Healthy eaters can be food conscientious or fussy, depending on the situation, or outside observer. Being aware of what you eat, where it comes from, and the impact on the environment, is what being conscientious about food is all about. As a health foodie, I am keenly aware what my body needs to maximise energy and wellness. Yet – so many times the fact of wanting to eat clean, natural foods becomes taken as if one is fussy, difficult and even rude. In this post, we look at the difference of fussy and food conscientious. What about you? Are you fussy or food conscientious?
Food Conscientious or Fussy?
Conscientious eating means thinking about where your food comes from, what impact it has environmentally, socially, economically, and personally (in terms of health, culture, and enjoyment). To be a conscientious foodie is to choose to eat what you know is good for you, that you consider where the food comes from, and how far it traveled to reach your dinner plate.
Being food conscientious can mean struggling to find ‘your food’, and it can be a real struggle in everyday life. Two situations we are often confronted with:
- Either a huge choice of processed, packaged food with ingredients we cannot pronounce or understand what kind of chemical compounds they represent.
- Or – real food transformed beyond recognition through molecular gastronomy, foam frenzy or drowned in sauce, wine and cream.
The clean, real food is not recognizable in either situation. You find yourself darting around for alternatives which often leads to a dive into the handbag for the trusted bags of nuts, dried fruits, and apples.
The easiest would be to call the food conscientious person fussy. It gets perceived as if you are impossible to eat out with or invite to a dinner party. You become odd because the norm is to do what most people do in our western societies.
You only have to travel to Italy to find a whole population obsessed with simple, real flavors and a total suspicion against packaged, processed and frozen foods. The mantra: ‘Minimum of Fuss, Maximum of Flavour’ was coined by Antonio Carluccio, and his book ‘Simple Cooking’ is such a flavor explosion cooking inspiration — with no fuss cooking: MoF! MoF!
Food Conscientious – A New Movement?
In a world where big business seems to have taken over from common sense, health has become the big worry of many governments.
Eating can be an automatic reaction to temptation, or a must-do routine done in haste. Food gets inhaled rather than eaten, and the body doesn’t know how to deal with most of it. The processed food revolution brought with its convenience, and access to multicultural, frozen, processed and packaged food varieties available at all times of the year.
The generations that have grown up with the processed, packaged and ready meals are now suffering the consequences. Weight is just the beginning of the problem. Most diseases are directly connected to what is in this so-called food, not to mention allergies and asthma numbers increasing.
The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) mandate is to improve public health around the world with particular emphasis on decreasing inequalities in health. The links between food consumption and public health are very strong.
Approximately 1.7 million (2.8%) of deaths worldwide are attributable to low fruit and vegetable consumption. Low fruit and vegetable intake is among the top 10 selected risk factors for global mortality. Worldwide, insufficient intake of fruit and vegetables is estimated to cause around 14% of gastrointestinal cancer deaths, about 11% of ischaemic heart disease deaths and about 9% of stroke deaths. (WHO)
Healthier eating habits are certainly not only so that you can keep slim, it is far more about wanting to age — and feel well in doing so. Opting to do changes that involve food is not about a short-lived diet. It is a lifestyle.
Not a Diet! Lifestyle Change
A 360-degree view of healthy living – where food, exercise, mindfulness, hydration, sleep and less stress play equal roles to promote balance. You think about what you eat, why you eat it, and how it makes you feel – a conscious choice, a conscientious foodie. A balanced body responds with energy, wellness and bounding ‘feel good’ happy jitters.
Knowing what your body needs take learning, understanding and often new ways of thinking. In many ways, it means going back to what our great-grandparents knew, and retracing what our genetic past considers real food: Ancient grains, real untreated vegetables, fruit, organically fed livestock, fresh fish and unprocessed dairy. Clean food served simply and treated with respect. The less you mess with the food, the better it is for you.
Food Conscientious – Anti Processed ‘Foods’ and Foam Frenzies
The junk food generations are breaking away and a clear movement can be seen of many choosing to know where food comes from. Knowing what you eat has much to do with awareness, understanding, and availability. Many people are also reactive eaters. You eat without thinking, emotionally and in haste.
If you have a busy life, in a city finding where to shop, and making health conscientious choices isn’t obvious. The norm is to rush through and grab foods that look tasty and ping it into the microwave. If you are not that way inclined or have food intolerance you often get regarded as fussy.
Conscious eating is giving our body the nutrition it needs for optimal health, function and energy. Nothing more or less. (Craig Harper, Food-Ology)
Getting real, clean food can be a challenge, especially when traveling – at least in Europe or the US. It is far easier to eat better in Africa and Asia where fresh food is still the more readily available alternative.
Foam Fad Not So Fab
As a health conscientious eater, I admit that I am ‘fussy’ in some situations. I will not eat convenience ‘ping’ food and carry with me my own reserve as to ensure that I have alternatives.
However, when in an elegant restaurant you cannot really drag up an apple and start chewing unless you want to be thrown out. Recently I went to an upscale restaurant in Stockholm.
In a city well-known for its healthier options, the choices are not as endless as my local trattoria here in Italy can offer. The Stockholm top fish restaurant offered an array of various fish – all of them served with liters of champagne cream foam and sauce, and potatoes (spinach or greens would come at an extra cost!) Champagne foam or sauce could not be excluded, and only fruit for dessert near impossible! I resolved it by ordering 2 appetizers and asked for the fruit decorations as my dessert.
The staff and other guests quite obviously thought I was considered fussy and odd.
Whether it is foam or processed that throw you into a spin there are ways around it. If you are as food conscientious as I am, you might enjoy this article from Care2 Healthy Living: 9 Tricks to Eat Healthy at Any Restaurant.
Food Conscientious – Feel, Be and Do Good Factors
Getting into healthier ways takes learning, understanding, and commitment to balance, energy, and health. I know what makes me and my body tick.
Yes, some may call it fussy – but hey! Being a conscientious eater is something I share with you – and oh! so many people who want to feel good about what we introduce into our bodies, be good to the environment, culture and local economies – and do good to animals, farmers, small businesses and what we leave behind when we go.
Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. (Native American Proverb)
What are you? Food Conscientious or Fussy? Share your thoughts, stories and inspire us! If you like this post, and want more FEEL, BE and DO GOOD inspirations each week – subscribe to The GOODista.
Recommended and Related:
- Promoting Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Around the World – WHO
- Why Is It So Hard To Eat Clean? – Blog about Clean Food
- Food Cravings Goodbye Guide – thegoodista.com
- How To Be A Conscientious Food Shopper – WikiHow
- Getting On The Path To Conscientious Eating – RoGoodman
- Food-ology: How To Become a Conscious Eater – Lifehack
- Books from Amazon:
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Inspiration to Feel, Be and Do Good
Thank you! I really agree that what you eat is of prime importance. Knowing where food is grown, or where your fish / meats comes from contribute to a longer, healthier life. It is good to be fussy, or rather selective, when you shop for food, and take care when preparing your meals. A great post and such a good reminder and inspiration!
Thanks so much for commenting, and sharing your thoughts about how food is a source of health, nutrition and wellness. You are so right: ‘selective’ is the right word to use, rather than ‘fussy’ – and by comments like yours The GOODista gets better.