Everyone is hearing these days about the salmonella scare on the tomatoes, the problem with the spinach last year, etc. It seems more and more we are having problems with contaminants getting into our food supply and sickening lots of people.
It seems logical that food grown in huge quantities in one location and shipped all over the world is necessarily bound to have problems like this eventually. Plus food when it is grown and produced this way costs a lot more in terms of fuel and energy to ship it all over, and when it gets there is not as nutritious because it is older than food grown and picked locally.
A month or two ago I decided to check out our local farmer’s market and not only get better food but also try to help these local farmers who I think are very important.
Long story short, the fruits and vegetable we have been buying are fantastic. Much better even than Whole Foods where I usually shop. Even my kids can tell the difference, and that is saying a lot.
This is a picture of the farmers market in down town Round Rock, near where I live. At first I thought it was strange to set it up inside a parking garage, but when I thought about it, it keeps them sheltered from the blistering sun, or alternatively from pouring drenching rain. Weather patterns we have a lot here in Texas.
Here’s a better picture of some of the vegetables and fruit once I got them home:
In yoga they tell us the most nutritious food is that which is fresh, ripe, nutritious and tasty. This kind of food increases sattva, the quality of nature that is characterized by happiness, knowledge, light, purity, peace and harmony. In yoga we try to increase sattva as much as possible in many ways. Not only by the food we eat, but also by mantra repetition, meditation, studying of scriptures, satsang, kirtan, pranayama, asanas, etc.
In short, if you practice yoga you will generally become more sattvic.
The meal prayer used by many yogis recognizes that God, the Supreme Being, or Brahman, is present in all things. Underlying everything we are all one. Here is our meal prayer (in sanskrit) with which the food is blessed:
brahmarpanam brahmahavir brahmagnau brahmanahutam
brahmaiva tena gantavyam brahmakarma samadhina
This is from the Bhagavad Gita, chapter 4 verse 24 and it means: Brahman (god) is the oblation; Brahman is the melted butter (the offering); Brahman is the oblation poured into the fire of Brahman; Brahman verily shall be reached by him who always sees Brahman in action.
A very beautiful prayer. A good fit for the beautiful food.