Eat food made of plants, not food made in plants
Food made of plants is both spiritually and physically congenial. Spiritually it shows due reverence for the Creator by minimizing violence to his creation, by avoiding the killing of animals for the satisfaction of our palate. Physically, it comprises the healthiest human diet, for our digestive systems resemble those of herbivores, not carnivores. So we become sicker with a meat-centered one and healthier with a plant-centered diet.
Exploiting such neurological findings, food giants hook consumers to those peak pleasure sensations by hiking the levels of tongue titillators in their products, even when such levels are known to be unhealthy.
Yet today’s culture deems food made of plants old-fashioned and instead glamorizes food made in plants, hi-tech food processing units. Several well-researched books such as Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Michael Moss explain how food-manufacturing corporates trap consumers by their tongues, akin to fishes caught by baits. Such corporates use sophisticated brain sensors to determine what levels of tongue titillating ingredients such as salt, sugar and fat trigger the most activation in the brain’s gustatory cortex. Exploiting such neurological findings, food giants hook consumers to those peak pleasure sensations by hiking the levels of tongue titillators in their products, even when such levels are known to be unhealthy.
The Bhagavad-gita (17.09) informs that food offering excessive sensory stimulation is in the mode of passion and that such food causes distress and disease. Echoing the Gita, many surveys have shown that the current epidemic of obesity and other food-induced health disorders are caused by increased intake of artificial food.
In contrast with such passionate food, food in goodness is food that is harmonious with our nature – evidently, food made of plants. Significantly, the Gita’s food recommendation goes beyond sattvika food to spiritual food or prasad, food spiritualized by being offered in devotion to the supreme spiritual reality Krishna. Such devotionally sanctified food has the potential to be physically nourishing and spiritually liberating – it’s the complete package.
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