THE basic starter kit for someone wanting to begin eating macrobiotically is not different from what you would need in any kitchen – the usual round of pots and pans, and cooking utensils. The main difference, though, is that for macrobiotics, we ask that the utensils be ‘clean’ ie, that they are not treated chemically, as are, for example, teflon coated pots and pans.
Apart from the cooking utensils, you will also need some foods which are not part of the average Asian diet.
Here is a list of things you will needs to get started:
Stainless steel or cast iron pots and a skillet
Steamer – for cooking and for re-heating food.
Chef’s knife and a paring knife
Kombu & Wakame
Other sea vegetables – arame, hijiki, agar agar (or kanten)
Sea salt (as dirty-looking as possible, for these contain the highest content of natural minerals)
Shoyu or tamari
Bancha twig tea
Medium or long-grain brown rice
And that’s it. You will probably add to this as you begin to cook different foods. And if you are already an avid cook, then you would probably already have most of the tools you need.
One last thing. Macrobiotics is about TRUTH – being true to your body and yourself. Don’t feed yourself food which is not ‘true’ – ie overfertilised, over-hormonised, over-chemicalised food. While our bodies were built to last, the assumption is that we would co-operate and feed them with fuel that they know and understand.
Chemicals which are not naturally occuring in the ground, but which have been added to it to increase crop yield, are not something our bodies ever thought they would have to deal with. And so, they may react in ways unanticipated – for example, through uncontrolled, abnormal cellular growth.
I recommend trying to eat organically as much as possible. And if not, try to get the best quality possible (ie, grown with good, reliable farming practices). It might cost a little more – but ultimately, it is still alot cheaper than any medical bills you might have to pay for chronic illnesses which arise out of poor eating habits.
I will say now that I avoid all foods from China, as much as possible. But the farming practices there are not reliable. And given the number of food scares coming out of China over the past years, TRUTH is something that is not yet established in its farming industry.
Having said that, I also acknowledge that it is cheaper, generally, to buy from China. So, if you must buy your food from China, I encourage you to soak all your vegetables (from China and elsewhere) for 20 minutes before use to leech out any chemicals. If you wish, you can add a few drops of apple cider vinegar to the soaking water to strengthen the leeching process. But beware, not too much or you might end up with a pickle!