Hello my loves, I was working on this post when I very suddenly had the very good news that my trip to India was on. So now I sit in a cafe on the Ganges, sipping a masala chai, feeling so blessed to be here, and particularly enlivened by a day spent in the company of the most revered (as they say in India) Dr. Vandana Shiva.
This quantum physicist turned ecological warrior has been declared an environmental hero by TIME magazine. She is powerful and brilliant, yet grounded, kind, and feminine as she passionately, clearly speaks of her mission to restore the world to its natural wholeness and integrity, starting literally from the ground up.
She is undoubtedly a Durga, informed by the Swaraj and Ahimsa concepts of Gandhi and Indian Vedic culture. It’s as if she is the Divine Mother herself, rising up to protect our earth, our water, our children, our individual health, our global health. “Life itself, in all its systems, is part of an inseparable whole,” she reminds us quoting Chief Seattle, “Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”
Today Dr. Shiva spoke of seeds, soil and food. Everything she said resonated, resounded even. In particular and relevant to this post, since being told by my dermatologist that I may have a nickel allergy and therefore to avoid most of the foods that are my usual staple including leafy greens, many vegetables, most of my favorite fruits, as well as seeds, legumes, nuts and grains, I have been thinking quietly about how upside down it is to turn the earth inside out, digging up the ground of our own dear mother to extract metals. Treasure perhaps, useful of course, but ultimately, is it ours to take? Is it worth upsetting the integrity of life itself? Is the short term worth more than the long term? When we see the damage we are causing on a global scale, is this what we want to give our children and grandchildren?
Over and over, Dr. Vandana spoke of the health risks that are exponentially growing – autism, alzheimers, cancers – because of our food, and the toxins used to grow the genetically modified seeds it is grown from.
I know we need nickel, oil, energy, etc. Of course, it’s impractical to think we would turn back the clocks. Yet, the numbers speak for themselves – 1 in 10,000 children had autism 30 years ago. Now it’s 1 in 68 according to the CDC. At these rates, MIT Researchers warn that half of all American children will be autistic by 2025.
Staggering, isn’t it?
I guess what I love most about Dr. Vandana is that she asks us to remember that all life has the right to life, even the plants, soil, seeds, rivers, earth.
On a more practical front, the original purpose of this post was to share with you a list of foods to avoid if you have nickel allergy, as well as a list of helpful sites and references I’ve searched out as there is little on the web about it. Finally, since thankfully I can have sweet potato and coconut, I offer you a divine recipe for a hearty, warm lunch or dinner meal.
Here is the list of foods one can eat ~
1 T Ghee (or coconut oil)
1 Onion, chopped 2” piece fresh Ginger, thinly sliced and peeled
1 T Curry powder
2 cups Coconut Milk
3 cups Vegetable Broth (low sodium)
1/2 t pink (himalayan) salt, or to taste
1 T toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
If nickel allergy affects you, you will find more information and research with these links ~
* this chart of nickel and nickel-free foods is the one my doctor gave me as a printout.* these are more extensive lists of foods: nickel in foods and the nickel allergy diet. the lists are somewhat conflicting because it often depends on where the food is grown and what is in the air, water, soil.* finally, a bit more science on the subject.
Eat whole. Be whole.