What’s a Whole Food?

So what makes food “whole”? The basic concept is that whole food is unprocessed and unadulterated. White flour, sugar, white rice, most cold cereals, crackers, and many packaged foods are processed. Whole foods include grains (such as whole grain flours, brown and wild rice, quinoa, millet); organic or minimally treated fruits and vegetables; wild caught or sustainably farmed seafood; organically raised meats; organic, unprocessed dairy products and free-range eggs. Whole foods do not contain preservatives, and consequently have a shorter shelf life.Cooking with whole foods means that rather than open a box of mac and cheese mix, we prepare pasta and sauce by hand. Instead of soup mix, we prepare a homemade soup that has far greater nutritive value and is made with fresh veggies. And instead of cooking a commercial chicken such as Perdue or Tyson (which is loaded with antibiotics, chemical additives, hormones, and was raised in a chicken “factory”) we purchase a bird from a local farmer or a reputable organic purveyor.Whole foods also mean that you can understand and pronounce every word on a list of ingredients. A loaf of bread should list flour; yeast or starter; salt; water; and sometimes nuts, seeds, whole grains and/or oil. If you see ingredients with long and complicated names, they are additives, synthetic foods, or fake coloring. These are to be avoided if at all possible. – Jen Hoy, Holistic Nutritionist, Author and Chef



Source: Macrobiotic and Whole Foods Cooking: What’s the Difference? by Jen Hoy. About.com

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