My oldest son, Victor, is turning 20 today. When we first moved into our Toronto offices, he watched us from a playpen. Now, too quickly, he has become an adult. As with any parent who watches their children grow, there are always a great many thoughts and concerns that revolve around their well-being, and these do not stop, even when the children become adults. It is part of life and part of family. Alongside my thoughts of Victor, I naturally think about the power of food, and this makes me think about how “healthy” is becoming the new “abnormal.”
We try to eat healthy at home and Victor has always been trim. When he was five, our family doctor told us that he should try to eat more pizza, pasta and chips to gain some weight. Sometimes at school, he was made fun of because he was “skinny.” When he was in his late teens, we had great difficulty finding clothes to fit him, since his waist was 27 inches, and the waist sizes for clothing that matched his height start at 30 inches.
Not long ago we had a 14-year-old guest at our house and we served him part of our roast chicken. It was a white meat quarter and it had a bone in it. When he saw the bone he could not understand what a bone was doing in chicken and refused to eat it. Eating Chicken nuggets and skinless boneless chicken is making us lose touch with our food.
Why is it crazy to want to eat healthy?
Looking back on this it makes me think that “healthy” is becoming the new abnormal. Most North Americans have decided that being healthy is an impossible goal. A great deal of marketing money – billions and billions of dollars – have been spent to make consumers believe that if you insist on fresh vegetables and whole grains, you are some type of crazy health nut. They have created an image of a person who desires healthy food as the strange outcast, an oddity.
This is why I think that spreading the Qualifirst passion for good food is so important. Healthy eating does not have to be only about high fibre diets, coconut oil, or going gluten free. It does not have to be about losing the enjoyment of food. Healthy eating is about making simple food taste great.
Healthy food should not be a great secret
When I went to Whistler to ski last year we could not find a vinegar in the local store that would make a good salad dressing. They had five different balsamic vinegars for sale, but not a single one was any good. But no one knew any better. If people are not exposed to great foods, they will never know they exist.
When our consultant Brett Henyon comes to Toronto from Charlottesville Virginia, he always takes back a selection of Michel Cluizel chocolate. His two sons know Canada as the land of amazing chocolate. This is in spite of the fact that Cluizel is actually from France, and there are outlets in the U.S. But when you don’t know, then you don’t know; and that’s the problem.
At Qualifirst, we have always worked hard to make available the pantry essentials that make simple healthy everyday food taste great. Every member of the Qualifirst team is able to buy the best ingredients available because they are all stored, in easy reach, at our warehouse. As such, we can quickly forget just how hard it can be for the average consumer to find the ingredients to make good food. Consequently, every time we reach a new person, it becomes a victory for us all. I really do believe we are “saving good people from bad quality food…one product at a time.”
And that is one of the things that makes me want to go to work every morning.
With healthy becoming the new abnormal and with good basic ingredients getting harder to find every day, our mission to spread our passion for food is more than just selling premium products; more importantly, it is about helping people prepare simple foods in a tasty way that will make them healthier. That is something we can all be proud of.
By the way, Victor has 11 original songs that he has recorded. Check them out on his website: http://victormartinmusic.com/
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