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IHop & Our Disconnect from Real Food

Updated on June 5, 2017

What is Real butter?

This morning while out doing errands a friend and I stopped at IHop for breakfast. This was the only choice for breakfast where I was on this sunny and fine day. As per usual there are a lot of questions I usually ask while ordering. Questions like: Do you use REAL eggs? Do you have REAL butter? How about REAL maple syrup?

Our waitress Jackie was attentive and patient. We ordered and when Jackie brought back our coffee she asked me a question. I think she had picked up on a trend with all of the questions about REAL food. She said “This might seem like a funny question but I would like to ask what is real butter? Isn’t Country Crock real butter?

WOW! I found out that she had been brought up in the city, but still….WOW! I asked if she has children, and she said yes. I commented that she could do a great thing for her family and introduce REAL food to them.

I explained about cows, milk, cream, and the churning. I then took it further to suggest that she go to Walmart and compare the ingredient lists on BOTH items; KerryGold REAL butter made from Grass fed cows, and Country Crock in the tub. I suggested that she compare the length of the ingredient lists, and see which had a list with ingredients that she could pronounce.

I have been thinking recently a lot about the total disconnect between us and real food. I am thrilled that our local farmers market is just getting started for the season. There is nothing better than knowing the farmers that supply your food. Knowing where it comes from and that if you eat meat that the animals are treated humanely. Knowing that your greens did not travel across the country costing money , fuel and aging your greens before you get them.

Another HUGE benefit of buying from your local farmers market is that the money that you spend mostly STAYS IN YOUR COMMUNITY! The farmers and producers that you support probably spend money at the local hardware store, go to local restaurants, use local professional services. Your local purchases help the entire community!

I am not perfect, I indulge in food that is not great for me once in a while, I think we all do. However, our bodies were not designed to eat artificial, and somewhat toxic chemicals. Artificial colors, sweeteners, fillers, stabilizers…are just the beginning!

If you are reading this, thank you for taking the time. Try the above label experiment with Ice Cream brands and just about any other product you can think of. My favorite brand of ice cream is Talenti Gelato, compare the ingredient list to the typical store brand ice cream.

If you are thinking this will cost you more $$$, maybe so. Isn’t your health and the health of your family worth it? Many farmers markets now take food stamps, and many offer matching dollars when you purchase tokens, i.e.: Spend $25.00 and Get $50.00 in tokens to use at your market. Organic is fabulous yes, but if the cost is a bit scary just start small. Read labels, buy products with the shortest and most easily pronounced ingredients available.

We all have to start somewhere. We really can be healthier, happier and I feel it begins by getting REAL with our food.

Breakfast experience at IHOP
Breakfast experience at IHOP

© 2017 Willow Lawrence

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