Krsna Prasadam - Campus Celebrity
BY: WENDELL CHALLENGER
Ghosh, serving up some veggie lovin'.
Mar 13, VANCOUVER, CANADA (THE PEAK) Prasadam distribution at Vancouver's Simon Fraser a long-time hit
Unlike Fight Club, there is only one rule at the SFU Veggie Club - you must tell everyone about Veggie Club. The club has been putting on veggie lunches for over 11 years now, yet the lunches remain almost as distant to many people as the fictional underground fighting ring. So today we are going to get dirty, get behind the scenes, and break down those barriers to introduce you to the tower of power behind it all, the Veggie Lunch dude.
Where and when does it all happen?
The lunch is every Tuesday and Thursday, 12:00 to 2:30 p.m. in the Forum Chambers, below the Higher Grounds Café. The lunch is $5 by donation and you can also help yourself to seconds.
So who can attend? Is there like an RSVP kinda thing going on?
Nope, everyone is welcome, regardless of whether or not you are a vegetarian. In fact, I encourage the non-vegetarians to come out, as it provides variety and food choice options to them.
While in attendance I have noticed how much food you bring. So what kind of preparation time are we talking about here?
It starts the day before the lunch. I go and shop for the ingredients, which takes me approximately one and a half hours. After which I do the preparation work, such as cutting vegetables. This adds an additional three hours. Then on the day of the lunch I have to get up at around 3 a.m. to start cooking. In total, it takes about six hours of cooking, after which it takes me another half an hour to drive the lunch up to campus.
Wow, that is a lot of work. What motivates you to keep going?
I think there is a great demand for vegetarian meals here; it's a demand that never goes away. By fulfilling this demand I get great job satisfaction. I find everyone who comes to the lunch is greatly appreciative. I find I enjoy the exchanges I have between the students, staff, and myself. It makes it easier to come up here every week.
What are the main reasons people should come and check out what you do?
The thing about the Veggie Lunch program is that it provides an atmosphere of relaxation and a place to meet each other. Many groups come with their friends and relax over vegetarian food. Sometimes there are even people playing the piano. Basically, it's a place you can come to relax and check out the food.
I also need to make an important point here about the cooking. I take great care in following the teaching of Krishna, for which there is a science of cooking. Western cooking may or may not know this, but there are six tastes: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, hot and astringent.
Astringent is like what happens when you eat walnuts or persimmon fruit, it sucks in your mouth. This science of cooking follows Ayurveda, a branch of Vedic medicine - Vedic means from the Vedas, an embodiment of knowledge from India. Things like meditation and yoga all come from the Vedas.
Anyway, those six taste together form a complete meal. Each spice helps your health. Some are antiseptic, helping to cleanse your blood. Basically, each herb was made to cure the body of different diseases. What you eat affects you, you inherit characteristics of the food, it is the subtle law of karma. In this way, if done correctly, eating becomes a health science.
So you are what you eat?
Yes, I would definitely agree you are what you eat.
Wendell Challenger is a staff writer for The Peak, the Simon Fraser University's student newspaper.