Bon appetit, foodies


I feel a little chuckle coming on every time I hear about the trend toward real food, knowing where our food comes from, what’s in our food, where it’s made, etc. Terms like “clean food” and “whole food” are tossed about these days.

Because it’s really not something new to many of us. Especially if you’re a certain age and from rural Iowa or you grow your own or can remember back to when food came from the feedlot and the garden.

Of course, this emphasis on real food is especially true at this time of year when gardens are producing wonderful vegetables like the luscious sweet corn I purchased from a stand down the road a few days ago. Now that’s fresh. I remember when my late brother, by then a city guy, remarked that we didn’t truly appreciate the sweet corn we had growing up. It was picked from the field by the house, shucked, and cooked, usually within ten minutes after it was pulled off the corn stalk.

Now that was clean food.

So I guess you could just say that we understand about real food. Clean food is food at its simplest, I understand, and clean eating, is about eating whole foods, or “real” foods–those that are unprocessed or minimally processed, refined and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible.

Whole food is food that has been processed or refined as little as possible and is free from additives or other artificial substances.

Perhaps that makes us Iowans foodies, but I did a little reading on that topic and found out that we really don’t want to be a foodie. Here’s what I discovered at one source: “Everyone who likes to eat seems to call themselves a foodie. But just because you like to eat doesn’t mean you are a foodie. It probably means you need to go to the gym.”

If you wonder about this interest in food, consider the current popularity of farmers’ markets. There are several in our county that are held regularly and are popular throughout the summer, part of a national trend that has seen the number of farmers’ markets increase 76 percent since 2008.

Vendors at farmers’ markets sell whole foods–or is it clean foods?– to satisfy the foodie in everyone, with an atmosphere at the larger farmers’ markets that’s part circus, part county fair, part food stand. And all varieties of goodies are for sale, including clean food, flowers, baked goods, maybe even a craft or two.

So, whether you consider yourself a foodie or prefer whole food or clean food, bon appetit!