If it won’t ROT, it’s not real food

Most of my friends here in Cookeville have a garden. We share veggies from one another throughout the growing season. I will borrow squash or peppers, and give tomatoes and so forth in return.

Farming tractor spraying a field


For the first time, I have really noticed the differences in the food bought in the store and the food pulled from my garden.


In this video, I give some examples of what I am talking about.


Throughout my business ventures I have listened to Tai Lopez, an entrepreneur from California. He is a huge proponent of reading, and one of his mentors is Joel Salatin. Salatin is a gregarious farmer from Virginia who owns polyface farms, and he’s a purist when it comes to the food we eat.


He has some amazing insight in his book “Holy Cows and Hog Heaven” that I want to share with you about our food, what we are eating and how it is made.


One of the Statements he makes is:


“If it won’t ROT, it’s not real FOOD.”


how old is that food?

Just as we discussed in the video, food that is from the garden rots a lot quicker than food that is bought from the store. How can you tell if it is real food? Sit it on the counter for a couple of days. If it grows mold and begins to decompose, it’s real food. If it does not, it’s pumped full of chemicals and additives to make it last longer.


There is also something else to look at. What about food that does not rot at all?

Let’s look at some foods that you may have had around your home:

  • Hershey Kisses: You get them at Christmastime but find a little red Kiss with snowflakes on it in August. What do you do? Think you hit the lottery and pop that little dude in your mouth. The crazy thing is that it tastes the same.
  • Granola bars: I know, I know, it’s “healthy.” Has this ever happened to you:

You’re cleaning out your backpack or suitcase and find a Nature’s Valley Granola Bar. The package looks terrible, but it’s not open—so it’s safe, right? Never mind the last time you cleaned this thing out was six months ago. But it tastes just the same.

  • Breakfast cereal: About a month ago I was digging in the pantry for coffee filters and found a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I figured it had been about 4-5 months since we bought it. (Jackie gets on these kicks where she wants cereal. She at 2 bowls and did not pick it back up.) I pulled it out, Jackie got excited and had a bowl, and it tasted amazing. How do I know? Because I had a couple or 10 bites. The stuff is indestructible. Cereal makers put what they call a “varnish” on top to keep it from getting soggy too quickly in the milk. They also put “varnish” on tables to make them last forever. See my point?


Most unprocessed food needs to be refrigerated or frozen. The exception to this rule is nuts, which will even go bad if they are out of their shell for long enough.


Food should be living; something happens when industrial food processors get their hands on things. Compare the rotting speed of real potatoes to potato chips. There’s no comparison—the chips can be left on shelves for months.


I say all this to bring things to light that we need to know and understand. We need to get back to the way things were when out grandparents grew up. Buy our food from local people and local vendors so that we can quit consuming all the processed chemicals that are put on and into our food.

I also write this article to hold myself accountable. I am as guilty as the next guy about running to Wal-Mart and getting food. Now, I’m not telling you to boycott Wal-Mart. I love that place, but if you can get your food from a local vendor, do it, even if it is a touch more expensive. The problem with buying local and fresh is that it is less convenient and a little more expensive. But here’s the thing: if you are reading this, you probably have a Wi-Fi connection and are either on a computer, tablet or smartphone. You can afford to pay a little extra for local food that not only supports your local community but also is better for your health and the health of your family, mainly your kids.



Set a small dollar amount this week ($20) and buy that amount from the local farmers’ market instead of Kroger or Wal- Mart. As the weeks go on, increase that amount.


One thought on “If it won’t ROT, it’s not real food”

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