How do we come to determine if food is good or bad for us? How do we determine the quality of the foods we buy? Does it even matter?
First, let’s talk about its origins.
From the seed
A plant usually starts off as a seed. This seed has potential locked inside of it. To actually see the seed sprout and come to life, we need a couple of things:
1. Soil – Which contains the nutrients and minerals that get transmitted into the plant.
2. Water – Which helps to soften the seed’s outer and inner layers, so that the potential in the seed can break loose and sprout.
3. Sunlight – Which provides the energy that is used to do the work needed to make the seed into a plant and beyond. The energy from the sun is also stored in the plant as chlorophyll.
All this goodness can eventually be passed into whatever consumes the plant. In essence, food is a vehicle for transmitting all of these, the nutrients, minerals, water and energy, into ourselves to vitalize us and keep us alive.
So, is the quality of the food we eat important? Absolutely, it is the single most important factor in staying alive. The better the quality of the soil, water and sunlight, the more vitalized the food, the more vitalized we are.
Now, along the way from food production to consumption, other things are transmitted into the foods and other factors affect its quality:
1. Energy of the farmer, harvesters and other food handlers
Did the farmer put his heart into the food production or is he just driven by profits? Are the food handlers treated humanely or do they work under really harsh conditions? All these get transmitted into the food.
If this sound like frou-frou crap to you, try this simple experiment. When a person with a great positive attitude walks into a room, how do you feel? Do you feel uplifted or better? What about when a low energy, depressed, or negative person comes into a room and you interact with them? Don’t you just feel your energy getting drained? It’s purely physics, energy is never lost, it just passes from one source to another.
2. Toxicity of the soil and water
Not only do good things get transmitted into the seed or plant, but bad things as well. If there are any toxins in the soil, they can get transmitted into the plants as well. Water from sewer pipes may be more toxic than rain water. Organically nutriented soil, may be less toxic than chemical laden fertilizers.
3. Time and storage between production and consumption
Food is at its most nutritious when it has fully ripened. The ripper the food at harvest, the better it is. In the same vein, once food is harvested, it starts to die and starts to loose nutrients. Refrigeration, canning and a few other processes help the nutrients live longer.
In general, the closer to ripening the food is at harvest and the sooner you get it to your plate, the better.
4. Food preparation
Sometimes we prepare food in ways that zap a lot of the nutrients out before we get to eat them. Most of the time, we do this through over cooking. Some nutritionists avoid microwaves all together because of the high high heat they produce.
Another factor is the energy of the preparer. Whatever you have to cook with, relax and cook with love and care. Your family will get all that as good nourishment.
For animal protein
An egg is not an egg. What goes into producing that egg? The diet and the care that goes into nurturing the chicken all goes into the egg. Same for its flesh. The trauma it goes through right before its eventual death has to be stored in its body as well. Hence, Hillel or Kosher meats where the way the animal dies is important. Can you imagine the type of energy that is in an animal that has been badly treated all its life and is aware when it’s marching towards its ultimate demise?
The day I switched from buying the cheapest type of eggs and chicken to looking out for quality was when I watched <<Food Inc.>> and saw a chicken that had been pumped with growth hormones to make it grow twice as fast in half as long, roll over and it was too fat to flip itself back up. This chicken died from being crushed by its own weight, and then I thought, “Is that what I eat? How can that chicken possibly nourish me?”
Eating nuts & sprouts
Soaking nuts in water softens the nuts to a point that is closer to sprouting, which makes it easier for your body to get the nutrients out of it. Sprouts are newly germinated seeds, so full of life and potential. It almost seems like if we want to sprout new life, we should dine on a lot of sprouts.
It seems like a more intimate relationship with our foods and our farmers is the way to go. I’m doing this through planting some of my own herbs, exploring CSA’s and other farmer to consumer programs, shopping at local farmer’s markets and making cooking and eating a more intimate experience.
We all don’t have that ability to do all that. But, in the meantime, pick the freshest ingredients and infuse the food you make with your own good energy, your own love.
Don’t you wonder why grandma’s cooking always tastes the best :)?
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