An indigenous diet is bound to be easier for your body to digest, easily adhere to a lot of speculation, and thus a lot of myths about what is the “best” diet during this challenging period for the world. All around the world, the pandemic has given centre stage to health care, prevention of diseases, and concurrently, to lifestyle disorders, dietary illnesses, and immunity through food.
However, despite this limelight, no one has figured out one “best” diet that holds its claims for everyone. Through this, the concept of indigenous diets gathered some attention. So what is an indigenous diet?
Indigenous diet is any regime that caters to a specific community of people, where the food is sourced locally, and the fundamentals are based on individuality instead of global standardization. This implies that a person residing in Delhi, India, does not have to feed off Quinoa sourced from America and is better off consuming a mix of Bajra (Pearl Millet) and Gehu (Wheat) from the states around.
Another vital point that this concept raises is that humans thrive on variety in their diets. And that traces back to seasonal crops, vegetables, and fruits. So now that we have established what indigenous diets are, let’s look at how they benefit you.
What are the benefits?
First and foremost, it gives you better health. That’s probably the entire agenda of coming across a food-oriented blog, no? Considering that you are a supporter of science, you probably do believe in evolution. And evolution says that any living thing evolves to better adapt to the environment around it. So it makes sense that your body has adapted to whatever food has been available to your local community for generations.
Now take a hint and guess what would ‘eating something that suits your body’ to your health. It improves it. An indigenous diet is bound to be easier for your body to digest, easily available to you, and gives you an immunity that guards you against diseases around you.
The idea of the same individualistic approach towards a diet that indigenous diets innately advocate was emphasized by Eran Segal in a Tedx talk. His talk is about a detailed study with surprising results favoring a diverse, individually catered diet that prevents and even treats dietary ailments.
The environmental repercussions around food are, if not entirely, then at least majorly overlooked by food trend followers that keep looking around for the next revolutionary change in their diet. Let’s try and understand this in two points:
Let’s take the example of rice. If you are not aware, rice is a crop that requires loads and loads of irrigation. When somebody starts growing rice in an area that does not receive ample rainfall to feed this irrigation demand, they create a demand for artificial irrigation, which in turn requires more fuel to transport this water. Not only will rice not be famous around that area, but this forced production will also be a major burden for the local ecosystem. We can always switch to grains that are readily available nearby for our consumption instead of forced productions.
You read about Quinoa and its miraculous weight-loss, high-protein properties and decide on consuming it. The trend takes years to settle in, but the demand created is somehow fulfilled by large suppliers. With its origin in the Americas, the massive environmental impact is paid for from your pocket, but it stays in the ecosystem nonetheless. Transporting ragi from Maharashtra to Gujarat generates a much smaller carbon footprint.
As mentioned above, when the transportation cost is low and the growth is favored by the local ecosystem, climate, and rainfall, the seller has much less reason to raise costs. A disgruntled seller does raise costs, you’ll find dozens of more suppliers locally.
How to implement it?
There are just three keywords you need to remember here – local, seasonal, diversified. Explore your local market, try and understand the pricing of different vegetables, fruits, and crops, and figure out what grows in your nearby states, when is it at its lowest price of the year and then maintain a balance. You could probably find most of this out on Google.
Once you figure this out, do not stick to one permanent diet, but rather keep improvising. Food is science, and science only works through experimentation.
If you plan on going even further, a famous book called Ikigai appreciates a lifestyle from Japan that includes cultivating most or at least some of what you consume. This could be a gradual way of figuring out what is supported by the ecosystem you reside in.
It brings in you a sense of autonomy and cognizance towards a rather unexplored aspect due to an urban lifestyle. You will be able to understand the food you eat.
Now that you understand the how, why and what of indigenous diets, let’s see how Farm Didi helps you in the process. As a social enterprise, Farm Didi works with targeted local communities of farmers, improves their functions, and ultimately distributes their produce to pan India.
Our delicious offerings include flour, pickles, and guilt-free sweets with authentic recipes and hygienic equipment. We help you get your local, seasonal, diversified items, with the bonus of supporting a local community to thrive.