The Modern Dilemma: The Era of Bad Food
An excerpt from “Yoga & Ayurveda Self-Healing and Self-Realization” by David Frawley...
“Right diet is not just a question of food type but food quality. The quality of food in our culture is generally low, as most of us have come to know. If food is God, then our God is certainly dead, or at least he has become little more than a business arrangement for maximum profit! Our food is mass produced, mass prepared and mass consumed, with little care or attention and certainly little love or consciousness. Poor food quality begins with bad soils, chemical fertilizers, and the use of insecticides and herbicides on the plants, the long term effects of which are unknown. Poor food quality is compounded by premature picking, artificial ripening, long transportation and refrigeration that often eliminates whatever real vitality managed to survive in the plant. On top of this comes the processing of food, which may include irradiation, freezing and canning, along with additives and preservatives of all types. As if this was not enough, our cooking procedures involve microwave ovens, over-cooking, and an excess use of oils, sugar, salt and spices. The result is that we don’t so much eat our food as our food eats us, providing not so much nourishment as a breeding ground for toxins.
Yet however bad this situation might be, it is likely to get worse. Genetic engineering is now adding genes from bacteria, viruses, other plants and animals to food crops. Even the seeds that we use to grow our plants are becoming genetically modified. There are bacteria, nut and flower genes in soybeans. Fish and pig genes are being added to tomatoes. The main reason for such changes is to make the food look better, last longer, or become more resistant to herbicides and pesticides so that these can be used more abundantly, not to actually make the food more nutritious.
Such genetic changes are unlikely to be mentioned on labels. Already most of the soybeans grown are genetically engineered, making it difficult for vegetarians since soybeans are common in most vegetarian products. Naturally, for anyone trying to follow a pure yogic diet, such changes are distressing. Since we cannot avoid eating and, if we travel at all, may be forced to eat out, we can only hope to reduce the amount of bad food that we consume.
This modern food dilemma is forcing all of us to become more conscious of our diets. We must learn to grow our own food, to support local and organic gardeners, and to become politically active on environmental matters. Food is the sacred root of life. If we compromise it we are only jeopardizing our own health and happiness. Unfortunately the coming century stands to inherit not only bad food, but bad water and bad air as well. We can at least get good bottled water. The air and food are more precarious. Therefore, raising our food consciousness and food discrimination is an important part of any ecological strategy for saving the planet.
A true yogi should be among those in the forefront working for protection of animals and protection of the Earth. If we act now there is still much that we can do to improve if not fundamentally alter these negative conditions. The Earth itself, like the human body, has tremendous powers of revitalization if we learn to facilitate this healing force to operate without our obstruction.”