Could it be that Fitness

Nature-based is the new organic


gettyimages/istock   | Photo Credit: greenaperture

It is not just about what we eat or wear or put on our faces. It is about preserving and restoring the earth and everything on it

The word organic conjures up images of women with arched, minimally-plucked eyebrows, wearing linen pants (that takes an army to wash and iron), shopping for produce, with wicker baskets. Organic today is associated with everything it should not be: exclusive, expensive, and certification-driven. It’s the sort of thing us city-slickers ‘indulge’ in, when we’re out picturing happy farmers scattering seeds (also from wicker baskets) in sunny climes. Hell, it’s the Indian version of terroir that we imagine artisanal carrots come from.

This is just one of the reasons environmentalists, agriculturalists, and nutritionists are now talking about nature-based. Nature is easy to understand. It’s the sun, the earth, water, sans the frills, because it’s also about bees, earthworms, and red ants — yes, the kind that bite.

Where organic has become a bunch of products, nature-based is not just about what we eat or wear or put on our faces. It is about preserving and restoring the earth and everything on it — including us human beings and our health. It’s a broad term that includes everyone — scientists and the wicker-basket-toting auntie (me).

It’s also easy to understand. For instance, each time I walk into a mall, I can ask myself: ‘Is this nature-based?’ No. Cue to walk out and into a green space. It’s possible to help children role-model the idea. Nature-based means: ‘Let’s all get off our screens and go out and play a game of badminton.’ How would you help a five-year-old child comprehend organic?

More than just semantics though, nature-based is a direct reminder that we are losing touch with our natural environment. It helps us notice the trees, bird sounds, even bugs, no matter how concretised our cities. It also helps us reject what is not from Nature: packaged and junk foods, chemical-laden beauty concoctions, fast fashion.

What would it really mean if we were to live a nature-based lifestyle in a built-up environment? That we find our way in the world while in sync with Nature, that we build in spaces that Nature has given us, use only what we need, work with it, rather than against it.

In real terms, it means saying goodbye to smart buildings, letting the weather cue bodily actions (yes, that siesta in the summer months), eating what Nature gives us (not what ‘big’ agriculture does), wearing clothes to go with the season (goodbye summer jacket). Sadly, the Cult of Organic has pushed us into consumerism of a different kind, turning a good thing into something that can be bought, much like that certification.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 10:56:39 AM |

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