Locavore vs. Macrobiotics?
People intent on eating everything local while also following macrobiotics may get confused. Macrobiotic educators (including this one) touts eating foods from your local geographic climate and environment yet then proceeds to also recommend some foods that are made half way around the planet. Eating local organic fresh fruits and vegetables in season seems to be consistent with the principles of local eating (even though many, in reality, come from California and elsewhere) but then there are exotic traditional foods, like miso, shoyu and sea vegetables, not to mention grains beans and other dry goods; many of which are made and/or grown half way around the world and sometimes in different climate zones. Why does this contradiction exist?
The answer is a lot simpler than you might imagine and follows this basic principle:
If you can walk with the food product from one location to the next without it spoiling and without the use of refrigeration and/or artificial preservatives then it is fine to eat.
So, for example, if you can, hypothetically, walk from Japan to the US carrying these foods (as, allegedly, the ancient predecessors of Native Americans once did) then whatever does not spoil when you reach your destination, you can eat!
All the macrobiotic foods recommended that come from long distances are either fermented (and will improve with age), pickled in natural salt, or are naturally dried (including grains, beans, sea vegetables and dried fruits). We can safely enjoy these traditional foods anywhere in the world as long as they meet the above criteria .
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