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| By Wellvyl Media Editorial

“Nourishment…in the shape of Food”, reads the simple handwritten script on the sandwich board outside Divya’s Kitchen in the Lower East Side. Divya’s Kitchen, which prepares and serves a delicious organic vegetarian cuisine, reminds us of that the basis of all healthy relationships is that of nourishment.

In our city that moves at a million miles per minute, we grab and go, swipe left/swipe right, and automatic debit nearly everything we come into contact with or need. The relationship we have with our food is most certainly one we throw on autopilot and subject it to the whims of our convenience. When it comes to food, New Yorkers have a combined two mentalities:


  1. FOOD IS FUEL - get it cheaply, get it quickly, eat it quickly
  2. FOOD IS PLEASURE - indulge to feel better


However, operating from this food mindset most likely steers us in the direction of eating food that either comes in a package, requires a microwave, or is made from ingredients we could not even attempt to pronounce. The result: over-eating, unwanted pounds, poor immune systems,  and a lack of essential nutrients.


#JERFing: The new “Diet” that is older than dirt


Brace yourselves, introducing what has been claimed to be the “diet to end all diets” is not actually a diet at all nor does it seem to have a trademark protecting its users. It is a lifestyle that embraces simplicity, offering more much-needed nourishment and improved quality of life. It is an acronym known as the social media hashtag #JERFing. #JERFing stands for “Just Eat Real Food”, or what humans ate BEFORE the advent of processed foods.

#JERFing is extremely accessible because it’s basis is very simple:

  1. limit the amount of processed and packaged foods: candy, chips, processed meats, ramen, cakes, or basically anything a corporation made and wrapped it in foil, plastic, or in a box.
  2. Eating more fresh vegetables, nuts, and grains
  3. Do away with food made with artificial ingredients, preservatives, or additives.  


This is actually what dietitians have been telling people for decades tell people to eat all the time. There is no calorie counting structure involved,

How to properly JERF-off



When purchasing something that does come in a package, read ALL of the ingredients. Pay close attention to the first 3, are the main ingredients that you are eating. The good rule of thumb: the fewer ingredients, the better.  Oh, and avoid high fructose corn syrup like the plague.



Most if not all processed foods are made from ingredients that are synthetically concocted in a lab. Such ingredients take the form of additives, preservatives, and artificial flavors.  Make sure that the listed ingredients are ones you can actually pronounce.




Collaborative Veggie Cultivation


With more people adopting the #JERFING lifestyle and its emphasis on consuming fresh, in-season vegetables, it could possibly influence individuals residing in the same neighborhood, building, or city block to demand that the city dedicate space so residents have access to cultivate vegetable gardens. United through the vested interest of healthy eating, the social wellness of these communities could flourish as a result of the cooperative process for vegetable cultivation.


More Real People


Perhaps if we put more effort into making sure our food is less process and more authentic, perhaps this same mentality will influence the way we form our social relations. Hopefully, we will choose to be around people who will nourish us instead of ones that are full of toxicity. Not based upon what can I gain or profit, but how may we nourish one another. If we consume less artificial food, then we become less artificial as people.

We have forgotten that our relationship with food should be like our social circles - nourishing for our overall well being.