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The IRN exists to shape the way food is produced, marketed and distributed so we can end food-related illness and promote good health. In order to strengthen our strategies and tactics we seek your support through community based participatory research.

Your experience and knowledge can provide important data for understanding what is going in our food system and its impact on our health. Thanks in advance for supporting our efforts in this way.

The IRN has surveys that are open ended as well as time limited to address specific issues and concerns with our food system and nutrition.

What is Real Food?

This may seem like a simple question, but defining what real food is can be challenging. We need your help to better understand what your understanding of real food is. Please tell what you think real food is, in one paragraph or less.

Showing 46 reactions

  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-10-06 21:48:05 -0700
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  • answered 2016-10-06 21:47:40 -0700
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: real food is: a carrot in the ground you grew organically yourself, or eggs you have gone out to your free range chicken coop and gathered from your laying hens. Or my breast milk I produced for my kids to drink when they were first born up until they were ready to wean themselves. They are now ages 40 and 36, and blessed with very good health.
  • answered 2016-09-15 14:14:54 -0700
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: Any food that is not processed.
    Fruit, veggies, meat, nuts, legumes. If it comes from the Earth its good
  • answered 2016-09-12 08:53:01 -0700
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: I think that real food is food that is rich in nutrients and ultimately betters your health and well being. They are foods that don’t have added sugar and aren’t processed negatively. Real foods are foods that are beneficial to not only you, but to everyone who will eat it, regardless of health and background.
  • answered 2016-09-09 22:26:32 -0700
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: fresh, home grown or locally grown meat, fish, poultry and vegetables.
  • answered 2016-09-02 15:49:42 -0700
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: Real food is food you can acquire yourself from the land, and/or reproduce in your kitchen
  • answered 2016-08-01 11:43:36 -0700
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: Anything with a caloric, vitamin or mineral value that will not kill you. By real and food I suppose that the definition does not suggest healthy or safe just food and I can only assume you mean to humans and not any species as there are some things humans can eat that will kill other things and vice versa.
  • answered 2016-07-19 02:02:50 -0700
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: Real food is any food which is naturally grown and fed. Nothing with more than one ingredient is a real food. For example, eggs, vegetables and meat. If possible, avoid any canned goods. If there is anything added to it, it becomes artificial and no longer real.
  • answered 2016-07-16 04:09:16 -0700
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: Wholefood that comes from the ground with minimal processing.
  • answered 2016-07-10 07:16:52 -0700
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: Real food is instantly recognizable as to its source. A cut of meat, a slice if watermelon, or a green pea pod fresh picked and ready to eat. The opposite is baked goods, cuz anything could be in there. Frozen dinners, even deli salads, baby foods.
  • answered 2016-06-27 10:03:40 -0700
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: Whole fruit, vegetables, grains & meat. Minimally processed (only cut, washed, frozen) without added salt, sugar or other preservatives.
  • answered 2016-05-27 19:41:26 -0700
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: Real food is food that is grown and prepared the way it was naturally meant to be grown and prepared. For example, fresh vegetables that haven’t been genetically modified or sprayed with toxic pesticides.
  • answered 2016-05-27 11:05:28 -0700
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: Real food is food that is: in a state as close as we can get to the way Nature/God made it; and is ingested at a point in time where it delivers optimum health-enhancing energy. Nothing has been added or removed that negatively impacts its constructive nutritional effects on our bodies.
  • answered 2016-05-26 14:18:34 -0700
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: Real food is food that has not been processed or changed. Fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, whole grains, milk etc. To me whole foods also have a movement component added to them. Planting, digging, pulling, weeding, harvesting crops you have planted yourself. If you don’t have the space to grow your own food, walking to and from a farmers market to purchase sustainably grown foods is another way to add movement to your food experiences. Especially when looking at Type 2 diabetes and the need for better nutrition AND exercise (I prefer movement rather than exercise – exercise is another chore, movement can be built into everyday life in a functional way) to help this wicked problem. Kids need to have some understanding of what it takes to actually harvest and produce the food they eat rather than just opening a tin or plastic package to gain access to their food. They also need to experience the movement associated with food rather than it being something that gets added on later.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-05-20 13:50:10 -0700
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  • answered 2016-05-20 13:49:48 -0700
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: I think real food is food that hasn’t been altered through the production line. Raw milk, fruit, veggies, meat from animals that feed on their natural diets and don’t have hormones injected into them. I think it’s food, in it’s most natural state, food that our bodies would have known how to digest hundreds of years ago.
  • answered 2016-05-17 19:27:48 -0700
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: Real food is produce, whole grains, nuts, legumes, red meat, white meat, fish and other seafoods, eggs. Essentially what comes from the land or sea that is in its raw form, besides the grains that have to be processed like oats.
  • answered 2016-04-26 01:43:39 -0700
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: Real food has been alive; part of a living, breathing, growing plant or animal.
    It will visually present close to or in its most natural form without modifications, chemical treatments, or genetic interference, and is perishable.
  • answered 2016-04-24 09:33:34 -0700
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: Real food is as it’s grown. Bread? Where’s the bread bush? Show me the ice cream plant. Weenie vine? Etc. That’s how I define real food. This way I always know what is processed and what is real, whole food.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-04-23 13:29:13 -0700
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  • answered 2016-04-23 10:00:46 -0700
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: Meat, fish, eggs, vegetable, nuts, fruit, cheese and other dairy products.
  • answered 2016-04-18 19:23:52 -0700
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: Real food is supposed to be the energy source you intake through your mouth in its form closest to nature, with the least modification.
  • answered 2016-04-06 16:19:22 -0700
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: I believe real food is easily recognizable by name as something the either grows in the ground or lives on the land or in a body of water. It is not genetically modified or fed an artificial diet, but grown or raised naturally and minimally processed to preserve the vital nutrients within.
  • answered 2016-04-05 09:30:50 -0700
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: authentic, genuine, non-GMO, unprocessed or if processed to retain the nutrients and fiber of the original food, no hormones, no antibiotics, plant and animal stuffs whose appropriate consumption maintains and or improves our overall health and wellness.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-03-24 03:39:59 -0700
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  • answered 2016-03-24 03:36:51 -0700
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: Real food contains essential vitamins and minerals to help us perform to the best of our ability. The different foods that are very important are vegetables, fruits, nuts & seeds, whole grains, carbs such as rice & potatoes and seafood for omega 3. By regularly consuming these foods we can live healthier, happier lives, and feel better about ourselves.
  • answered 2016-03-19 16:53:59 -0700
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: Real food is food that comes from the land, whether it grew from the land or ate what grew from the land. There is minimal processing – maybe it’s harvested and washed, maybe there is minimal separation of parts, but complex chemical reactions should not be involved. Real food likely isn’t “shelf stable” for more than a few month, if that. It’s filling and provides nutrients, not empty calories. And, most of all, it doesn’t make people sick.
  • answered 2016-03-11 16:15:07 -0800
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: Real foods are foods that are considered a product of nature, like fresh eggs, fish, meats, cheese and whole-grain breads. Food like fast food, packaged or any processed food is not considered fast food. Although you may think something like apple juice is a real food, it is incredibly concentrated and has been stripped of all of its nutritional value (fibre). You are left with sugar and it’s incredibly dangerous. If you want a real food, eat an apple.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-03-10 08:00:17 -0800
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  • answered 2016-03-10 07:59:39 -0800
    Q: What is Real Food?
    A: REAL FOOD IS FODD THAT IS AN INGREDIENT FOR ITSELF