The following is from a restaurant, Hu Kitchen, in New York. They distilled my food goals and healthy eating philosophy (though admittedly not always practice) in such an articulate way, I have to share. I hope it makes sense to you, too. Here’s to a cleaner, tastier future. I can’t wait to make it to New York again and when I do, I’ll visit Hu’s.
The food revolution is taking too long.
The jury is in on the shortcomings of the Western diet and the benefits of pre-industrial food; reams have been written about the pressing need to change the way we eat. The moment is ripe. People are hungry to get started, yet no one is doing much about it. The space is still dominated by the same two players. On one side, there are the cynical profiteers of the food industry who have hijacked words like “healthy” and “natural” so they can stick them on the labels of their latest lab creations. On the other side, there are the rigid, alienating food fascists who insist that everything we eat should taste as unpleasant as possible. That doesn’t work for us. We have a different idea – unequivocally delicious food that also happens to be unprocessed and good for you. Is that even possible?
You bet your ass it is. Hu Kitchen is the first ultra-high quality restaurant and market 100% committed to making this dream a reality. We’re a haven for all things human – not just a place to grab food but a destination, a trusted partner in the shared goal of reclaiming what it means to eat and live deliciously. At Hu, every mouthful has been vetted to meet the highest standards, crafted and honed from the synthesis of everything we’ve learned about the benefits of pre-industrial diets. But the results of our self-experimentation and research will be behind the scenes. We are going to give you something awesome to eat, and then we’re going to blow your mind when you look at the ingredients.
And that’s where we stand. No compromise. No sacrifice.
We make food for humans and, frankly, we think it’s about time someone did. It isn’t as glamorous as a pill or a fad diet. It probably won’t sell books. We’re OK with that. We’re not here to make a quick buck in the same tired food space. We’re not here to be just another shelf in the megastore of “healthy” food products. We’re here to start a revolution…
We started with the question, “how should humans eat?” The more we studied and experimented, the more we came to understand that we are primitive bodies living in modern times, that getting back to a pre-industrial way of eating was the best thing we could do for our health. But we knew we wouldn’t be satisfied until we figured out how to make our food not just nutritionally superior but also genuinely delicious.
We created this guide to distill what we learned and explain how we do things at Hu. We believe it is the simplest way to cut through the confusion and get back to a more human way of eating without sacrificing the sensual experience of eating delicious food.
Before industry, food was minimally processed and nourishing. Demand ingredients with that same pre-industrial standard. Humans evolved to eat whole foods that exist in nature, not ingredients made in labs. If you don’t recognize an ingredient, there’s a good chance your body won’t either.
COUNT INGREDIENTS, NOT CALORIES
The quality of your calories is far more important than the quantity. Don’t count calories; make ingredients count. Make the ingredients list the first thing you check out when you encounter a new food. If you commit to eating foods with minimal, wholesome ingredients, we will commit to making them delicious for you.
PULL PLANTS, PUSH ANIMALS
Flip the conventional wisdom. Pull vegetables and fruits to the center of the plate; push animal protein to the edges. We don’t want to push animal protein off the plate altogether, but we’re making plants the main event again.
MINIMIZE GRAINS, ALWAYS WHOLE
Grains aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Vegetables are carbs too, and they are almost always a better choice. Look for grain-free alternatives whenever you can. When you do eat grains, ensure that they are whole. We also think humans should minimize gluten whenever possible. At Hu, we are gluten-free except for two of our sandwich breads.
It’s not fat that is making us sick – it’s the wrong fat. Revel in the good fats and keep out the bad. We embrace healthy olive and coconut oils, nuts, avocados, and animal fats from animals that ate their natural diets.
GET BACK TO ANIMAL TOO
If you are going to eat animals, demand they ate what animals are meant to eat. Animals aren’t meant to eat industrial, GMO food pellets, hormones, and antibiotics. Cows and fish aren’t meant to eat grains. We source only grass-fed, pastured meats and dairy, organic poultry and eggs, and wild seafood.
We think sugar in any form isn’t great for you, but we also love sweets, so our approach is to be smart about how we use sweeteners at Hu. There are a thousand names for cane sugar, corn sugar, and artificial sweeteners. We think they’re all bad for you. Instead, we use organic coconut sugar, unfiltered honey, and maple syrup. You’ll never find any form of corn syrup, cane sugar, or artificial sweeteners within our walls.
Ensure that your food is as free as possible from foreign, toxic chemicals and genetically-modified ingredients. Be smart about what needs to be organic. Demand the organic seal or verification of organic practices on food items where you feel susceptible to ingesting an unhealthy amount of toxic chemicals. Our lettuces, thin-skinned fruits, coffee, nuts, seeds, wines, beers, poultry, and eggs are 100% organic and everything at Hu is non-GMO and always will be.