating and probably much more effective. It’s the same story with Meatless Mondays. Of course, I think it would be ideal if people limited their intake of animal products every day, but if all Americans could commit to just Meatless Mondays, we could feed literally thousands of hungry people with the amount of grain that would no longer be needed to feed the animals, among many other benefits.
But this Real Food Friday idea could be even more impactful than going meatless on Mondays. Once people get accustomed to buying only local, ethical, sustainable, minimally processed foods for just one day of the week, mark my words they will start doing it for other days too. When you start eating real food, you feel too good and the results for your weight and health are too wonderful to revert back.
Now, luckily my mom has always been committed to buying real food for our family, so when I head home this summer Real Food Fridays won’t be a stretch for us. I did not appreciate this for much of my life, but now I’m very grateful. The exciting challenge for me is converting my family to Meatless Monday! I’ll keep you posted on that one.
So what do you think of Real Food Friday? Will you make the pledge?