This is a Birthday Cake Jai Gopal made for me one year.

Food made with love tastes better and is better for you. I feel like this is the most obvious yet least acknowledged fact. We know it is true but we don’t know how it actually works, so it gets overlooked. “Love is the secret ingredient” is an anecdote we might see written in swirly letters on a new age cereal box or as a cute addition to a recipe write up. The irony is that it is so true. It is an open secret. We aren’t taught about this in a serious way and I feel like this is our loss. The intention with which food is prepared is just as important as where it comes from and what it is made of.  Let’s explore why this is.

Quantum theory states that the act of observation affects the observed. I’m thinking of that as I try to find the best way to describe the relationship between the cook and the food. Obviously the cook is transforming the food by chopping, mixing, heating etc. but food contains more than its physical components- the vitamins, minerals, protein etc. The subtle energy we call prana that is running through every living thing is also something that is ideally in our food. I say ‘ideally’ because often prana is not in food anymore. Overly processed packaged foods don’t have prana. It is the prana in food that nourishes all of our other energy bodies (11 bodies total!) . Fresh foods in general have more prana than cooked, canned and processed foods. But the energy of the cook can add prana to ANY food by the consciousness that is given to the food preparation.

A cooks energy field as a whole has a tremendous influence on the pranic energy contained in the food they prepare. A human can have an aura that reaches 9 feet in every direction. So the food that is being handled by the cook is IN THEIR AURIC FIELD.  The cook can add love to the food simply by thinking loving thoughts while preparing a dish. One can also use a mantra and chant it silently or out loud while preparing the food. Playing mantras in the kitchen also works. Practicing mindfulness by being aware of the breath and all the sensations while cooking can make the whole experience of food prep a meditation. If we enjoy the process of cooking chances are we are adding love without even realizing it! It isn’t complicated. Just the intention to add love works.

This subject makes me think about the awareness that restaurant workers bring to their jobs – and how , if you pay attention, you can taste and feel it! The fact is that many people that work in restaurants are underpaid and under-appreciated and that has a definite impact on the food they make. The vibe of a restaurant is just as important to me as the “fresh, local, organic” ingredients. I would rather eat something made with average ingredients prepared with devotion and love than something made with exceptional ingredients but prepared with anger and indifference. If you search your memory banks I am betting you can come up with an example or two of both scenarios!

So, moral of the story! Put love in the food you eat and prepare for others! Get intentional about it and see what happens. My guess is that you will enjoy it more and feel healthier after you eat it. It’s easy, free, powerful and delicious!

My next post on this subject is going to be about the power of “blessing” food before you eat it. Another simple practice that can transform food and your relationship to it.