We hear so much about what we should and shouldn’t be eating these days. Avoid fat. Eat fat. Avoid eggs. Eat eggs. Potatoes are nutritional dead inside. Superfoods are the only way we’ll ever survive annihilation by cancer, diabetes, heart disease or zombie apocalypse. Those superfoods, they really are something, aren’t they? But is all as it seems in the flamboyant world of peculiar looking powders and unappetising algae? Here’s ten things you don’t (read: probably do) want to hear about these fabled ingredients seemingly manifest from the fountain of eternal life (judging by the price, anyway).
1. I’m just going to throw it out there: superfoods don’t exist. Or rather they do, but not in the way you’ve been told.
2. Cabbage is a ‘superfood.’ Mmmmm! Will you now all be flocking to your local health food store to stock up on this unassuming vegetable? I hope so!
3. Broccoli is also a ‘super’ food, as are Brussel sprouts, as well as all the other plants that make up the varied natural diet of us human beings. Broccoli and Brussel sprouts don’t seem as exotic or glamorous as goji berries and spirulina, though, do they?
4. The concept of a superfood is a fabrication that garners the attention of those looking to get healthy on demand, no hard work involved – just a quick splash of cash. It makes those foodstuffs somewhat exclusive to a particular demographic of middle-class shoppers (with conveniently larger budgets) and keeps them out of reach of those unrefined sods living on potatoes and carrots (heaven forbid!). Try to live on nothing but goji berries, however, and we can quickly conclude that perhaps they’re not so ‘super’ after all.
5. They’re not superfoods. They’re just food. We must eat all manner of plants in association with each other to get all the vital nutrients we need to thrive. So that means, my friends, that the lowly cauliflower or apple is just as important as the single origin maca powder you ordered from Peru. Put that on your plate and eat it.
6. Smart marketing perpetuates the celebrity status of certain foods to keep the price point high, and to increase the demand. “It’s expensive and exotic, so it must be better than Farmer Giles’ pears,” thought everyone, always. Ah yes, the psychology of selling…
7. You’re spending your money on foods that have traveled thousands of miles, likely to the detriment of the growers and the local population in the country of origin. The food they once relied on as a staple they now can’t afford due to foreigners directing the supply in their direction with big wads of First World Cash (quinoa, anyone?).
8. Stocking your cupboard with expensive ingredients from the other side of the world is not necessary to keep you (and your family) alive and thriving. That’s right – if you feel like you’re failing because you don’t pack your kids off to school with a chia and pistachio quinoa porridge in their lunch box: NEWS FLASH! Your children will still thrive on a variety of fruit and veg from your local market, no matter how ‘mundane’ those may seem in comparison.
9. The foods that are in season in your local area are the best ones to eat, including and especially the wild ones (sack off the pineapple, get on the dandelion). It’s an interesting fact that the plants in our locale provide just the right nutrients at just the right time in the yearly cycle. It’s almost as if we co-evolved with them over millennia and had them propel us as a species to where we are today. All that progress without ever shipping papaya from the tropics or acai from South America. Imagine.
10. I love papaya. Goddamnit.
<– All pictures shown are for illustration purposes only. Actual product may vary. Read: This is not me. I am no blonde haired, lipstick wearing diva, unfortunately. Nope, no English rose here, I’m much more… well, dandelion.