The Grassroots Gourmet (GG) is a concept derived from my beliefs and studies as a physician, martial artist and as a chef. As a physician, I recognize that the words Hippocrates wrote long ago still echo with import today – “Let thy Medicine be thy Food, and thy Food be thy Medicine.” But this is only half the story. As a chef I know that if the food does not taste good, then it is only medicine. As a Martial Artist I understand the concept of balance and harmony; the need for both Yin and Yang. As your personal Culinary buddha I have tread The Middle Path to bring you the Grassroots Gourmet Concept.
Using these guiding pillars, the GG concept is my guideline for navigating between salvation through deprivation and gastronomic gluttony. The Grassroots Gourmet follows three basic principles, what I call the Threefold Path of Be’s:
· Be Aware and Avoid the call of the Junk Food/Fast Food Siren
– What is commonly referred to as “junk food” is so named for a reason. These foods often are manipulated resulting in significantly less nutritious offerings. Taste, flavor and nutritional components are replaced by layers of sugar, salt and fat. These prey upon our hardwired biological instincts to create addictive behaviors and a vicious, repeating cycle.
· Be Fresh-but no Adultery
– Many of the items we use to prepare meals at home are not as fresh as we think. They have been altered in the growing, raising and processing points prior to their delivery to us. They have been adulterated to be able to remain on the shelves indefinitely. The Law of Unintended consequences applies here. We have only to look at the most recent debacle over our handling of trans-fatty acids (TFAs) to remind us of this reality and its inherent potential dangers.
· Be On-Time and in Proportion
– Far too often we end focusing only on caloric content as our mechanism in controlling our diets. But the simple biological mechanisms of timing when we eat things-it takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to start signaling satiety to the brain- is often overlooked. We eat a serving for three people in less than 15 minutes, then wonder why don’t feel good and gain weight. We can enjoy delicious treats from time to time, but we need to enjoy them in proper proportions. Not everything is better supersized; sometimes less is truly more.
It’s so simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact it can be quite difficult at times. However, by following these principles we gain a sustainable diet for a lifetime; one that sustains us not only through nourishment to our bodies but through great taste that nourishes our souls.