Me in NGI Chef's JacketWe’re a nation obsessed with food. The Food Network would not exist nor would it do so well, if we weren’t.

Is there anything wrong with that? Well, no. I am a certified chef and I love food. If I had to watch TV and had a choice between a cooking show and most other shows, I’d choose the cooking show, of course. I love watching them to see how a chef prepares a meal and what techniques they are using. Especially on CHOPPED, I am always enthralled by how quickly the chefs come up with the next course. Aren’t you? I could not do that. It is not one of my culinary talents. But in my observation, the focus of these shows, and the many cooking magazines, is not on the quality of the ingredients, just on ingredients.

So, is there anything wrong with that? Well, I believe it’s a big missing element. These shows have peaked everyone’s interest and have given people a passion for food and cooking. They’ve made it very sexy to cook. Everyone is a chef-in-the-making. But very few of these shows, if any, focus on the source and the quality of the ingredients, or how to use them properly. There are many raw and natural food-ists that shun at heating oils above a certain temperature, let alone using certain oils – like canola oil. I am a non-canola oil chef. Why, because I do not believe it is good for our health. Besides the fact that canola oil comes from a hybridized version of the rapeseed, there is debate about the process used to hybridize the plant . Most importantly, canola oil is usually highly processed and GMO. Even if it is cold, expeller pressed, organic canola oil, I don’t use it. There are far too many other oils that are sexier: coconut oil for cooking and hemp oil for salads.

But back to the cooking shows and our culture’s newfound passion (obsession) with food. While it’s great to see people embrace cooking so much, it would warm my heart to see them take it one-step further, and really learn about the source and the quality of the ingredients they are using: Organic; local; sustainable; grass-fed; pasture raised and pasture finished; fresh. These are the buzz words that come to mind.

And in addition to the source and quality of the ingredients, how the ingredients are prepared is also important, and in this case I am referring to grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. These must be soaked in order to remove the nutrient inhibitors they contain. I am not aware of any cooking show using these items in the proper way; therefore, people are working with these items in a manner that is actually harmful to their gut health. Yes. They might as well buy a loaf of homemade bread at the bakery, rather than bake it at home, if they are using flour that does not come from a sprouted grain. And, none of the cooking shows talk about the water used in cooking. Distilled and properly filtered water are crucial to preparing a truly healthy meal, but it’s usually tap water that’s used on the cooking shows. Tap water that has chlorine and fluoride – two known carcinogens, that are also damaging to gut health.

So, you see, there are steps and instructions that are missing.

I don’t necessarily live-to-eat, as much as I live to source the healthiest food possible, and prepare it in a nourishing and loving way for my body and my soul. I regard food as a blessing. I guess you could say I live-to-love-food and its preparation, and in doing so, love my body. My wish for everyone that loves food, and cooking, is that they are inspired to take it to the next level, and learn to source quality food and ingredients.

Sharon, T H E C O C H E F



  1. “Tap water that has chlorine and fluoride – two known carcinogens, that are also damaging to gut health.”

    Yes indeed. Bladder cancer can be a result from ingesting those. I haven’t drank tap water in years. Cheers!

Comments are closed.