Spotlight of the Week: 100 Days of Real Food

Welcome to the 2nd installment of Spotlight of the Week! I’ve found a great website about a family of four, and their pledge to eat REAL FOOD.

This time, I’d like to feature 100 Days of Real Food blog/website. Lisa Leake has created almost a world of Real Food, sharing her experiences and tips for Real Food, and wrote about various food issues.

You may wonder, what exactly is “Real Food?” According to the Real Food Challenge,

Real Food is food which truly nourishes producers, consumers, communities and the earth.  It is a food system–from seed to plate–that fundamentally respects human dignity and health, animal welfare, social justice and environmental sustainability.

Some people call it ‘local,’ ‘green,’ ‘slow,’ or ‘fair.’  We use ‘Real Food’ as a holistic term to bring together many of these diverse ideas people have about a values-based food economy (see our Real Food Wheel).

If you’re still not sure what it is, 100 Days of Real Food has defined the “rules” for their pledge for real food, which mostly sums it up:


Do YOU want to take the REAL FOOD PLEDGE?

Do YOU want to take the REAL FOOD PLEDGE?


For their first round of 100 Days of Real Food (executed around 2010), they were faced with crying children and returning multiple grocery items, but real food also granted them health benefits, such as weight loss for the parents and better digestion & less asthma symptoms for the children. Eating real food is returning to the natural state of food–avoiding chemicals found in most processed food and cooking your own food! Whole foods and lots of fruits and vegetables contain lots of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your body needs everyday, thus a real food diet means a more nutrient-dense diet (more nutrients in a smaller amount of calories) than a day of take-outs and fast food. Cooking your own meals from almost scratch also educates you on what goes into your food, and you will eventually learn to taste the hidden ingredients of prepared/processed food. Of course, no diet, even that of real food, is perfect without moderation and balance. However, most people would acknowledge that real food is a step in the right direction, especially when the United States and the world are exposed to fast and processed food, its advertisements, and its appeal in the more convenient/fast-paced age.

As college students, the real food diet does not seem feasible at all! Organic, local and humane as much as possible?! My budget! My time to prepare foods! I haven’t gone through all the recipe ideas or all the entries, but I’m sure you can find quick and easy recipes in the site that are suitable for the busy student life. Those food do tend to cost a bit more, but are the bit of savings from convenient items worth our health and our planet?

If you feel that the 100 Days sound too extreme, there are other versions that you can try. Follow the links below to learn more!

  • 10-Day Pledge – If you just want a small experience to see the impact of real food in your life, this is a good choice! Apparently they’ll send a silicone wristband after you completed it too!
  • 100 Days of Mini Pledges – This is for people who need time to adjust to real food: one week at a time, small goals every week!
  • 100 Days on a Budget – This was the family’s second round of the 100 Days of Real Food; however, they can only spend $125/week for two adults and two children! Talk about difficult times! They completed it (not without hardships and sacrifices of course), just to show that you can still go real food on a tight budget! I think they were not as strict on some of the rules, but the children had to go without milk sometimes and cereals were berry-less. They had a small garden too, which also helped with the fruits and vegetables situation.
  • Real Food Tips: 12 Ways to Keep it Cheap – Great section that gives helpful tips for Real Foooood!


Personally, I’d like to try the 100 Days of Mini Pledges, followed by the 10-Day one. It’s sounds less drastic and more practical for us students. If you’re at home for summer, you can also try this with your family. If you’re at summer school, you can use some of your free time to do this pledge! Something that the site also mentioned, and I also think is important is whole-wheat bread… If the label doesn’t say 100% Whole Wheat, it is likely that the bread contains a bit (or a lot) of white/refined flour. In addition, lots of the packaged bread contains high-fructose corn syrup, which has a lot of implications that I won’t delve into yet (maybe next time), so BEWARE!



Super Random Fact: Did you know that if you live in Taiwan, any Taiwanese-produced product would be considered “local,” no matter where you are? At least, if you set the local standard to 250-mile radius with Taipei City as the center, you’d find that the whole island would be covered, including the surrounding waters as well as a small part of China. I was curious one day and tried it… No wonder Taiwan doesn’t really talk about local food! (And no wonder that news about food scares and political issues spread like wildfire… but that is another story for another day).

Note: This post was supposed to be posted last week, but due to Internet/uploading issues, I haven’t been able to do so. I’ll be going to Australia, so I may have limited Internet access. No guarantees, but I’ll put out more Spotlight of the Week’s when I get back (and reformat this to how I wanted it)!


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