Eating Cleaner in 2018
Story by Dave Eckert
The holidays have come and gone, and with them for many of us, tens of thousands of extra calories. Now is the time when we collectively vow to lose weight, eat healthier, and in general, make better food choices. There are always diets, which usually don’t work, at least in the long-term. You can work out, but that only pays real dividends if you cut back on the calories at the same time. Then there’s the idea of “eating clean.”
That’s how chef Ty Wood from Ty Wood’s Kitchen describes his philosophy, a mantra he preaches to customers through his “mise life” program of clean, healthy, and organic prepared meals. “Eating clean is keeping things simple, knowing where your food comes from, and avoiding processed foods,” Wood shared. “Everything I make has been touched by my hands. I make my own stock. I grow my own herbs and vegetables, and I know where everything I’m using is from and how it’s been raised.”
Wood says clean eating is food that’s been touched by man as little as possible and has what Wood calls ‘clean intentions.’ “I’ve been cooking since I was 15, working in the kitchen at the Elms Hotel in Excelsior Springs. I’m 32 now and started preparing clean meals for folks after what I thought was a dream job fell through at the last minute. It gave me the chance to do something on my own. It may succeed or it may fail, but at least it’s my own,” Wood said.
So far it seems Wood is on a path to success. His list of customers is growing, and Wood says he sees an increasing demand for the type of food he cooks. But, clearly, not everyone has the means to have their meals provided for them. I wondered what advice Wood would give the average person about eating better. “Buy local and avoid processed foods. If you’re reading an ingredient list on a box, you shouldn’t be eating what’s in that box. Shop at the Farmer’s Market, buy from area ranchers, or even better, grow more of your own food,” Wood opined. “I guarantee if you eat that way you’ll feel better.”
Kenny Barham is one such local rancher. Barham and his family have dedicated their lives to producing local, healthy products without gmos, chemicals, and antibiotics and growth hormones. Barham says it’s an approach that’s important for him, his family, and his customers. “We are a family farm with a passion for raising animals. We’re lucky that our passion also comes with the opportunity to provide customers products that are healthy and nutrient-rich, products they can feel good about feeding their families, Barham shared.
You’ll find Barham Family Farm near Kearney, MO, where for three generations the Barhams have been raising animals and producing food the right way, humanely and chemical free. Barham Family Farm offers pasture-raised beef, chicken, eggs, pork, and lamb-all antibiotic and growth hormone free. “We want to be our customers’ pasture to porch farmer that they can count on for healthy, delicious options that fit into their busy lifestyle,” Barham told me.
For both Wood and Barham the bottom line is local and healthy, which leads to eating food that’s better for us. That’s something I think we all can get behind.
Here’s hoping we all eat better in 2018!