Vedic nutrition

Of great interest are the food traditions of Hare Krishnas. They accept only consecrated, i.e. food offered to Godprasad). In this way, they follow the instruction of Krishna, given by Him in the Bhagavad-gita: “If a person with love and devotion offers Me a leaf, flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.” Such food increases the duration of life, gives strength, health, satisfaction and frees a person from the consequences of his past sins. Krishnaites, in fact, became the initiators of the revival of vegetarianism in Russia, which was an ancient tradition of many peoples of the country, especially the Slavic ones. Man was created a vegetarian – this is evidenced by the physiology of our body: the structure of the teeth, the composition of gastric juice, saliva, etc. One of the strongest proofs of our natural “disposition” to meat food is a long intestine (six times the length of the body). Carnivores have short intestines (only four times the length of their body) so that quickly spoiling toxic meat can be eliminated from the body immediately. One of the features of the Society for Krishna Consciousness is that its inherent vegetarianism is complemented by the movement for the creation of organic farms. Such farms already exist in the states of the former USSR. Thus, the administration of the Krupsky district of Belarus allocated 123 hectares of land free of charge to Minsk Hare Krishnas, who “liked their diligence and unpretentiousness”. In the Iznoskovsky district of the Kaluga region, 180 km from the capital, Hare Krishnas purchased 53 hectares of land using money donated by Russian businessmen. In autumn 1995 the fourth crop of grain and vegetables was harvested from the plantations of this farm, owned by the Moscow community. The pearl of the farm is the apiary, which is run by a certified specialist from Bashkiria. Hare Krishnas sell the honey collected on it at prices much lower than market prices. An agricultural cooperative of Hare Krishnas also operates in Kurdzhinovo in the North Caucasus (Stavropol Territory). Fruits, vegetables and grains grown on such farms are environmentally friendly, as farming is carried out without tractors and chemicals. It is clear that the final product is much cheaper – no need to spend money on nitrates. Cow protection is another area of ​​activity for farming communities ISKCON. “We keep cows on our farms just to get milk. We will never slaughter them for meat,” says Balabhadra das, head of a farm in North Carolina (USA) and director of the International Society for the Protection of Cows (ISCO). “Ancient Vedic scriptures define the cow as one of the mothers of man, as she feeds people with milk.” Statistics show that if a cow is not in danger of being slaughtered, it produces a lot of high-quality milk, which in the hands of devotees turns into butter, cheese, yogurt, cream, sour cream, ice cream and many traditional Indian sweets. All over the world, Krishna vegetarian eateries with healthy, “environmentally friendly” menus exist and are popular. So, recently in Heidelberg (Germany) the opening ceremony of the restaurant “Higher Taste” took place. Such restaurants already exist in the USA, England, France, Brazil, Australia and even on the African continent. In Moscow, the participation of Krishna confectioners in various mass celebrations and festivities is becoming a good tradition. For example, on City Day, Muscovites were offered three giant vegetarian cakes at once: in Sviblovo – weighing one ton, on Tverskaya – a little less – 700 kg, and on the square of three stations – 600 kg. But the traditional 1,5-ton cake distributed on Children’s Day remains a record in Moscow. According to the Vedic tradition, in ISKCON temples, all visitors are treated to consecrated vegetarian food prepared according to recipes that temple priests pass down from generation to generation. In ISKCON, these recipes are compiled into several excellent cookbooks. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Publishing House translated into Russian and published the now world-famous book “Vedic Culinary Arts”, containing 133 recipes for exotic vegetarian dishes. “If Russia adopted even a small part of this sublime culture, it would receive a great benefit,” said a representative of the regional administration at the presentation of this book in Krasnodar. In a relatively short time, this unique book on healthy eating has become widely known, in part due to the science of spices outlined in it. Deputy Director of the Institute of Nutrition of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor V. Tutelyan believes: “Krishnaites are typical representatives of lacto-vegetarians. Their diet includes a wide range of dairy products, as well as vegetables and fruits, which allows, with the right combination, distribution and the necessary quantitative consumption, to meet the body’s needs for energy, essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals.  

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