Chakra Discussions

Killed by prasadam?

by Elise Boyd

Posted January 23, 2005

I have visited various ISKCON temples over the years, sometimes just for the Sunday feast; other times I stayed for a couple of days. My first observation, however, was that devotees don't look healthy. I very soon discovered why.

The quality of food in temples is just substandard: too much oil and sugar, poor quality of vegetables, too few fruit, overcooked vegetables, too much grains; I could go on and on. For this reason, I never ate one meal in a temple; I feared for my safety healthwise. I kept looking at devotees' appearance and worried that these people cannot get old. Nobody can thrive on a diet like this.

As I read various Krishna-conscious websites, I keep on coming across devotees dying of various cancers. Doesn't anybody make the link between food and cancer? I know that funds at times may be limited, and that, in some temples, the budget for food is actually the smallest of all! But please realise that this poor quality of foodstuffs, robbed of nutrition and vitamins, is killing people.

I already hear some people saying, "Look at Prabhupada and how energetic and old he became", but then I ask back, "Did Prabhupada receive the same quality of foodstuffs that temple devotees get nowadays? Or did he eat daily fresh fruits, fresh vegetables etc. of the best quality?"

This temple prasadam is literally killing people. I ask all those in charge to please consult with a dietitian or other health expert who respects the vegetarian diet on how to adjust and make improvements. This isn't expensive and will definitely save the lives of thousands of devotees. I'd like to see devotees get older than 60, cancer-free, because, nowadays, one can be surprised that someone passes 55 and even more that they aren't completely broken internally, due to diet.