TOPIC WE LOVE – FROM “HEALTH FOOD” TO “HEALTHY FOOD”
Recently, on the blog, we highlighted our thoughts on The Health Food Pendulum. These are specific trends that have dramatically shifted over the years that continue to confuse the public – ourselves sometimes included!
The reality, as we highlighted there and that we’ll keep repeating, is that eating whole, fresh, complete foods is always the way to go if you want to be your healthiest self.
But it’s worth an entire post to highlight the big, more general shifts that we’ve been seeing in the health food industry. From how we shop our grocery stores to how we define what is “healthy,” we are in the middle of a large swing towards what we define as the “best” foods to feed our families.
Curious as to how we got to where we are now? Then let’s dive in a bit deeper to see how we’ve moved from “health food” to “healthy food.”
PHASE 1: HEALTH FOOD
Right around the late 1970s through the early 90s, we finally started to see a larger scale concern for “health.” Working out with Russell Simmons and Jane Fonda started to become a craze, Suzanne Somers made the Thighmaster a hit, and health food started to become a bit more mainstream.
While being healthy started to become something of a common interest, it was typically something that we had to do to maintain weight, rather than something that we chose to do for the betterment of our families and ourselves.
Health food was seen as being “hippy granola” type food – something that existed, but it didn’t taste good and the public wasn’t wanting to regularly make it for their families unless absolutely necessary. Specific diets started to become more commonplace, making room for vegetarians, vegans, and those moderating their weight to make more mainstream choices.
It was around this time that we started to notice that the substances we consumed as food impacted our overall health. That’s a realization that is still benefiting us today.
PHASE 2: SUBSTITUTION COOKING
As soon as we, as a public, started to realize that food impacted our overall health and well-being, we started to look for ways to make it appetizing to our palates. Using our old, favorite, family recipes, we’d substitute specific ingredients with a goal to make the dish healthy… er.
We’d enjoy a small, microwavable version of lasagna to help us with portion sizes, we’d use butter substitutes to limit impact on our arteries, or we would do everything we could to make tofu taste like a natural burger.
As a public, we started to realize that good-for-you food doesn’t have to taste bad. In fact, it could taste really, really great when using the right recipes and mix of ingredients! But we weren’t quite ready to creatively design new recipes around our newfound love of all things health-related.
PHASE 3: HEALTHY FOOD
But once we got a taste as to how appetizing good-for-you meals could be, we started to turn the consciousness towards healthy, delicious food regimens. Now, we build a delicious meal from the ground up, using fresh, healthy ingredients, combining them together to make a symphony of flavors that are pleasing to the palate.
Over the years, we’ve learned that less processed tends to equal more nutrition. And that it’s relatively easy to combine those simple, unprocessed ingredients into truly delightful cuisine. As soon as we learn how to properly cook ingredients in a way that healthfully fits our family’s tastes and preferences, healthy food is easy, affordable, and delicious to make at home!
We’re proud to have been a part of shifting the social consciousness towards natural, healthy foods. We’ve seen first-hand how eating healthfully can change lives and we hope to continue this trend by educating and inspiring generations of cooks to make time in the kitchen approachable and affordable.
DID YOU KNOW
To that end, we have a class designed specifically to teach you all of the foundational skills that you should know in the kitchen. Our class, Basic Skills Every Cook Should Know, will get you cooking with confidence, making healthier, tastier choices, and will save you time and money with a classic repertoire of culinary techniques.
We’re excited to continue being a guide in the industry, helping you cook at home in a confident, healthy way!