4 Insights into Making the Best Food Choices for Yourself and Your Family
by Malcolm Saunders
There are 4 criteria I use to make the food choices I do, whether it is for just one food or exploring a new way in which to eat.
The term FoodS.C.A.P.E. is an acronym I coined which could hold for you the key to an empowering concept – a simple guide to assist you in making the best food choices for yourself and your family.
Consciously or subconsciously you likely select food based upon these 4 criteria already, you just may not know it, or haven’t thought about it in this way yet.
I describe them as the 4 lenses through which we perceive, assess and validate our food and food choices.
You can use these lenses to help you understand why you chose the foods you do and to help you further make the best choices you can with regards to health and nutrition.
Food S.C.A. P. E. stands for:
S – Scientific
C – Cultural
A – Anecdotal
P.E. – Personal Experience
Take a moment to think about all the reasons you might try a new food or dish or why you eat a particular food…
Why do you eat what you eat? What inspired you to try it the first time?
Perhaps you just read an article or blog about a recent study showing that eating in a particular way or consuming a specific food or herb demonstrated remarkable improvement in an area of health you know you could use some help with. Herbs for weight loss, medicinal mushrooms for immunity, the GAPS diet…
Engaging in the Science behind food can either validate and confirm your choice in a certain food if you already eat it, and if you don’t, it could likely inspire you to go out and try it, or at the least you may begin to look further into it.
Your next thought might be “hmmm, science and some studies have suggested these benefits” but, “who has eaten this way and has this food been consumed long-term?”
Though these may not be your exact words, subconsciously we will look for validation that humans have consumed such foods for long-periods of time.
Which mushrooms are safe? What do we know from the past about certain herbs?
Particular foods which have been consumed for centuries with proven results are a good affirmation for trying or incorporating certain foods into your diet. Even different methods of food preparation such as fermentation offer insight into beneficial practices and ways of eating. We carry on the traditions of our ancestors, keeping what works. This is an example of looking at food through the Cultural lens.
The next one is something we have all had an experience with, Anecdotal evidence.
Your best friend is raving about a certain food or herb that you just have to try! They have been experiencing such fantastic results and they think you would benefit too. Sometimes it really is the best thing ever and you agree, and sometimes not. This of course is anecdotal, and suggestions from others play a powerful role in our choices; it’s why celebrity endorsements work. So pay attention to this voice and know that there is no one way or right way for everyone but we can learn and benefit from others experiences.
All of these only lead to the very last and most important lens which is Personal Experience.
Do you like the particular food you just ate? The diet you tried? How did it make you feel?
Does it live up to the buzz and provide you with what’s being shared about it?
A food might have all the science, a cultural legacy and everyone raving about it, but if it doesn’t work for you then its not a fit, and that’s ok.
Find what does work, eat what you do like, using these lenses to guide you in your choices.
Ultimately it will all come down to your personal experience.
This is the bottom line in food and nutrition.
If you liked the insight you received from this concept and can see how it could be useful in your life, I’ll be covering this concept in depth in an upcoming workshop called Navigating Your Personal Foodscape: How to make the best food choices for yourself and your family.
This new workshop is part of the Nourishing Foundation series I have developed.
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