Check Your Labels

Over the weekend we had the good fortune to visit with many of our local friends. Catching up is always fun, especially when you can trade ideas and information. One couple has been working to eat healthier – including eating less red meat – so I was stoked to be able to serve them mushroom bourguignon. The recipe will follow – I wouldn’t just tease you with that – but during the conversation, they mentioned how my advice to read the ingredients on their veggie burgers had really paid off.

Although I’ve been a vegetarian for over 20 years, I didn’t always eat the most nutritious foods. It took me a long time to focus on eating for health. That said, when anyone mentions they’d like to give up meat and try veggie substitutes, it gives me pause. For me, personally, I would rather see someone eat local, grass-fed or free-range, antibiotic-free meat than a boxed concoction with a list of ingredients nobody can pronounce, much less identify. Yep, the staunch vegetarian would rather you eat a local burger than a veggie burger.

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, nor a registered dietician, nor a nutritionist. But from my own humble life experiences – and the knowledge I’ve gleaned over the past two decades – we’d all be better off eating foods with ingredients we can pronounce. We’d be even better off eating food that doesn’t need to come with a nutrition label (eg, fresh produce). If what you want is a burger, find yourself a quality burger, not a chemical substitute. I’ll definitely be talking about this more going forward because helping others to make healthy lifestyle choices has become pretty important to me.

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