Culinary wellness aims to assist in maintaining the body’s healing process and overall systemic health, support emotional wellbeing and self-efficacy, + facilitate social connections.
Humans have made great strides toward making the accessibility and acquisition of foods easy. For most people in the developed world, food is easy to find, easy to buy, easy to transport, and easy to keep. Food has become a global market, no country in the world is fully self-sustaining when it comes to food. As a result of consumer demand it is possible to buy food that is out of season year-round, exotic produce that is impossible to grow in certain climates Never before have we been able to connect more food with more people, but this comes at a cost. As food becomes more and more convenient it becomes more expensive in regards to our health. Modern industrial food production methods have decreased nutrient values, impaired social connection, and increased damage to our bodies and the health of the planet. For these reasons, food sourcing has far reaching impacts that span further than your own well being.
Digestion breaks down large compounds in food and liquids into smaller molecules that can be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Food marketers are very aware that interest in sustainable agriculture, farmers markets and healthy food is growing. In response, the food industry has developed a language of its own. This language is designed to inform and entice but is often also used to dis-inform. As you navigate through grocery stores and farmers markets, you will see many claims. Some terms are regulated, others are not. Understanding whether these terms mean something of value, or if they are just marketing ploys, will help you to make better decisions for yourself as you begin to make new choices.
A good kitchen setup doesn’t have to be complicated. A sharp knife, a solid cutting board, a couple of quality pots and pans and a wooden spoon are all you truly need to make magic in the kitchen. Cooking at home is supposed to be so much healthier than ordering out, but you could be sabotaging your efforts without even realizing it by not using the safe cookware. The materials used in certain pots and pans may pose a threat to your health. In the same way that there are multiple considerations to make before purchasing food, the quality of cookware and food storage containers are a contributing factor to culinary wellness and your overall health.
Another important component of culinary wellness is making sure to prepare your foods properly. Some foods like nuts, seeds, grains and legumes actually contain “anti-nutrients” like saponins, phytates, enzyme inhibitors, and lectins that negatively impact the body’s ability to digest and absorb the beneficial nutrients. Certain cooking methods can mitigate your exposure to these anti-nutrients. Other considerations include being mindful of cooking temps and conditions as to avoid carcinogenic byproducts and oxidation of fatty acids. Proper preparation techniques can greatly reduce the undesirable constituents and effects of certain foods while increasing the nutrient and antioxidant content.