Food Comes From…Where?!

“You’re a food snob!!”

And so it has happened. I’ve been coined a food snob by some of the closest to me, but I truly beg to differ. How could I simply be a food snob if I don’t eat out regularly at fancy restaurants? That just ain’t true!

I am, however, a self-renowned healthy food snob simply which means that I will mostly eat food that is healthy, local and (hopefully) sustainable. What does all that mean and why? You may already know this, but food has to be grown just like babies are born from mommies. Back in the olden days, people ate food that was grown locally and available to them by the season. In short, you’d have a fat chance of eating strawberries in Virgina during the winter because strawberries grow in the summer. One might argue that you can grow strawberries in greenhouses or by other chemically induced means – but come on, the sweetness of a natural strawberry comes from the beautiful sunlight that induces morphogenesis, growth and photosynthesis which regulates growth and fruit quality. You can’t produce that in a factory!

Above are some photos collected from various travels. Food stalls with foreign writing were taken in Hong Kong. The basil is from Thomas Keller’s farm in Yountville, CA and the bottom middle image is from the St Helena Farmers Market.

Food is the direct nourishment for the physical body. As the saying goes, what goes in must come out. The quality of the food directly dictates your physical well-being regardless of gender, culture, age or background. If you stuff a bag full of Cheesy Nacho Doritos into your mouth every single day for 365 days, you can expect to experience symptoms of fatigue, lack of energy, weight gain and all sorts of other symptoms that I dare not investigate. The basis of junk or processed food is that it does not and can not provide you with sustainable vitamins and essential nutrients that a human body needs. Meat, vegetables and fruits account for most of where we get our nutrients. Pill-form vitamins and supplements are a good substitute in a pinch, but the best way for the body to naturally absorb it is simply through eating wholesome food.

My devout interest for natural food comes from having watched, “Food, Inc“, “Supersize Me!“, Jamie Oliver’s TV show “Food Revolution” and also the book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver (With over 300 pages of farming, food glory and know-how of the agricultural industry. This book is my favorite by far!!)

In this book she recounts a year spent eating home-grown food and, if not that, local. Accomplished gardeners, the Kingsolver clan (mother, father, daughter duo) grow a large garden in southern Appalachia and spend summers “putting food by,” as the classic kitchen title goes. They make pickles, chutney and mozzarella; they jar tomatoes, braid garlic and stuff turkey sausage. Nine-year-old Lily runs a heritage poultry business, selling eggs and meat. What they don’t raise (lamb, beef, apples) comes from local farms. Come winter, they feast on root crops and canned goods, menus slouching toward asparagus. Along the way, the Kingsolver family, having given up industrial meat years before, abandons its vegetarian ways and discovers the pleasures of conscientious carnivory. (excerpt; Publishers Weekly)

In Food, Inc there was a short snippet about a family who went on vacation in 2001. What seemed like the all American family getaway with picturesque view of a lake ended up with the death of a healthy two-year old who ate a fatal hamburger. But how could that be? Government run food regulations are meant to monitor and control the health of the entire nation, but corporations dictate what farmers can grow which affects what ends up in our stomachs… From growing, marketing, the numerous commercial ads on television… we’re essentially being told that processed food is OK. If it’s okay – then how could a 2 year old die from a hamburger?

“You’ve got a small number of multinational corporations that control the entire food system from seed to the supermarket. This isn’t just about what we’re allowed to eat. This is about what we’re allowed to say; what we’re allowed to know. It’s not just our health at risk…They have managed to make it against the law to criticize their products. There is an effort to make it illegal to publish a photo of any industrial food operation.” – Food, Inc. narration.

Anyway, I’m off on a tangent so I apologize for now! I love my body more than anything. Like I said, what goes in must come out. In the past I would think that Marie Calendars, Mimi’s Cafe and all those food chains were really great restaurants. Little did I know that I was being tricked into believing that frozen and processed food was good for me. Having had a chance to eat NATURAL food, I can now compare the two types of foods and tell you that process food makes you feel sluggish and can also give you a bad aftertaste. Not to mention, it probably costs more on the wallet too! Eating healthier food options has and will further increase my energy levels, natural endorphins and increase my immune system. A good grass-fed steak with julienne carrots sautéed in butter with a side of rosemary roasted potatoes can be quite the meal; and healthy for you. Who knows, I might even live longer too! But that will only happen if I take care of what goes into my stomach.

To end, I’ve included a sample list of healthy menu options to make your mouth water…. hmm…

  • Roasted Beets with Humboldt Fog Cheese, Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette and Candied Pecans
  • Diver Scallop Civeche with Ponzu, Carrot-Ginger Mousse and Thomas Hill Asian Greens
  • Seared Ahi Tuna with English Cucumbers, Mount Olive Organic Sprouted Beans, Sunflower Sprouts, Ginger-Citrus Vinaigrette
  • Mushroom Pizza with Oak Hill Oyster Mushrooms, Paso Robles Cheese Company Truffle Goat Cheese, Arugula
  • Poached Alaskan Halibut with Local Chanterelle Mushroom Sugo and Grilled Farmers Market Asparagus
  • Fire Roasted Charter Oak Porkchetta, Celery Root Polenta, THO Broccoli Raab, Pickled Raisins Red Wine & Balsamic Reduction
  • Braised Local Charolais Beef Cheeks with Oak Hill Oyster Mushrooms, Wasabi, Pea Tendril Emulsion

You can find these plates at Thomas Hill in Paso Robles, a restaurant that serves organic food from farm to table. Their menu changes daily, so everything is always fresh and tasty!

Thomas Hill Organics
1305 Park Street, Paso Robles, CA‎
(805) 226-5888‎

Sonya Lee

Since a child, Sonya has been traveling from the corners of Canada to the far east Asia. Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, she led a normal family life with her brother, mother and dad. A well received job opportunity in Hong Kong for her father put the compass in action from a young age. Sonya loves good food, and I mean GOOD simple food. She loves an occasional drink, be merry and enjoy the good times. Having recently healed herself from a large ruptured cyst, her favorite foods include fresh carrot juice, grilled vegetables, sauteed portabello mushrooms and truffle french fries. Her philosophy? Healthy food makes a healthy body. Read more on the Editor page. When she's not fretting over WAFT, she runs a small design agency called mowie media and shares the good times with her dog, Monster and 3 cats Sabi, Kaeli & Misty.

1 Comment
  1. YAY that’s great! Well done sonya. Keep up the healthy lifestyle, i look forward to seeing how WAFT is shaped by your experiences.

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