Loco for Local Foods!

The newest food trend on the market, “locavorism,” advises us to purchase and eat food that grows in our immediate environment.  This is a fantastic concept, but it’s certainly not a new one. Humans traditionally ate locally grown seasonal foods, mostly.

Modern technology has changed our traditional way of eating and today, every type of food is available at any time of the year regardless of the season or environment in which it is grown.  This may sound like an amazing leap for mankind, but it’s not.

Eating everything from everywhere not only destroys the environment by burning large amounts of fossil fuel to ship foods to and from faraway places, it also weakens the digestive system, contributes to yeast overgrowth, weakened immunity, and poor calcium absorption. According to Dr. John Matsen, ND, the more sun plants are exposed to, the more potassium and sugar they produce. High potassium and sugar levels alert your kidneys that you’re out in the hot sun and that your skin must be making vitamin D.  Therefore, if you eat foods from hot sunny climates during the cold wintry months, your kidneys don’t activate stored vitamin D, inhibiting absorption of calcium.[1] Overtime, this wears down our physical structure leading to bone loss and a damaged ileocecal valve. A damaged ileocecal valve leads to Candida Overgrowth.

Another perspective from Traditional Chinese Medicine shows us that salads, vegetables, and fruits are naturally cooling to the body. During the hot summer months, this cooling effect can be quite beneficial for most folks; but during the cold fall and winter season, it creates a damp spleen condition, gas, bloating, cold hands and feet, and can eventually leads to other more serious ailments like impaired immunity, blood stagnation and cancer.

Eating local, seasonal food aligns our internal environment (the body and it’s organs) with the external environment (the world around us) creating a body that is physically stronger and prepared for the elements. For example, on a steamy hot summer day, I would choose crisp salad greens, juicy watery fruits, freshly caught fish, and other cooling foods that are abundantly available at that time of year.

On the other hand, if I look outside my window and there is a thick blanket of icy snow covering the ground, and people are trudging through the streets bundled up in snorkel jackets, my innate wisdom tells me that cooling summer foods would not be ideal. More appropriate food for a cold snowy day might be a hearty stew made with bone stock, grass-fed meat, beans, and root vegetables.

Our pineal gland is responsible for taking in information from the outside world and relaying it to the inside of the body. That means our physical body is connected to our environment, and we may not even understand how deeply.  The pineal gland is responsible for our sexual development, metabolism, circadian rhythms of the body, and our waking and sleeping patterns. During the winter season the pineal gland tells the thyroid to slow metabolism and store fat. In case you’re wondering why the body naturally puts on weight during the winter months. Your body is brilliant and self-protective – it is storing fat to help you survive the winter season.

When we send food into the body that does not grow in the season or climate we are living in, it sends mixed messages to the body. If it’s winter in the northeast and we eat bananas and mangos or other tropical fruit and vegetables – (like the koo-koo coconut craze right now) we get off balance, physically, emotionally and spiritually. We become disconnected from nature and our environment.

The ancients called the pineal gland the Third Eye. It was where wisdom lived. Tapping into the third eye, enabled you to see the big picture, the connection to the earth, and the entire universe. That’s a pretty big view for such a small little gland the size of a pea! We need to let ourselves be guided by nature, to bring wisdom, understanding, intuition, and the ability to see more than we could imagine.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance for the health of the body, mind and spirit to eat what naturally grows in our immediate environment and climate. This, I believe, is one of the foremost things that can help us begin feeling more balanced, healthy and connected.

You can easily discover what is available in your environment by shopping at a local farmer’s market or joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). There are farmer’s markets and CSA’s all over the world. Go to LocalHarvest.org and type in your zip code, city or state, to find one near you. It’s that easy.

As for right now… it’s summertime! Try this cool refreshing salad and have a delicious day!

Watermelon, Cucumber & Feta Salad





The above excerpted from Health is Wealth – Make a Delicious Investment in You!

[1] Eating Alive II, Dr. John Matsen N.D., Goodwin Books, Ltd, 2004, pp. 23-27