Supermarkets are almost functioning like mini-health centers and a one stop shop for a variety of wholesome fruits, vegetables, nuts and other exotic delicacies from all over the world. Most people are delighted to buy seasonal foods that are now available throughout the year, thanks to the speed of transportation.
On the other hand, many people are passionate about buying local because it supports the local farmers and keeps the money within the town or city. Consumers have the advantage of buying fresh farm produce, directly from the farmer at a lower price. It eliminates the middle men and the farmers keep majority of the profits from the sale. All in all it serves the local community well.
Eating exotic produce is a privilege that we did not have once upon a time. Most of the produce showcased at the supermarket was largely local. So, are there any advantages to eating local than just supporting local farms and businesses? Does eating locally grown food impact us in other ways? According to the yogic perspective, location make a difference to the functioning of the human system. It is also true with other life forms. The shape and size of the life forms is determined by the location in which they exist.
All life forms eat the variety of food that is available in that region, as it is suitable for their system. For example the polar bears can exist in arctic regions only and cannot survive in tropical conditions. Therefore the food that they consume is of the type that sustains and nurtures their system. This is so for all the animals. It is an anthropologically recognized fact that when a certain race of people migrate to an entirely different geographic location, many racial features in their physiology will slowly change. The longitudinal and latitudinal forces working upon the planet, the foods consumed, all play a role in this metamorphosis.
Yogic science has considered all of this and gives a prescription for eating. The prescription is the distance a person can walk in a day. The distance covered in a day is the radius of the area from which to eat the food. That is because the food grown within this radius is what is conducive for the human system because of the deep connection of the body to the earth. As the distance between the place of stay and food grown increases, the healthful impact of the food on the body decreases, because the conditions under which the food is grown is different from the condition under which it is consumed.
As an experiment if you eat locally grown produce for a month, you will see a distinct difference in the healthfulness of your system. According to Sadhguru, today’s foremost authority on Yoga, “Food is a transaction. What was in the earth, you are taking it into the body. The body will function best if the food you eat comes from that area of earth on which you are living”. Incidences of chronic disease such as cancer can be reduced drastically simply by eating food that is grown in the area in which we live. This is the power of eating food grown locally.
While it is difficult to forgo the taste of the tongue and ignore the exotic food in the supermarket, it is important to be aware of what goes into the body and where the produce is grown. The delicate balance between the demands of the tongue and healthfulness of system frequently tips in favor of taste rather than what the body needs. As food is the basic form of nutrition, it behooves us to think about what we put into our bodies. This perspective of how local food impacts the system will hopefully change your outlook on food.
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