There is no bad food
Just bad ways of making it
“I’d rather enjoy my life than eat healthy.”
So say the millions of people who have been convinced by years of diet propaganda that they must deny themselves their favorite foods if they want to improve their health.
For most, the sacrifice isn’t worth it.
But it’s not the foods themselves, whether it’s candy, fast food, snacks, or dessert—but rather the way they’re made— that makes them unhealthy.
To demonstrate this, I will show you how to make four commonly-considered “junk foods” the healthy way.
Why is a burger, chiefest and greatest of American culinary staples, unhealthy?
Are burgers just bad? Or is it because the beef comes from a demonic factory farm, the bun is full of pesticide-laden wheat and soybean oil, and the cheese is made of plastic in a Kraft factory?
Instead, consider the real way to make a burger:
pasture raised regenerative beef cooked on an open charcoal flame
sourdough, organic bun made from freshly milled ancient grain wheat flour with butter instead of seed oils
raw milk cheddar from the hills of Ireland
This is a health food. Nutrient dense beef and high quality dairy are actively beneficial for your health. And any healthy person should be fine with such high quality wheat, as our ancestors were for thousands of years.
Note how this is not your common burger alternative— typically a tofu or turkey burger with a weird ultra-processed gluten free bun—that most people are accustomed to when they hear “healthy version.”
It’s nothing less than a real burger, the way it might have been made 100 years ago. Remember that idea, because it comes up a lot.
"Fried foods are bad for you"
This is perhaps one of the few health facts that everyone seems to agree on.
But is it true? Is frying bad, or does what's being fried matter?
Pesticide potato plopped in searing seed oils sounds like a terrible idea, yet that's what America has been feeding its children on the happy menu for decades.
Not only is the oil ordinarily toxic, but when seed oils are heated to frying temperatures they produce even more toxic and carcinogenic byproducts (like acrolein) than normal.
But if you put pasture raised grass fed beef tallow in the fryer, which is very stable at frying temperatures due to its high saturation, and you gently fry hand cut slices of organic potato in that tallow, the result is a genuine health food.
Tallow is high in stable saturated fat, and rich in fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, and K2.
And potatoes are one of the most easily digested sources of starch you can find.
It’s worth mentioning that the country with the best fries on earth, has always and still does fry their fries in beef fat. Interesting.
3. Ice cream
Ice cream was my favorite dessert as a kid, which I've felt deprived of ever since I was convinced that dairy was bad by the paleo folks many years ago.
This was exacerbated by the fact that most soft serve ice cream is made with half a chemical cabinet, and most hard ice cream is full of fillers and gums.
But a few years ago I actually took it upon myself to make ice cream. If you look at the ingredients, it’s a real superfood.
Raw milk, raw cream, and egg yolks from the highest quality animals.
Honey, maple syrup, or organic sugar as a sweetener.
3-5 ingredients that you don't need a chemical company to supply— it’s truly easier to make than most commercial recipes, and it’s one of the healthiest foods I know about.
Dairy and eggs are the most nutrient dense foods, and the combination with a natural sweetener is a perfect stress-reducing, metabolism-boosting food.
It’s interesting how the bad version is so much more complicated than the good version.
If you lived 100 years ago, all you would be able to obtain is this recipe. Somehow modern companies have made the recipe more complicated to make, which costs more money, doesn’t even taste better, and is obviously worse for your health.
Ice cream is a “treat” for most people. Just do it the real way and you can eat all you want.
4. Corn chips
One of the most difficult things for me to "give up" was corn chips— guac is not the same without them.
But are chips entirely bad for you?
Or is it the fact that corn is one of the most pesticide sprayed crops in the US, and that they're always fried in seed oils?
Instead, you could used a heritage breed of corn, grown organically, traditionally nixtamalized for nutrient availability, and deep fried in grass fed beef fat (the way it was originally done).
Corn has a lot of anti nutrients, like most seeds, but nixtamalization was the traditional native american way of dealing with it.
This makes correctly prepared tortillas up there with sourdough bread as a digestible grain product.
While I don’t advocate for using grains as the primary food group, when well prepared I think they can be a fine accessory for healthy people eating an otherwise robust diet.
Yes it is a little complicated to make them like this, and sadly you can’t buy them pre-made anywhere. Until MASA Chips starts shipping, that is.
No fake substitutes
It’s not that the idea of healthy alternatives to common foods is novel.
But most healthy versions of foods are really just sad, soulless substitutes.
They always seem to have have cassava, coconut, chia seeds, weird flours, and usually taste like cardboard.