Despite the misinformation of modern Western medicine, which is born out of ignorance about the role of nutrition in helping us feel and look good for longer, most of us do now understand that we are what we eat. However, we may not realise the relevance of the land that we are born and raised on to what sorts of foods nourish us best and are capable of rejuvenating us into our optimal state.
The Paleo Diet has done much to shine a light on the importance of our nutrition being in tune with the body we have inherited from our ancestors. But there is another component which sometimes gets missed in these days of “one-size-fits-all” globalist thinking, and it is to do with the importance of place.
We learn about this in what can only be termed a whole motherlode of … let’s call it … country lore, in the maxims of the “old wives”, which teach us about the importance of geographic location in getting the right kind of nourishment that will lead to optimal health and wellbeing.
In this Age of Science, the term “old wives tales” has taken on a derogatory meaning. But these august medicine women were, in the main, successful and proficient herbalists, midwives and spiritually-minded healers who had a kind of alchemical understanding about the processes of the human body which was holographically connected and thus was still, in quantum terms, a part of the sparkling stardust above.
Some of their sayings are still hovering around in the fields of memory, and from them we have been able to learn much. For instance, did you know that eating honey made by bees within a 25-mile radius of your house can help with hayfever?
To the old wives, there there was no such thing as a weed. So if one had suddenly come into your garden, seemingly from nowhere, they would have told you that it was likely to be a herb that has come to visit you, to give you a customised healing.
They also knew how to turn any herb into a potent alchemical tincture.
They were shaman-types, and thus they understood that eating locally was more than about saving on air miles. To that worldview, there is a beneficial alchemical energetic component to the food that our ancestors ate and that is grown on the land in which they are buried.
We also now know, from ancient agriculture techniques still practised in parts of the world that have been “left behind”, that not only were the phases of the Moon taken into account when planting, but also the cycles of the stars.
And so following along the trajectory of that more enlightened philosophy, we can conclude that those bodies raised under the stars of the northern hemisphere are happier with familiar foods raised under the northern stars, and vice-versa.
Al this is not to say that you can’t enjoy the odd Chinese, Mexican or curry. To be fair, it doesn’t seem to make much difference what you put into your body when you are young and still living off “the bank of Mum and Dad” – in other words, your constitution. But when you are getting into your later years, you will find that eating optimally makes a huge difference to how good you feel and look, and for longer.
Which grains are right for you?
So if you live in northern Europe and want to eat the foods your body will love you for, barley should be your grain of choice, particularly if you suffer from arthritis.
Barley was one of the first cultivated grains across most of the Eurasia, including the Caucusus Mountains from where the ancestors of the Proto Indo-European races migrated south. The word ‘barn’ comes from ‘barley-house’, where the grain was stored.
However, although it is practically bubbling over with life-giving vitamins, minerals and trace elements, the barley grain is quite chewy for modern jaws. So the best way to consume its goodness is to drink your own barley water. It is very easy to make. Just put about a figure-deep of pearl barley grains in a medium-sized jar, and then fill the rest of the container with water. Leave it overnight, and then the next day, stir it, then strain and drink.
The rye grain travelled with barley through Turkey along the migration routes of certain Scythian tribes who mainly settled in Central and Eastern Europe, where it is still popular today.
Oats, like those who enjoy their porridge, don’t thrive in hot countries. The oat started off as a “weed” to the main cereal production of the Fertile Crescent in the Middle East, and then naturally migrated westwards, to cooler countries.
Rice is the most perfect food for those indigenous to the Near and Far East. The etymology of the word ‘rice’ can be traced back to Indian Sanskrit and Persian, although the current consensus is that it was first cultivated in China.
One of the problems with eating American rice is that most of it is grown on what were previously the Deep South cotton fields, and so the grains can contain high levels of arsenic, a residual by-product of the pesticides that were used to control the cotton weavils.
Maize and corn are best suited to those who live on the South American subcontinent where it was first domesticated 10,000 years ago.
Modern strains of wheat used for baking breads and cakes are not good for anyone, in the long term – apart from the balance sheets of the processed food corporations.
Which animal foods are right for you?
There are even some people who cannot eat grains and starches at all without becoming ill and so they thrive on a more Paleo-type regime that is oriented to meat, fish and dairy consumption. According to naturopath Peter J D’Adamo, this is mainly down to blood type, although it is yet to be proven scientifically. But he believes that blood type Os are better off with a high-protein diet that is heavy on lean meat, poultry, fish and vegetables.
And again, it is important to keep shopping local because it is not so much about type of animals to eat, but where the creature comes from and how it has been reared. There is a big difference between meat from locally grass-fed animals and meat from foreign-raised animals fed on mainly soy beans which are genetically modified. Unfortunately, our supermarkets mostly stock the latter. But if you live in the UK, we can help.
Our free-to-download Shop GMO-Free in the UK app not only tells you which supermarket foods in Britain contain genetically-modified ingredients, but it will also direct you to your nearest suppliers of meat and dairy from locally-reared, grass-fed animals.