What is clean eating exactly?
Despite recent reports that claim washing meat serves no other purpose than to spread bacteria, I still wash my chicken. In my kitchen, all fruits and vegetables are treated to a water bath before consumption. Does this mean I eat clean? Yes and no. In my mind the practice of clean eating has always referred to the consumption of foods in their most natural existence. Clean eating means to do away with foods that are processed as well as foods that are contaminated by pesticides, insecticides and herbicides. Foods that are organically grown, sustainably sourced and naturally raised all fall into the category of clean foods.
Organic foods are food sources that are cultivated without the use of pesticides, insecticides or man-made fertilizers. They are naturally grown foods created by nature. They contain zero genetically modified organisms. Livestock is fed from feed that contain no additives and must be raised in conditions natural to their behavior. Fish is wild caught. The underlying emphasis of organic foods is that they are naturally occurring. To be USDA certified organic suppliers must conform to very rigid federal guidelines with regards to their animal raising practices, their soil quality and their use of pesticides and fertilizers.
Sustainably Sourced Foods
Sustainable sourcing refers to the practice of attaining a food supply in such a way as to not be detrimental to the environment. The phrase is used to describe foods that can be obtained from the same source and in the same manner from now and moving forward. Sustainable sourcing creates no danger to the initial supply chain. A fisherman who catches fresh fish in the ocean is practicing sustainable sourcing. There is little to no danger that his fishing will cause extinction to the fish he is sourcing. A farmer who naturally breed and raises cattle will unlikely cause the extinction of cows.
Naturally Raised Foods
Cage-free chickens are the example that first comes to mind, and is the most widely thought of example of animals being raised unnaturally. It is a very sad thought when you picture a chicken farm that consists of hundreds upon hundreds of caged chickens. They are kept in small cages, stacked on top of one another, that rarely afford them the space to turn around. A simple search on you tube will show you the unimaginable cruelty afforded caged chickens.
Natural or All-natural is a hugely popular, yet highly deceptive buzz word use in food labeling. An example of this would be the all-natural chicken pot pie that was made using cream from a cow treated with rBGH. For those of you who are unaware Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) is a genetically modified version of a cow’s natural growth hormone that has the cow gene spliced into their DNA. The practice of using rGBH is to enable the cow to produce more milk. This hormone has been banned from use in organically raised agriculture by the USDA. This is why it has become so important that we take the time to read food labels. Get familiar with them. This is the only way to be sure of what you are eating.