We wanted to take this moment to clear some things up. But first thing's first - if you get easily offended, be forewarned this letter might not be the best thing for your blood pressure. Guess what, though? You are in full control of what you do or do not have to read, click on, scroll through, or listen to every single day. So, as with each choice in your life, it's up to you whether you continue to keep reading or not.
With that, it seems our culture is getting more easily offended, so we wanted to look into this, briefly, before diving too far in. According to The Journal of Social Psychology and Social Psychology, Volume 16, "a sense of inferiority, because of limitations, offers [in part] explanation for sensitiveness and being easily offended". Inferiority is usually started as a ranking system, where one person or group places superiority over another, making them feel 'inferior'. As we can see in our culture, the feeling of being inferior can be passed on and on from generation to generation - it becomes an idea, then, not an actual ranking system. We create ideas and beliefs in our culture that one person is superior or inferior to another - but this is narcissistic behavior (as studied by psychologists) and a detrimental one to our society - our kids and the generations to come. We. Must. All. Believe. We're. Equal. We are. So, this idea that we have limitations and then get offended is often one that society has brought upon us. We can and need to change this but it starts with our minds. The mind is a powerful thing - we must use it to change the way we think.
Moving on. Pantry Fuel was not started because we wanted to feed our community tasty food with a beautiful presentation - we're not a personal chef service, restaurant, or caterer. It just so happens whole, seasonal foods usually present themselves in a beautiful array of colors that we then get to devour (yay, us!). To all seriousness, though, Pantry Fuel was started because of a need - a need that most of us all know we have (including us at Pantry Fuel) - but a need that requires some tough love.
Our menus are built around nutrition and this comes first - everything else is secondary. Why? Because food is our fuel. Plain and simple. Lucky for us, we live in a pretty great era where we can make food taste pretty darn good - even that healthy stuff! Still, this should be secondary.
Pantry Fuel meals are not going to make you live five, ten, or even fifteen years longer. They are not going to prevent heart attacks, diabetes - we're not going to help you cheat death. She's coming for each of us whether we like it or not. We can't make any of these claims. But, we can tell you, along with thousands of medical professionals and their patients who have changed their diets, that whole (and local) foods are the best bet to living your life fully; to enjoying your 20's kicking ass PRing in 5k's or traveling the world without getting ill b/c you have a rockin' immune system; to being able to keep up with your kids during your parenting years and looking back at all the crazy shit you did; to still doing that crazy stuff when your grandkids get welcomed to this world; to looking back on your life while on your deathbed and being able to say YOU LIVED! This is why Pantry Fuel exists.
Did you know tastes are learned? Yup. Sorry to break it to all you broccoli-haters - we can reteach our pallets, particularly when it comes to craving sweets.
According to Current Biology:
Early likes and dislikes are influenced by these innate preferences but are also modifiable. Repeated exposure to novel or disliked foods that occur in a positive, supportive environment may promote the acceptance of and eventually a preference for those foods. Alternatively, children who are pressured to eat certain foods may show decreased preference for those foods later on.
There is a lot to disagree and agree with regarding which diet is best for each person, but we can agree that food serves a purpose. The truth is, each body is made up of different genetics and for those of you with a science background, know that epigenetics (the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself) know that our environment is just as important. There are some things that are proven when it comes to diet though. I doubt most are going to argue that white processed bread are better than a local, organic apple - OK, some are going to argue, there's always one or two. But, we bet a lot of people don't know that all potatoes aren't created equally. Pantry Fuel uses a lot of purple potatoes in recipes - we have yet to serve white russet potatoes - because purple potatoes are lower in glycemic (starch sugars) and high in antioxidants (a make-up of vitamins and plant phytochemicals - active compounds found in plants) which protect us from dangerous oxidation at a cellular level. We serve a lot of diabetics, so we need to take their health into account - but lower glycemic foods are better in the long run for all of us. You see, not all foods are created equally.
This comes to our next point. Our variety in each of our meal plans (High Protein, Healthy & Wellness, and Vegan) parallel that of what our local farmers have available to us (or not). Some weeks we may serve a ton of beets on our menu - in turn, you support local farms, reduce waste, and get to fill your beautiful body with essential nutrients such as fiber, folate, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. Beets help improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. Remember that thing about whole (local) foods helping you get the most out of life? Beets, or beet juice, are also used by many athletes to reduce the build-up of lactic acid during competition to perform better - and completely legal! You didn't know beets were so (red)illy good did you?! :)
We're to our last point. Pantry Fuel is not perfect and we're not for everyone. We never set out to be, though. Our intentions were to re-educate our community and reconnect it with our local food sources by creating a business that helped make this more convenient for both the farmers and our community members. We know time is of the essence, so obviously, convenience is at the forefront thought of most of our customers (and ourselves!). But, we don't want our mission, our heart, our soul vision, to get drown out. We will be the first to admit we make mistakes - but we'll also admit we become twice as good the next time (or two). I'd like to think our community supports small, local businesses for the reasons we do - connection, community, and shared beliefs.
Each of our meal plans offer different nutrition profiles. The High Protein features about 30 grams of protein (remember, non-meats such as brown rice and veggies have protein in them, too, not just meat!) - this is the maximum amount of protein your body can use in an eating period, according to the researcher's report in the September 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, and many more studies. We understand and have agreed above that everybody needs a slightly different diet (particularly when taking into account allergies, heck, I'm dairy intolerant, etc.), but science doesn't lie. At Pantry Fuel, we are not based on opinion, we are based on sound research and science. If this offends you, again, you have control of what you read - and eat. But have you ever heard of 'confirmation bias'? It's that thing each of us does when we Google something in a way that is already going to confirm what we want to or do believe. A challenge would be to start researching (anything!) in a way that negates our bias'. This is what brings true clarity. Anyways, our High Protein menu is perfect for anyone wanting more protein in their life - whether you're a body builder or lean runner - this menu has more than enough protein for everyone and science has proven that. Read the devastation of what happens when you eat too much protein.
Our Health & Wellness menu - and first we'll apologize for typos in writing 'chicken' this week in the Beet-Orange Salad instead of it reading 'chickpeas' - won't always have meat protein in it. Why? Because again, our menus are not based on opinions, but on sound research. We're sure you've heard that too much cholesterol leads to plaque build-up in arteries, putting you at higher risk for heart diseases, yes? What food products have cholesterol in them? Animal products. I digress, if you've ever read The China Study or heard of Dr. Ornish's program for reversing heardisease, then you may know that eating a diet high in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods (no, we're not saying elimination completely) will make you healthier overall. Bringing us back to the point, our Health & Wellness menu follows these researched principles, so that we can support your best health! No more asking what those purple things are in your meals. :)
To conclude, if you're still reading, we take it you're not one to get easily offended. If you're still reading this and now you're offended...Yikes! Good luck with the rest of the internet - truly, good luck, it's brutal out there! In all seriousness, I'm not writing this to offend, joke around, or complain. But Pantry Fuel was not built around the notion that we were going to serve our customers in exactly the way or what they thought they wanted, nor were we expecting to necessarily 'win the easy customers' this way. We want to fight for our customers - we want our customers to be educated, passionate, and caring consumers who want to join us on a mission to continue to learn and grow through whole and local food resources. We're not for everyone, but our meal plans can cover 99% of the population's diet needs. There is something for you. Diets should be simple, and simple whole food nutrition is what Pantry Fuel is all about. We also made this more convenient - we think that's a plus!
Bon Voyage to your own nutrition journey! And when things get busy (as they tend to), Pantry Fuel is here for you and your loved ones - not supporting sugar-laden, fast food addictions - but being the sound source for your diet, some may call it tough love - the 'nutrition mama' helping to guide you on the right path, because we want to see you succeed as much as you want to see you succeed!
Fuel Your Passion,
Jenny Van Cott + The Pantry Fuel Team