In addition to the material world of buildings, roads, gardens, woods, and fields, the most important aspect of human subsistence and development, the aspect which we are most concerned about, is what we eat. Among the four matters of food, clothing, shelter, and transportation, food takes the top priority. As the saying goes, "The people take food as their deity."
Medical research has shown that all food, in passing through the metabolic processes of the chemical factory within the human body, is decomposed into fat, protein, glucose, vitamins, minerals, and water, which are then stored in our body tissues. When our bodies need them, they are depleted from the tissues for further refinement in the chemical factory, being transformed into various amino acids and energy.
Most people, accustomed to eating meat, have consumed all kinds of meat, and promote meat as being rich in nutrition. What they don't know is that plant products such as grains, vegetables and fruit often surpass meat in nutrition value.
Take the Buddha's Enlightenment Congee (traditionally eaten on the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month to celebrate the Buddha's Enlightenment; recipe to be given in next issue), for example. The nutritive content of just one bowl is already more than that found in your ordinary fare of chicken, duck, fish, or meat. If fruits and vegetables are added, what need is there to worry about getting enough nutrition? After taking a look at the nutritional breakdown of common vegetarian and animal products in the next issue, you'll say, "Oh, vegetarian food is that nutritious! I should start right away to let my family taste this Congee which is both nutritious and harmless to living creatures."
(to be continued)