Imagine biting into a piece of fruit; the sweet juice running down your chin and the mildly firm texture of the flesh unmistakably defining it as being a soft ripe pear. By purpose and design the fruit nourishes seeds inside, which are waiting to become a fruit-bearing tree, but as a creation of life, the pear also nourishes everything it comes in contact with. Vital energy, all connected. This is the essence of living food; impossible to mimic or duplicate.
Any food that retains its original vitality would be considered living. Living food can be readily found at farmer’s markets, fruit and vegetable stands, seafood markets, certain areas of every grocery store and sometimes even in your own backyard. Living food comes in both vegetable and animal forms, but be aware, the vital energy inside is very dependent on how the food was created. Vital energy describes more than just nutrition.
It also refers to the general potential for the food to preserve and promote health. Non-living sources of creation, such as synthetic drugs, pesticides and fertilizer, rob vitality from food. Notably, some of the most vital living food is found in the wild, but most of us have lost the instincts necessary to acquire it.
Vital energy does fade with time. The pear, which was rock hard two days ago, will be gone tomorrow. Once fallen to the ground, enzymes quickly degrade the flesh to nurture the seeds. If you are able to catch it on the way down, all of the nutritional benefit is yours, but admittedly, the window of opportunity is narrow. Preserving the pear by freezing or canning offers the prospect of expanding the window, but with a cost. The more we pulverize, package and pollute our food with chemical preservatives, the less vital energy and nutrition left over to sustain us.
Whenever possible, choose fresh, living food. Organic is generally worth the cost in terms of vital energy. Cook your food lightly and sometimes not at all. Avoid processed grain products; even most whole grain products are now processed to the point of offering little vital energy. Most also contain toxic levels of glucose in the form of starch. Avoid soybean/corn-fed meat, dairy and eggs; look for grass-fed instead.
When fresh is not available, refrigeration and freezing are best for preserving the vital energy present in most foods. Drying offers an effective way of preserving fruits, especially berries. Fermentation would seem like a process of decay instead of preservation, but the microbes present offer a whole different level of vital energy. Beans and tomatoes preserve well in a can, but most other vegetables and fruit do not. Meat is best fresh or frozen, though oily fish, such as tuna, salmon, sardines and anchovies preserve well in a can.
Awareness is essential. Cultivate vital energy in your life!