Primary & Secondary Food

When I was in my Health Coach training program I learned a concept that I'd long known to be true but didn't have the proper term to articulate.   


If I asked you to tell me about the food you eat, what would you say? How would you define "food"?

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Bread
  • Meat
  • Pizza...

What if I told you that actual food, is Secondary "Food"?  Whoa, wait, whuuut?  Confused? Curious?

Then what the heck is Primary Food??

Let's consider for a moment what it means to "feed" ourselves.  Synonyms of "feed" include "nourish, nurture, consume, ingest, inhale, swallow, and guzzle." 

One of my favorite quotes and mantras in life is... 

How we eat, determines how the world is used.
— Wendell Berry

While I'm passionate about sustainable food production and how we impact our health and the planet through our choices with food, it can actually be secondary to other places in life from which we "feed". 

Have you ever considered what and how you consume "nourishment" in other aspects of your life?

Light? Toxins? Noise? Music? Media? Your job? Energy from others? Stress? Joy? Language? Relationships? Sleep? These things effect how we feel day to day in ways we often never even consider.

Because we are CONTINUSOUSLY ingesting these less-tangibles, they are called Primary Food. They have a huge impact on our health and sense of wellbeing, yet we rarely even consider them as players. 

Primary Food tends to be a second class citizen in our lives and in our culture at large. Being mindful of how we eat and how we move is important to our health and wellness, unarguably. We can't, however, eat our way out of a stressful lifestyle laden with constant electronic input, toxic relationships, and poor sleep. 

I invite you to consider this over the next week and notice. Notice how your daily habits of Primary Food consumption are making you feel.

And the best thing about my favorite applies no matter how we define "eat".  Both Primary and Secondary Food choices absolutely determine how the world is used. 

I'd love to hear what you discover!  Share with me on Facebook or Instagram. 

Yours in Wellness,

Alyssa Clare