Before we started the mass import and exportation of goods a few decades ago, we had no choice but to eat seasonally. That’s all that was available. We had watermelons in summer, when it was hot, and root vegetables in winter. It makes sense, as watermelon will cool us down in the heat of summer and root vegetables are made into soups or roasted – keeping us warm in the cool.
These days though, you can pretty much buy anything you want all year around in a supermarket, as it’s more than likely been imported. But learn from farmers’ markets: if it’s not available, chances are it’s not in season – a good sign you’re not meant to be eating it then anyway.
Understanding what your body needs will not only improve the health of our planet, but yours as well. Eastern medicine and philosophies have understood the interconnectedness of the body, mind and spirit for centuries, but only recently has it found its way into Western lives.
The table at right shows how our organs will be sensitive in a particular season: each has a related taste and emotion. Just as the leaves start to lose their moisture so do we, both internally and externally. We will likely experience drier skin, coughs, dandruff and constipation. To prevent or reduce these symptoms, eat foods that nourish and moisten, such as nuts and seeds and their oils (tahini, olive, almond and flax oil), wholegrains like barley and millet, and apples, pears and avocado. Foods that build up our blood in preparation for winter are figs, pears, pumpkin, and