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The journey back to the essence of food, to reclaim its spirit

  • Patricia Restrepo
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Beyond biochemistry is energetic nutrition. “The journey back to the essence of food, to reclaim its spirit”.

It is clear that the abrupt disconnection suffered by modern human beings from the order of nature, with the idea of “PROGRESS” and, more specifically, with the arrival of the industrial revolution and later computer science, has left them hanging in a world where all the answers to disconnection were sought in the intellect, in reason and in science. The message seemed to be: “The most important thing is what you think, not what you feel”.

And so, little by little, human beings were building a world of cement, metal and coltan.Certainly with gains in terms of “industrial and scientific civilization”, but leaving a huge imbalance to the human condition; not just wars that are still to be fought in countries with a lot of natural resources, where the natives are uprooted to glorify the information technology lobby, and submerging the human race into a collective amnesia, into a social sleepwalk that depends on plasma and marketing ingenuity to appreciate what their essential needs are.

I agree that this is the reality that it is our lot to live through, and history repeats itself, the radiance of the great civilisations when they reach their maximum splendour, where man believes he is lord of all that exists,leads to decay, not as a punishment but as an opportunity to learn and start again with respect and humility.

However, I also feel certain that this reality we are experiencing can turn us around, not a political or massive turn, because the real turn comes from you and you and you. And the addition of every “YOU” will achieve this turn, towards its own nature that interconnects us with all sentient beings. There is only one heartbeat, only one body. When we see ourselves as one with nature, not with the concept but with the feeling, we will change, because it will be a minority that wants to continue sado-punishing itself.

When I refer to nature, I am not referring solely to the green, lush and jungle-like countryside, to the crystal-clear rivers, to the blue seas, to the arctic poles guardians of harmony, to the pluralistic world of insects, to the cooperatives of herbivorous mammals as an example of strength, respect and community and to endless images of flora, fauna and countryside. I am referring to the nature that is intrinsically human.

The course of “progress” in its fanciful inventiveness and all its manufacturing of distracting elements, moved us away from direct observation of nature and “self-observation”, a unique and differentiating quality from the rest of the species on earth.

With the Renaissance and the Age of Reason, the mechanical vision of nature also arrived. Mankind had a new God, something like a great cosmic artefact, directed by mechanics and articulated by infallible logic.

We fell into our own trap conspiring against total vision, now blinded by common sense, we stopped being guided by the vision inspired by the order of the universe and the energetic spirit consciousness and we gave way to the new methods of “knowledge” that became “reasonable”,composed of dissection and analysis.

The greatest damage was done to us when food, the bridge of unity with the environment, was relegated to the exclusive use of science. The study of nutrition was largely based on the “dissection” of “food bodies” (the analysis of the ash left after incinerating a food item in a laboratory). An abstract focus, divorced from the living reality, that has nothing in common with energetic wisdom. The change of a world guided by energy into one governed by mechanics brought with it a telluric change in our approach to life.

In the letter from a memorable Indian chief to the President of the United States, in 1854, it said:

“This we know:…all things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself”.

He knew that nature was simply humanity turned outward and humanity was nature turned inward.

Before the industrial and computer ages, humans had a unified perspective on life, sustained by regular and constant contact with nature. We used to observe each experience in nature with the utmost care, because we knew that it was our source, our life companion and the perpetual force that could respond to our needs and ensure the future of new generations.

Eating at nature’s table, as directly as possible without modern agribusiness intermediaries, is the most direct way of reconnecting with yourself and with the land, as the most direct link to the good life. The land is the last reference for the quality of food, after all, it comes from there. This truth makes so much sense; how have we been able to forget that?

The real knowledge of food, knowing the power of food, has to do with familiarising oneself with the quality of food and its relation to quantity.

The quality is something that you cannot see but it can be known. This has to do with several stages of the process which ends with the quantity. The quality can be measured with the senses or with physical scientific instruments.

Food energy does not exclude nutritional or chemical technical information, but it is not the central axis of what is important to nourish ourselves. This exists “by the fact” of being the food itself. The quality of food is its essence, its spiritual character or personality, even the soul of the food. The only way of measuring the quality of food is through the senses. That is to say, there is a great difference between information about food and knowledge.

True knowledge is a human quality, which is somewhere between the instinct that tells a newborn duck how to swim, a bird how to fly, and the inspired vision that told Paganini where to put the next note. My real work is for you to arrive at personal knowledge of the “quality of food”.

Knowing the quality of food is equal to when you know how music makes you vibrate and feel in a certain way, when you feel like you are in love. One of the fundamentals of knowing the quality of food should start from the most organic place possible, that means cultivated without chemicals or insecticides, without interrupting the relationship with the “biome” inherent to the species that knows in itself what type of earth, and in what season of the year and in what part of the planet to grow. “The somatic intelligence of flowers and plants”, that is to say that if we cultivateby means of“agriculture”or agrarian culture, which is the same thing, we at least do it in a conscious way, processed naturally.

I am not snubbing chemical analysis, which we could consider “shadow knowledge”- the echo of experience when it is separated, isolated and dissected with the tools of men. Food energy relates to the true knowledge that food imparts to you when you eat it and then it expresses itself in your body, physically, mentally and emotionally. This knowledge is as ancient as the living stories of the plant kingdom. It is the same knowledge that informed and inspired the wisdom of the great food-based philosophical systems of ancient times, although for many it might be a new and radical system.

For example, a little broccoli floret grown organically by a local farmer, with careful consideration of the moons and the time where it is naturally expressed by nature, means respecting the language of the land. Compared to broccoli grown with chemicals and insecticides outside of its real season in a greenhouse, which is grown for a chain store, which means its growth is also accelerated with hydrogen peroxide, or broccoli picked industrially to then be frozen and transported in a refrigerated truck, and in the worst cases,condemned to live in a metallic container as a preserve, with a ton of additives.

That seemingly green and gleaming broccoli you eat in a restaurant, under the biochemical study retains all the substances (folic acid, fibre, magnesium, vitamins A, C, has few calories). You probably cannot see the difference between organic ones and the others. The difference is the quality.

The quality of something represents what it is at its heart, or behind the scenes of X quantity. Quality does not only refer to how good or healthy the food is. It refers to the essential character specific to the food.

The young Indian girl, after a day collecting seeds, leaves and roots, knelt by the fire in the middle of her cave and prayed in silence, manifesting gratitude to the great spirit, while she prepared her food. Her thoughts revisited her walk through the meadows. She knew that the roots that she had found, burdock and some wild carrots would absorb the spirit that would give her access to the vast silence of earthly wisdom and it instilled putting down roots and tenacity, from the wild leaves with a bitter taste, flexibility and from the seeds’full and penetrating attention.”

Energetic recipes

Lentil soup

Biochemical information: (iron, protein, carbohydrates, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, zinc, selenium). Energy knowledge: a plate of lentils, warms, generates vitality, nourishes liver functions.

Ingredients:
250g Castilian lentils

100g squash, cubed
100g carrots, cubed
1 leek cut into half-circles
2 laurel leaves
Olive oil
Unrefined sea salt
1 laurel leaf
1 piece of Kombu seaweed left to soak
½ litre of water

Preparation
Place all ingredients in a pressure cooker
Add a splash of oil
Cook on high heat for 10 minutes
Lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes on a low flame
Season with salt to taste and cook for 5 more minutes on the lowest setting

Red fruit salad with soya yogurt

Biochemical information: antioxidants, diuretics, rich in provitamin A, vitamin C, flavonoids and isoflavones.
Energy knowledge: fruit salads cool, soya yogurt cools deeply, it relaxes people in stressful situations, it helps to mitigate hot flushes in women of a certain age.
Fruits of the forest, especially cranberries, can induce urination.

Ingredients
100g cranberries

100g strawberries
100g raspberries
1 soya yogurt
A pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar-free, fruits of the forest crunch
1 tablespoon of apple concentrate

Preparation
Chop the strawberries, add a pinch of salt and leave to marinate for 10 minutes

Mix the rest of the fruit
Put everything into a bowl
Add the natural soya yogurt
Add the apple concentrate on top of the yogurt
Cover with fruits of the forest crunch

Baked brown rice timbale

Nutritional information: brown rice is different to refined rice, it has complex carbohydrates, polysaccharides, protein, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, niacin, folic acid, sodium, group B vitamins.
Energy knowledge: brown rice generates concentration, focus, integrity, baking in the oven converts it into a very concentrated food that generates deep and long-lasting heat, consolidated energy.

Ingredients
1 cup of cooked brown rice

1 carrot cut into small cubes
100g peas
1 leek cut into small cubes
100g tempeh
2 tablespoons of buckwheat flour
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt

Preparation
Heat a frying pan, add the oil

Stir-fry the leeks along with the rest of the vegetables and a pinch of salt
Add the rice and continue stir-frying
Towards the end of cooking add the tempeh cut into very small pieces
Mix the buckwheat flour with a little water until it reaches a creamy texture
Add the stir-fried rice
Put in a baking dish and cook in the oven for 15 minutes at 180º

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