Back when I was a raw foodist (circa 2007-2011), I seriously bought in to the whole superfood thing. And when I say I bought in to it, I mean I really bought in to it. Mega bucks. I’ll wager I’ve spent £000s on the weird and wonderful. From Acai to Zeolites. I’ve done it all, baby.
There was that time I ate too much Muira Puama and wanted to make love to the trees. What about that time I ate too much Suma and forgot how to drive? Breakfast was usually a smoothie with more superfoods than you could shake an expensive Peruvian stick at. If I couldn’t spell it, all the better. Yep, I was a seasoned superfood veteran. I say was, I still have a few in my kitchen drawer. I have Moringa. Moringa. I have no idea what Moringa is…
What the hell are these peculiar packaged powders and potions from deepest, darkest Peru? What are the true health benefits of the latest trendy superfoods touted by the health gurus? Sure, some of these superfoods are plants that have been revered by established systems of Chinese (which I totally dig) and Aryuvedic medicine for hundreds if not thousands of years.
Some of them are tasty as hell. Hello, cacao.
Some of them make really tasty recipes. Yo, chia seeds.
But are they our only hope when it comes to filling the gaps in our nutrient devoid diets?
What about the plants and fungi that grow here? Aren’t they superfoods?
Goji berries grow in this country. Did you know that? Wild growing gojis are on my foraging bucket list, right there at the top!
You see, there’s often an assumption that if it comes from somewhere very far away where there’s probably a rainforest or something, then all the better. It must be good if it’s from a remote corner of the Himalayan mountains, right?
We have to realise that the world hasn’t reserved the most powerful superfoods for the other side of the world. They grow right here. For every far-flung superfood there is an equivalent right here!
Common sense suggests that for us lot, living here, it’s much healthier for us (and the planet) to be consuming plants that also live here. Nature is so intelligent that the plants that grow and thrive in your surrounding area are the ones best adapted to supporting you to continue living in this environment. With them. You know, symbiosis and all that.
Sure, next time I find myself in central Peru, in the high plateaus of the Andes mountains, the first thing I’ll want to get my hands on will be a big fat plate of maca. Who wouldn’t?
In all seriousness, I’m not saying that superfoods that grow outside the UK are useless or negative, just that it’s possible to access the benefits right here on your doorstep. And what’s more, they’re free.
The truth is that wild food is the superfood of the new millenium.