Monday, May 9, 2011

Don’t Be a Jerk, J.E.R.F.!

Jerk - noun - a stupid or worthless person.
J.E.R.F. – acronym – Just Eat Real Food

If I can convince you to do one thing to improve your own health, it’s to JERF.

I’m not sure where the term “Real Food” originated, but it is simple enough to define.  It’s real; it came from the earth (i.e. plants and animals).  Michael Pollan (acclaimed, best-selling author of The Omnivores Dilemma, In Defense of Food, Food Rules) would say this is “the sort of food our great grandmothers would recognize as food.”  Perhaps that description is a bit vague.  Here are some examples of real food items (in case your indoctrination by the processed food industry and its cronies at the USDA has fully clouded your judgement):  eggs, bacon, butter, milk, cream, honey, lettuce greens, berries, steak, liver, chicken, turkey, pork belly, coconut, almonds, walnuts, carrots, green beans, broccoli, etc.  You could place all of these items in front of your grandmother and she’d recognize them as food, and would likely enjoy the meal.

Fake food is just as easy to recognize.  It tends to be located on the interior of the grocery store, has a long shelf life and comes in a pretty package with health claims written on it (like “high in fiber” or “heart-healthy” or “low fat” - ever see an apple with a "low fat" stamp on it ... me neither).  Mr. Pollan describes these foods as “edible food-like substances.”  They are NOT food.  Eating them will make you sick.  Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday yada, yada, yada.  Just to be clear, lets offer some examples of fake foods:  soda, candy bars, cereal, whole grain bread, crackers, cookies, canned soups, frozen healthy dinners, etc.

One of my favorite blogs, as listed in my last post, is Underground Wellness, written by Sean Croxton.  He also has lots of great videos available and does a podcast show on BlogTalk Radio.  Sean came up with the term JERF.  Check out his post for a slightly different look at this concept at

Some great JERFing books include In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, Real Food by Nina Plank and Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell

So, get out there and JERF!
Until next time …

UPDATE:  Sean Croxton (Underground Wellness) made an excellent You Tube video on this topic that was posted today.  Check it out at!

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