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Good food has always been important to me. I didn't consider myself privileged when I grew up, yet, like many families of the time, we had access to the freshest food imaginable, because it came from our own garden and off our own trees. We understood food because we took part in growing it, harvesting it and cooking it. And as you can't hurry nature, you learnt to wait, to pick fruit and vegetables at their best, so nothing was ever wasted.

These are simple sentiments home-grown freshly picked food - but they're pretty darn hard for most of us to replicate nowadays. Still, there is plenty you can do to ensure you eat the best and freshest that you can, and so increase your pleasure of food, your wellbeing and health.

I still believe that home-cooked food is the best because you know what you're starting with, quite possibly where the food has come from, and what you're going to do with it. You have a relationship with it, too, as you think about what to buy, then chose it, handle it as you're preparing it and smell it as it cooks. Getting back in touch with the food you eat, finding out how it is grown, how it is transported and stored, are all important factors in the chain of good health and good taste. Buying ready-made food robs us of much of this.

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