In recent weeks, we have watched in awe as Mother Nature painted our trees in an amazing palette of fall colors ranging from soft golden hues to fiery red, purple, and crimson tones. In a spectacular display of beauty, Nature celebrates its annual dance of manifestation and transformation before returning its abundant crop of leaves back to the Earth to nourish the ground from which the trees will once again take up the nutrients required to grow new leaves in the spring.
This glorious spectacle of color is repeated in the fall harvest of fruits and vegetables. Our local farmers' markets and food stores are overflowing with the gifts of the Earth and the fruits of our farmers’ labor. A growing emphasis on locally grown foods means that our local farmers are finally getting the respect and recognition they deserve. Now more than ever, we have good reason to appreciate them. High gasoline prices and the resulting increase in transport costs have alerted us to the dangers inherent in a food supply system that relies on producers in faraway lands and on distant continents. Frequent incidents of tainted foods have prompted us to consider the risks we face when we don’t know where our food comes from and how it is handled in transport and storage.
Local foods support the economy of our respective communities and ensure sustainability of local agriculture. They also support our individual health. The Edgar Cayce readings repeatedly stressed the importance of eating locally grown foods. In reading 3542-1, given in 1944, a 50-year-old woman suffering from asthma was told: “Follow those things that are in the offing wherever there may be the activities of the body. Do not have large quantities of any fruits, vegetables, meats, that are not grown in or come to the area where the body is at the time it partakes of such foods. This will be found to be a good rule to be followed by all. This prepares the system to acclimate itself to any given territory.”
Foods grown in the vicinity of where a person lives help acclimatize the body and align its energies with those of its environment. This fascinating concept stretches the imagination, although it stands to reason that the soil and climate in a particular area would work together to produce foods and herbs of a special vibrational quality. Even from a non-metaphysical point of view, however, local foods offer distinct advantages: they shorten the time between field and table, thus minimizing nutrient loss. When we buy local foods, we lessen our own food costs, as well as the environmental impact created when foods are shipped, trucked, or flown in from faraway places. In addition, we have a degree of influence over how the food is grown, since local farmers are more likely to respond to consumers’ requests for eliminating chemicals and synthetic fertilizers. The farther away we go to buy our food, the less we know about the processes it undergoes before it reaches our stores. It’s a good idea to make local foods our first choice.
The growing season in many regions is short, and local foods are available only during a few months each year. Preserving foods by canning, freezing, drying, or fermenting enables us to enjoy them at other times as well. There will still be times when we fall short of our ideal to, as Cayce reading 337-27 recommends, “have most of the foods that are grown in the area where the body lives,” but we can at least be conscious of including these foods in our diet, as the reading continues, “as much as practical.” The harvest season is the perfect time to begin!