What is Junk Food according to Ayurveda?


When it comes to carrying the burden of junk food- fast food joints and their plethora of calorie laden, nutrition free offerings like Burgers, pizzas, doughnuts and sodas usually come to mind. And, no doubt they are definitely the major culprits and villains in making our diet stripped of any nutrients.

However, Ayurveda assumes the following will harm the person, hence is 'junk' to their dhatus (bodily tissues), doshas (natural constitution) and agni (digestive fire) that we tend to overlook.

And, lets remember not all organic foods are created equal. Once processed for shelf life, they are being given the same treatment as conventionally grown food.

Dont get me wrong, we all do this. I have bought frozen organic dinners for my son many times. However, doesnt mean it is a great, and, top healthy choice. It is better than non organic frozen dinner, but, still has no prana. Here is why:

1. Organic, or, non organic foods that has been tinned in a BPA lining can is toxic. Yes, even if it is organic may be considered contaminated from Ayurvedic sense. Body will spend more time detoxifying you, then, absorbing nutrients.

2. Organic or non organic foods that have been over processed, and, many chemical additives have been added. Ayurveda does not believe that allergies just manifest out of thin air. Eating over-processed foods eventually weakens our Annavaha srotas, Purishavaha srotas. (Upper and lower GI Tract), reduces the gut bacteria, and, sensitizes us to the point of allergy.

3. Cooked food that has been frozen for a long time. (Including organic). Yes, there are nutrients present in this. However, no prana. Prana is the key ingredient.

4. Most conventionally grown vegetables and fruits that have been sprayed with heavy duty pesticides, or, grown in soil with heavy duty pesticides are carrying that poison of pesticide in their very being. Yes, we cant afford organic all the time. But, its good to understand that conventionally grown food maybe carrying a lot of harmful substances, that may lead to AMA (toxins).

There was a study being quoted on the Internet a while ago, how actually conventionally grown food is BETTER than organic-because the pesticides allow it to reach full peak. And, study said no difference in nutrition was found, except pesticides. I have had people arguing with me at dinner parties quoting this study over and over again.

Conventionally grown food may be nutrition, but, it is also rich in trace amounts of pesticides that may be linked to cancer, and, may lead to many diseases. Such food has no Prana, or, Chi in the food. Only nutrition.

Even from the perspective of taste or Rasa, conventionally grown food may have nutrition, but has less taste, and, definitely is lacking prana.

I have given this example of a dead squirrel that got buried in snow entire winter. When summer came around, its body was preserved. So, were the nutrients. However, there was no prana or life in this squirrel. This was a dead body of the poor creature.

Conventionally grown food that has been frozen, canned, tinned---is food that has died. It is dead. It has no prana from an Ayurvedic perspective.

Now, if you have ever bought an organic bread, or food--you will see that they decompose FASTER. That's the whole point. This is why the whole food industry adds a million additives--to preserve shelf life.

Yes, if my clients have no choice but to eat such foods due to lifestyle, price, and convenience factors--I ask them to at least eat ONE fresh local organic food item a day. I ask them to mix fresh spices, and, herbs in their frozen dinner.