Periodically I like to step back a bit and take a look at why this site exists, and what it’s about. The current masthead says it’s about Japanese cooking (especially for people who do not live in Japan or a region with easy access to Japanese ingredients), expat food issues in general, and healthy cooking.
But what I’m really about when it comes to food is real food, and that’s what this site is about. I don’t claim to be a purist who never lets an artificial food pass my lips - I do live in the real world. But in general, fake food just does not taste right to me.
I like real fruits and vegetables. I like meat from animals or birds who lived a happy life when they were alive, and eggs that come from contented hens. I like cheese that has been produced in time tested, traditional ways rather than the kind that differs little from the plastic that’s wrapped around them. I prefer fish that swam around freely.
Not just because they are ‘healthier’ or ‘good for the environment’ or ‘better for trade’ or whatever, though these can be - and often are - side benefits. I like real food because it tastes better. I’m selfish that way.
Now I realize that ‘real food’ does not taste better to everyone. Our tastebuds are conditioned by habits and environment, and a lot of people eat tons of fake food all the time. I used to do that too, especially in my teens and 20s . As I’ve gotten older though, I’ve grown away from that. Given a choice between a fresh, ripe peach and peach flavored candy, I’ll take the real peach every time.
Real food takes a commitment in terms of priorities. Time is one thing you have to allocate in many cases. Money is too, unfortunately. To me and to my family, these commitments are worthwhile.
Welcome to Just Hungry, where we prefer real food.
(Foodnote: This page  has a great essay on ‘non-food’. The writer is talking about food in the fitness world, but I think it has wider implications too.)