soul food

yummm. tomato season is here! after weeks of scanning for new items recently farmers markets have exploded with of hues of red and orange. i am finding peaches, blackberries, corn and swiss chard. can someone really be that excited about swiss chard? i can, for me this is bliss!

eating as much local food as possible has been a goal of mine since i read omnivore’s dilemma and animal, vegetable, miracle a couple of years ago. seeing the film food inc recently has only reinforced my desire to know where my food is coming from and eat less processed food. i joined clagett farm’s community supported agriculture (csa) program, frequent farmers markets, and cook more of my own meals. local fresh food uses less fossil fuels in transit and processing, plus reduces the pesticides, herbicides, and waste otherwise involved in our industrial food system. i feel good about giving money directly to the people and communities who are growing my food rather than the company who processed it. a good resource for finding local food is localharvest.org if you are interested in finding out more. the dc area has a growing number of options (although i am still looking for grains and beans grown closer to home if you know of any).

eating fresh food can also be a yoga practice. one of the niyamas (observances) of yoga is shaucha or purity. donna farhi explains in yoga mind, body & spirit that practicing shaucha, “involves maintaining a cleanliness in body, mind, and environment so that we can experience ourselves at a higher resolution.” we may often think of this in terms of what one should not be thinking or should not be eating (that bag of potato chips) rather than focusing on the positive. darren main notes in his book, path of the urban mystic, that while “organic” wasn’t mentioned in any ancient yogic texts it is important to modern day yogis. “the idea is to give the body as much nutrition and prana as possible… when we eat a high fat diet that is filled with pesticides and artificial ingredients, we tax our bodies and create ill health. the energy that it takes to repair such damage could otherwise have been used on our spiritual practice.” i think my fresh tomato from the local csa has more energy to offer my spirit than an industrial tomato. donna farhi goes on to say practicing shaucha isn’t about self-deprivation but rather “allows you to experience life more vividly.” so stop by your local farmers market and nourish your soul with some vivid food this season!

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