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Inconvenient Foods: The Happy Facts

Thursday, 26 September 2019 / Published in Articles, Kesava Krsna Dasa / 11,474 views

By Kesava Krsna Dasa

We love to picnic, barbecue, celebrate birthdays and entertain guests. We may hesitate on what fast-foods are on offer. Here is some “Party-pooping” information, which should enhance our parties even more. So “let’s party,” as they say.

Technology has enabled soya to transform into burgers, sausages, prawns, chicken breasts, steaks and more. Do we have the time to make the bread rolls to go with them? Not a problem, we can always get a few dozen from the local bakery.

In this era of instant fast-foods, it is tempting to “save time,” or to “cut corners,” and tuck in to some ready-made foods, and hope that Krishna accepts it all. The problem is, the more convenient the foods are, and the more they are infused with ignorance. Ouch!

We often hear elders say, “The generation of today have become lazy. Hardly anyone makes chapatis or rotis anymore. They’re spoilt.” Is this true? Perhaps today’s generation do not have the time that housewives had years ago. “With time on their hands they could stay at home and make full meals and breads.”

Confronting the pressures of our fast-paced social and working environments, it is quite common to get into the habit of buying convenient foods. They save time. But do they save our spiritual health? This “party-pooping” information is actually Sattvic knowledge. As sobering as it appears to be, it rewards happiness and contentment.

THE CONVENIENCE SCALE

In true party spirits we can invent terms and give a fun twist on the three modes of nature. This scale should help us distinguish more clearly what is offerable to the Lord, and what is not. A few surprises may make our eating necessities seem like a daunting impossibility. But rest assured, this is not a fatwa, just happy knowledge. Let’s party.

Here are how the 3 modes of nature feel, from our sometimes lazy, rushed-for-time and inconsiderate selves:

(1)Goodness: Least convenient; difficult; no time; can’t wait; selfish
(2)Passion: Half or semi-convenient; easier; little more time; will wait; half-selfish
(3)Ignorance: Most convenient; easiest; any time; instant; most selfish

We can now look at the same modes from Lord Krishna’s Bhagavad-Gita perspective:

(1)Goodness: Most convenient; sense of duty; make time; patience; selfless, pleasing; 1st class
(2)Passion: Less convenient; will or won’t; in your own time; when it suits you; half or semi-selfish; let’s see; 2nd class
(3)Ignorance: Least convenient; anything goes; any odd time; impatient; most selfish; not pleasing; 3rd class

CATEGORIES OF FOODS

Bearing in mind the convenience scale, it should be easier now to choose our proper foods for offering. This is not a complete list, but it should help to define matters. But be warned, many of our favourites might be in the ignorance category. Those Take-away places we buy from, literally do Take-Away our devotion.

For fun we shall begin with the ignorant foods. We will discover that those bread rolls we wanted for our soya products earlier, should be renamed Iggy-rolls, or Tamo-doughs. Are we still partying? Buying shop bread and then toasting and buttering it, as an offering to the Lord, does not constitute a full act of Bhakti. It is minimal or partial at best.

If while out shopping we feel a little peckish and want a veggie-burger, or simply to sit down for a cup of decaffeinated coffee, it is not advisable to buy from a burger or fashionable meat chain-store. Our money will further jiva-aparadhas (animal killing) and increase our carbon footprints (environmental damage).

We should be reminded that convenient foods are those foods that have been prepared, processed, cooked and sold for instant gratification, from any place, without love and devotion. They are ready to eat immediately. This does not apply to genuine vaisnava outlets.

FOODS IN IGNORANCE

(1)All brought breads, including chapatis, rotis, etc.
(2)“Pure vegetarian” foods cooked by Mayavadis, impersonalists, atheists, non-bona-fide spiritualists, etc.
(3)Chocolates, sweets, candies etc.
(4)Cereals. (Surprised? The fact that they have to be fortified with vitamins and minerals, means the cereals are dead from over-processing)
(5)Pies, pizzas, samosas and other savouries.
(6)Canned foods.
(7)Ready-made flavoured and seasoned soya products (usually frozen0.
(8)Ready-made meals (sometimes frozen)
(9)Sandwiches, veggie-burgers, etc.
(10)Any foods brought from burger or hip meat chain stores (your money goes back into animal slaughter maintenance)
(11)French fries, potato chips, etc.
(12)Recycled chlorinated or fluoridated drinking water (In some districts the same water has passed through the human system several times over. Nice to get a water filter)

Foods in passion have been prepared to save us the hassle. But we still have to prepare and cook again at home, so half the job is done for us already.

FOODS IN PASSION

(1)Flour (Who did the milling?)
(2)Frozen vegetables and other foods (Usually par-boiled or sprinkled with preservatives)
(3)Par-boiled rice
(4)Dried soya chunks or mince (par-boiled)
(5)So-called 100% pure juices (Usually pasteurised at high temperatures, then fortified with vitamin C etc.)
(6)Pasteurised milk
(7)Shop brought ghee, paneer, etc.
(8)All pastas and noodles (Oh how we love our pastas)
(9)Ready-made salads or fruit salads.
(10)Carbonated drinks, and canned drinks (Some are in ignorance)
(11)Cheeses.
(12)Microwave foods
(13)Cooking oils (Usually clarified by high heat or chemicals)

Foods in goodness usually take more time to prepare and cook. But that is the art of devotion. Sadly, society is geared towards, and almost dependent on fast-paced instant gratification, that leaves little room for devotional living.

Many of the above foods are also suffused with additives and flavour enhancers that try to revive their already dead state. This mirrors what we see in society. Because people have forgotten their purpose here on earth, they have to somehow seek happiness with what is available, which can be compared to MSG and Aspartame surface cover.

FOODS IN GOODNESS

(1)Fresh produce from the land (Fruits, vegetables and herbs etc.)
(2)Milk from the cows (Can be pasteurised by boiling 3 times at home)
(3)Home-made ghee and cheeses.
(4)Raw produce.
(5)Cold-pressed oils.
(6)Whole grains, rice, pulses, etc.

When natural or healthy foods are generally more expensive than passionate and ignorant foods, it is a poor indictment of the society we live in. If every day is a festival in Krishna consciousness, then the real “partying” goes on in the mode of goodness and beyond. But judging from the vast permeation of sub-standard foods, we clearly need more devotee take-aways, farms, wholesalers, to enable acceptable food production. Until we reach that stage, the party is just beginning.

Your servant, Kesava Krsna Dasa – GRS

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5 Responses to “Inconvenient Foods: The Happy Facts”

  1. kpdas says :

    Hare Krishna.
    All the Glories to Srila Prabhupada.
    Dear Prabhu please accept my humble obeisance
    This article I named the title as transcend traditional ideas into practical value–Food.
    Like every senior devotees can explore the Veda in their own interested field , to the Mankind.
    Thanking for your beautiful definition.
    Your Servant,
    Kaunteya Putra das

  2. nrsimhananda says :

    Definitely food for thought.
    Or thought about food.
    I read the article while sipping on my homemade caffeine free frappucino brewed from naturally harvested dried dandelion and chicory growing wild in the adjacent hills while munching on our greenhouse grown spouted wheat muffin adorned with freshly churned butter made from the miniature zebu's milk squeezed before dawn and topped with raspberry jam canned from our own bushes and palm sugar painstakingly collected from the coconut tree growing in our very tall custom greenhouse.
    I very busy taking care of all the plants, animals, trees, plus doing the processing, prep, cooking, offering, and cleaning, so don't have time to chant Hare Krishna, but I'm following the instruction to only eat foods in the mode of goodness .

  3. SitaTdd says :

    This interesting article is published on Dandavats every so often. However, isn't it time Dandavats published an article offering practical advice on how to eat (and live) in the times we live now? How many people have ti,e to do what the article proposes? And if there are any who do, do they still have time to write articles about it? Ideally we'd all be living in a community where each person did one thing, like in the "old days" of the history of the world: one person is a baker, the other a cowherd, etc. Or we'll end up like Nrsimhananda above: No time to chant Hare Krishna. Thank you, Nrsimhananda!

  4. ananda dd says :

    Hare Krishna.
    This article seems somewhat out of date, there is a lot missing from this analysis. Actually one of the main principles of food is how it is GROWN and this has a huge bearing on its mode of nature. Just analyzing the food itself is way too superficial to fully comprehend the food. For example many so called organic fresh foods are produced and grown using fertilizers from the animal slaughter industry, its a world-wide phenomena, which renders the food ignorant never mind what food it is per se.
    The idea that food can be analyzed in such a short article with any authority is also highly questionable to me. But there is a very good book written by a devotee Doctor called "Tsunami of Diseases Headed our way, Know your FOOD before its too late." by Sahadeva dasa which runs out at 550 pages long. This is a well researched, comprehensively written and in depth book dealing with all aspects of food, how it is processed to death, and how things related to food have moved on very quickly since the 1960's.
    If you really want to know about food read this book. And I must also add that food is a holistic issue to understand, not just food in your hand, but how it is grown in the industrial agricultural model world-wide, how all the animal slaughter components are used to grow food, how food is associated with many meat products in supermarkets, how food is processed to death such as Vegetable Oils , Sugar, Grains and White Rice. and the list goes on…….ad nauseum. .

  5. ananda dd says :

    Hare Krishna.
    In answer to SitaT DD above, we have been growing our own food for years and years now. The whole idea of this is to become self-sufficient but many make the mistake of making it a business to try to sell produce and things for money. Many Cow Protection projects sell their milk, wrongly in my opinion. We should LIVE by the Milk and food, not sell it, its way to valuable to sell just for money.
    So we have three poly tunnels, a huge glass house, outside land, Bees and an orchard and soft fruits. We have 7 children to look after, we have a cottage to run, we have 16 rounds to chant daily and we have main festivals to attend to. And we are mainly self-sufficient and grow much of our own food. We do trade surpluses for other goods and produce with other small-holders. And now in September the garden takes on the next new beginning by sowing seeds for the coming Winter, Spring and further to next year. The gardening never stops, that's what is so attractive, you see. We are continually investing into our future well being by planning, and fine tuning each year to become better at what we do. For example this year we are sowing potent F2 seeds so we can collect those seeds next year and become more self-sufficient in more produce.
    We follow the no-dig plan as well. And we use copious amounts of Cow manures and no chemicals whatsoever, no pesticides. For example we recently found out that Commercial Potatoes are sprayed 31 times before harvest, cant be mode of goodness. We sprayed our Potatoes zero times, and they were the tastiest potatoes imaginable because we used old fashioned potato species to grow. And we saved the small ones for seed next year, its so exciting you see. And the story expands exponentially and enthusiastically each year, each season, each day…….

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