JERF - A healthier lifestyle is simple: just eat real food!
Food is natural. Food is healthy. Food is tasty, Food is real. This is the mantra of the JERF – Just Eat Real Food – movement, and we love it!
The movement, with its emphasis on embracing real, local, and seasonal food has become a popular concept among food and health bloggers and influencers in recent years, and it’s pretty simple – eat real food and you’ll feel great.
Unlike its stricter contemporaries, a JERF food philosophy doesn’t push its followers from a cliff into the deathly gallows of starvation and deprivation.
Neither is it exclusionary – vegans, herbivores, carnivores – everyone is equally welcome to join the JERF movement.
So, what is ‘real food’ anyway?
ccording to Chris Kresser, founder of one of the top 25 natural health sites in the world, real food is defined as:
- Whole, unprocessed and unrefined;
- Pasture-raised and wild; and
- Local, seasonal and organic.
Therefore, JERF stresses on buying food that is as natural as possible – green, leafy vegetables, fruits, grains, and meats of all kinds, and devoid of preservatives.
A sustainable diet is another important aspect of the movement as it encourages “JERF-ers” to focus on seasonal and local rather than exotic foods.
As dietitian Dr William Cook states, the movement is not about cutting out calories, sugar, fat, gluten and dairy, it’s simply about focusing on eating food made of quality ingredients and avoiding processed items.
In other words, party like it’s the early 20th century!
An old idea for a millennial world:
Even though the term was coined in 2012 by an industrious young man called Sean Croxton from Underground Food, the “eat clean” movement has been in existence since the late 2000s.
According to a report by The Guardian, one of its first advocates was Tosca Reno, a Canadian fitness model, whose book The Eat-Clean Diet recounted her 34-kilo weight loss journey following her abstinence from “processed foods”, particularly white flour and sugar.
Get JERF Ready:
If you’re still not convinced, here’s simple guide to help you become a JERF convert.
- Beauty in simplicity: Avoid too many fancy ingredients, instead stick to seasonal vegetables, fruits and meat.
- Can’t read it, don’t eat it: If the ingredients on a product carry a tongue twister, don’t go there. Stick to unprocessed and natural food without unknown ingredients.
- Avoid sauces: They are a vortex of preservatives and sugar. Instead, make your own sauces.
- Stick to the perimeter: Shop on the outside of grocery shops, where the vegetables, fruits and whole foods are found. Avoid the middle section that is crowded with processed food.
Budget-friendly and sustainable
If the JERF movement sounds like something you’d like to try here are some tips for making it affordable and sustainable.
Stay seasonal: To ensure your JERF grocery shopping is budget-friendly, buy seasonal vegetables and fruits.
Love Local: Buying local food is also a cheaper and a more sustainable practice. Opt for farmer's markets over big chain supermarkets for the best quality, organically grown real food you can find.