Eating with the seasons has a hefty number of items in the ‘pro’ column; foods grown and consumed within their appropriate season are more nutritionally dense, they taste better, it’s better for the environment, and it’s easier on your wallet. To take an even deeper look, eating food in its proper time and place offers a chance for deep nourishment and connection with the natural world. Eating seasonally allows us to be in relationship with the specific world around us and can have profound effects on our wellbeing.
In his book Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope, Johann Hari writes that depression and anxiety are not so much diseases as they are signals of disconnection. He identifies a disconnection from nature as being one of nine causes of depression – and reconnection can mean more than hiking or being in nature. On average, modern day Americans are profoundly separated from their food systems – and also lacking connection with the land, leaving so many humans depressed, heartsick, and undernourished. In Ayurvedic medicine, lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes are the result of an inappropriate relationship of people with their environment. As humans, we are very much of the earth but acting as though we are separate from our ecology creates unsuitable and disconnected relationships with our world. The treatment for disconnection from the seasons in Ayurveda is ritucharya, a seasonal regimen, or in other words, reconnecting with the cycles of nature around you by eating seasonally and basking in the sustenance of nutrient dense food cocreated in your personalized, particular, and intimate world.
Brené Brown writes, “Connection is why we are here… it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives,” and connecting with the natural world through conscious awareness of your food system and diet is a profound way to find meaning and support in this crazy world.
Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope by Johann Hari
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown