Thursday, October 1, 2009

Food from the native soil, Part 2

Plant and Soil Affinity

If it is understood that a major part of our diet should consist of foods local to our zone, it is more difficult to see why we should not consume foreign foods that are also grown locally. Is there really any difference between a pear grown locally and one from South Africa, or between French wheat and wheat from America?

Indeed, an analysis of the chemical composition of foods reveals significant differences. The water, protein, fat, cellulose, and mineral salt content of wheat can be as much as doubled depending on its origin. Fruits like apricots, grapes, and so on, cultivated in southern countries are generally sweeter with a higher sugar content than those from temperate zones.

Phytotherapy fully recognises the fact that the chemical composition of plants varies with the soil of origin. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) from the French Riviera is rich in phenols while thyme from Provence and Spain is rich in linalool and citrals. The essential oil in wormwood from the Paris area contains a maximum of 19.5% of thujol, whereas that of the Alps contains up to 80.6%!

Naturally, these variations in composition lead to very different therapeutic effects. Likewise, foods have different physiological effects depending on their origin. These effects do not manifest immediately but develop over time.

In addition, beyond the chemical analyses that reveal only the material aspect, there are differences in the subtle energies or radiations given off by foods. It is easy to conceive that growing fruits and vegetables have developed within themselves precise energies against existing local conditions (temperature, humidity, rainfall and sunlight) and transmit these energies to local consumers who need them in the same environment. Clearly, foods coming from other regions will develop different energies which are not as beneficial for local consumers.

Influence of Food on Health

The harmful consequences of the consumption of food not originating from one’s native soil are more easily noticed in those who have left their native land to live for an extended period in a different climatic zone. There they consume foods that are of a quite different nature.

At first their health will be relatively stable with the new diet (just like one spending a few weeks abroad on holiday) but with time, especially if they consume only the food from the different environment, their vitality diminishes and their resistance to illness declines. In spite of any efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet they cannot sustain the same energy level and enthusiasm as they possessed on arrival. The local food cannot provide what their bodies need to function properly.

The craving for their native foods will manifest sooner or later in immigrants, and will be more difficult to deal with than other important changes in their living conditions.

In fact, it is significant to observe that their requests from relatives or friends visiting from home are typically for homegrown foods!

Does it mean that, if at all possible, an immigrant should exclusively eat food from his native soil? No. His diet is subject to a double imperative. On the one hand, he should eat local foods which are adapted to local conditions he now inhabits; on the other hand, he should eat foods from his native soil which support the characteristic needs of his body.

The term ‘soil’ should not be taken in a restrictive sense: one can consume foods growing outside of one’s own backyard! Food from one’s own region, province, even from the same geographic or climatic zone of birth offers adequate affinity.

The issues that have historically been faced by immigrants now confront the majority of people, who live in their country of origin, because of the fairly recent development of global trade in fresh foods. Current commercial methods facilitate the importation of foods from distant countries, but generally local foods are also available and should be preferred. With proper care the Law of Affinity will be respected, health maintained and reinforced through a judicious choice of foods.

Photo courtesy Photobucket

No comments:

Post a Comment