There are very few items in the average supermarket that qualify as real food in my opinion.
I would like to do a little series over the next couple of days about what real food looks like, using in part my own photos and in part photos from the internet.
It is getting more and more difficult to distinguish real food from food-like substances and sometimes the only way we can know is by knowing the producer of the food. Buying local and from people who we know is the best way to buy almost anything and find good quality, but in the case of food our life and health may depend on it. After all if we end up buying a poor quality used car it will most likely only cost us money.
Rather than listing which foods are not real I want to do the opposite: give real examples of what real food looks like.
I want to start with the food that is produced in our own yard almost every day and that is also an example of a very healthy food, containing all essential proteins and a good amount of fat, the egg.
Eggs are so nutritionally complete because an animal will develop from them with all it's body parts and tissues so eggs have to have all the raw materials for bones, brain, skin, blood vessels, tendons, muscles, organs etc.
Eggs are nature's most perfect food because the only thing that is missing for eggs to turn into life is energy in the form of heat.
Eggs had a bad reputation for a long time, because people thought that the cholesterol in eggs causes heart disease. But cholesterol is actually a building block for many parts of the body.
But the eggs I am talking about are not the kind you will find in most grocery stores.
Instead they are in such high demand that they are hard to find unless you have a friend with chickens or ducks or raise them yourself.
Good eggs come in all sizes and colors, from poultry that lives on pasture, with plenty of sunshine, the ability to move around and forage for bugs, slugs, insects, seeds and some grasses and herbs, including many of those we consider weeds. They eat grains in significant quantities only when there is nothing else to eat. When egg producers advertise that their animals are fed a vegetarian diet than this is not a mark of quality because poultry are omnivores.
My own ducks do not get commercial poultry feed even in the winter when there is snow cover because then I might as well feed them wheat, GMO corn and soy with some fishmeal and vitamin/mineral mix added. In the winter we provide a variety of organic seeds and grains and some vegetable trimmings: some oats, corn, sunflower seeds, milo or millet, flax seed, all the leafy greens we can find or a bunch of parsley. We never have to feed antibiotics because our animals never get sick. Most diseases in poultry are due to overcrowding, stress, lack of sunshine and unsanitary management.
So if you want healthy eggs that have a lot of the good fats, have richly colored, bright yellow yokes (without needing to add yellow coloring to the feed) you may want to become friends with someone who keeps poultry (the right way) or start keeping some in your own yard. If you choose the latter make sure to check your local ordinances to see if keeping poultry is permitted. If it isn't work on having those ordinances changed.
Here are a few photos from our little farm:
duck and chicken eggs (brown egg: chicken, black egg: Cayuga duck, largest egg: Rouen duck, smallest egg: domestic mallard duck, spotted egg: Mallard/Runner cross)
egg with the shell removed (we found this one frozen)
Bobby, one of my daughter's laying hens
part of our duck pasture
one of our ducklings from this year