What is Good Food?

Article by Mira Word, written for Good Food Finder.

Natalie and I are so excited to tell you about our intern.  Meet Mira Word.  She is a recent ASU grad who came to Phoenix from Sedona where she was already an accomplished equestrian.  She's ridden horses since she could walk and continues to love the natural environment.  She's focusing her career on sustainable food systems and the environment.   We asked Mira to tell us what Good Food means to her.  We love her answer.  Look out for more stories by Mira here and on her personal food blog, too.   - Jen

Defining something that is “good” is a challenging task. Good is relative, ambiguous and subjective to your place in the world. Food, like life, is full of infinite possibilities, combinations and flavors. While the tastes, consistencies, spices, and preparation of food may vary drastically across the globe; generally speaking, food is fundamental to our lives. It is a common thread that runs through humanity. Food unites us and binds us to each other, our heritage and traditions. Good food brings people together. The best times in life are spent in the company of food. Our favorite entrées happily accompany holidays, special occasions and beautiful everyday moments.  Good food supports a holistic view of community and family. From farmer, to chef, shopper to diner, all find value in good food.

Good food is honest.

It doesn’t lie about what it is, where it came from or the processes that created it.  It facilitates transparency between producer and consumer and creates peace of mind. It strives to tread lightly on the earth and work in harmony with the elements. Good food practices conserve the soil and respect the fundamental power of dirt, the source of our sustenance. There is a harmonious relationship with the environment and appreciation of biodiversity.  Polluting practices are avoided and plants are not dowsed with toxic pesticide cocktails.

Good food is authentic

The ingredients are healthy, alive and full of nutrients. Authentic food doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. No artificial ingredients, preservatives or chemicals. This means good food does not come highly processed, packaged and shrink-wrapped. It cannot sit on a shelf for years at a time and still be chewy. Good food molds. Aging shows its character and authenticity.

Good food is just.

That means fair treatment to farmers, animals, the land and consumers. Animals hold a key role in the way the world goes round. They are a part of our entertainment, our clothes, our laborers, our lab rats, our pets, and our food. They have a right to live here too, with dignity and without cruelty. Good farmers treat their animals kindly, with room and resources to behave naturally.

Good food is often local.

Picked when ripe and less reliant on fossil fuels for production and transportation.  Local food is full of flavor and tells a story you want to hear and share. Purchasing on a smaller scale increases community interaction. Good food is a conversation starter, recommendable and contagious. We love to share recipes, compare dining experiences, and scout out for the next meal. Local food gives us a chance to get outside, talk to the people who grow our food and make a statement with our purchasing power. The way we eat and what we choose to buy is a reflection of our values, how we treat the earth, its inhabitants, and our bodies. Food is the fuel that runs our lives and should exude vitality and nourishment. Best of all, good food slows us down to helps us make time for the important things in life.

Good food is love.

Authentically yours,


{Jen took the above photo at the Central Farmer's Market on a rainy day in January at Tonia and Jesus' TJ Farms booth}