Written by Sarah Collins, FoodFutures supporter and Social Prescribing Project Lead

Former NHS Dietitian. Holistic well-being therapist, passionate believer of a fairer, compassionate food and health system for all.

Food is such an emotive topic, throw in the word diet and all sorts of ideas and beliefs spring into mind. The issues around our food choices are complex. It’s hard to tell fact from fiction. I’ve been fascinated by nutrition since I was 14, a dietitian and holistic nutritionist for over 25 years, and years of wracking my brain around the complexities of food, diet and health!

Food and diet have become major business, and as we have rushed into a faster paced life the way and what we eat has changed drastically through generations. This includes how our food is produced and what we even perceive as being food.

There are a multitude of reasons why we eat what we eat, ranging from personal likes/dislikes, what’s available to us, what’s provided, our incomes, our beliefs about food, reasons relating to health, religious and cultural reasons – the list is truly endless. When we add in the fact many of us eat out of habit, boredom, stress or even wanting to feel better the emotional aspects surrounding food choice also becomes clearer for us to see.

So how do we end up eating what we eat? This is an amazing question to just sit and ponder. You do not need to know or even have to find a definitive answer, just simply stopping and seeing what arises in a moment of quietness when you ask yourself the question ‘why do I eat what I eat?’ can lead to a whole new level of awareness and insight.  This can in turn help us to make more mindful choices about the food and drink we buy and consume.

Becoming more mindful of our food and drink choices can have enormous shifts on our health and well-being and helps us to see our part in the whole system.

I encourage all to follow their intuition/gut feeling when it comes to food. Can we regain some control in life with what you eat, and look to make conscious decisions and choices where you can?

We have a right and responsibility to ourselves and each other to eat and live well. Hippocrates quoted “let food be our medicine, and medicine be our food”. I look forward to the day when I see a food shop reflecting a fairer food system for all.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if compassion and love were at the heart of all our food choices and systems?

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