“True Food” isn’t just two casual words; it’s a powerful movement made of many factors that all support each other. Similar terms are “Real Food” and “Slow Food,” but I think “True Food" has the potential to encompass so much more—to include the best of all the recent food trends. In addition to the characteristics listed below, what other points would you add?

True Food is:

Ethical: It is grown and handled by people who receive equitable treatment for their labor. It is regulated by just measures and advertised with honesty. While some organizations certify “fair trade,” the consumer can know the most about food that is grown closest to home. It is hard to know everything about all of our food, but ethically-grown food is a worthy goal. Also, buying from small farms and producers is the best way to avoid conflicts of interest that often exist in large food conglomerates.

Sustainable: Any practices used in the process of growing and producing food should be able to be continue indefinitely. If soil is becoming more toxic all the time, that’s not sustainable. If production is more expensive than it is profitable, that’s not sustainable either. Using sustainable practices exercises stewardship of our present resources and invests in the future of our land and families.

Real: Real food is what food is truly supposed to be. Food is meant to fulfill its purpose of nourishing us and fortifying us for the activities of our lives. Anything that is not real in food products is a filler—a superfluous substance that does more harm than good. Real food is true to what food used to be and to what most people expect food to be. If it’s not real, it’s not recognized by our bodies, and as such is not true.

Satisfying: These criteria aren’t meant to make us into joyless eaters, but into people who have reason after reason to truly enjoy our food. Knowing where it came from, knowing the food producers were compensated for their efforts, and knowing that it will nourish us—these themes are all immensely satisfying. You know that the flavor that reaches your tongue consists of quality ingredients shaped by people who love their work. Carefully selected, carefully prepared food can be some of the most creative, rewarding food possible.