What's wrong with garlic and onion? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-06-2010, 09:04 PM
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I was asking the canteen staff whether one of the dishes they were serving was vegetarian or not, and they asked me if I was okay with garlic and onion. I always thought those two things were vegetables? Or is there something I'm missing here? Sorry if this question has been asked before, but I couldn't find the thread if there was one.
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#2 Old 11-06-2010, 09:17 PM
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They are vegetables.. Well, at least onion is, garlic is an herb. I think it has something to do with a religion, but I'm not sure? Also, people have sensitivities to those too, so that could also be itl

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#3 Old 11-06-2010, 09:54 PM
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Some religions that forbid meat also forbid these. When I did my cooking courses at the local Buddhist temple they taught vegan cooking with no onion, garlic or chilli. Apparently they inflame the mind and body, make one quicker to anger, and they stop you from mediating as well. Or, that was their theory anyway. I love onion and garlic. They used asafoetida powder instead of garlic, which is a horrible spice that looks and smells liked dried cat urine rather than garlic. So some strands of Buddhism avoid it, and Jains avoid onion and garlic too, as well potatoes (you have to pull them out of the ground thus killing the plant). Some people also avoid the garlic/onion group along with the nightshades (eggplant, potatoes, tobacco, tomatoes etc).

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#4 Old 11-06-2010, 11:04 PM
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Yes, I don't know where you live but if you live near certain religious communities (I'm part of one myself although I occasionally indulge in touch of garlic/onion but not often) that are vegetarian such as certain types of Buddhists, Hindus or Hare Krishnas then a lot of these people avoid garlic and onion.

In certain scriptures, eating garlic and onion (and overly spicy food) causes people to be more passionate. This includes anger and lust. Distractions in serious religious life.
These foods are often referred to as "rajasic" foods which means "fiery" according to Ayurveda. Here is a link that talks about it a bit: http://franlife.blogspot.com/2007/09...-ayurveda.html
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#5 Old 11-06-2010, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Kiz View Post

Some religions that forbid meat also forbid these. When I did my cooking courses at the local Buddhist temple they taught vegan cooking with no onion, garlic or chilli. Apparently they inflame the mind and body, make one quicker to anger, and they stop you from mediating as well. Or, that was their theory anyway. I love onion and garlic. They used asafoetida powder instead of garlic, which is a horrible spice that looks and smells liked dried cat urine rather than garlic. So some strands of Buddhism avoid it, and Jains avoid onion and garlic too, as well potatoes (you have to pull them out of the ground thus killing the plant). Some people also avoid the garlic/onion group along with the nightshades (eggplant, potatoes, tobacco, tomatoes etc).

Asafoetida/Hing has a strong smell but mellows when cooked and adds a very light garlicky taste.

Also, yellow Asafoetida powder is more mild while white is much stronger with a serious smell. It also helps the digestibility of foods such as beans, reducing the likelihood of gas.
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#6 Old 11-06-2010, 11:21 PM
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Garlic and onion are both perfectly vegetarian. And they are delicious.
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#7 Old 11-06-2010, 11:50 PM
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They give you bad breath though.

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#8 Old 11-06-2010, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Kiz View Post

So some strands of Buddhism avoid it, and Jains avoid onion and garlic too, as well potatoes (you have to pull them out of the ground thus killing the plant). Some people also avoid the garlic/onion group along with the nightshades (eggplant, potatoes, tobacco, tomatoes etc).

That's a funny reason to avoid potatoes considering how any plant will die after you eat/cook it anyway! =/
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#9 Old 11-06-2010, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Her Jazz View Post

Yes, I don't know where you live but if you live near certain religious communities (I'm part of one myself although I occasionally indulge in touch of garlic/onion but not often) that are vegetarian such as certain types of Buddhists, Hindus or Hare Krishnas then a lot of these people avoid garlic and onion.

In certain scriptures, eating garlic and onion (and overly spicy food) causes people to be more passionate. This includes anger and lust. Distractions in serious religious life.
These foods are often referred to as "rajasic" foods which means "fiery" according to Ayurveda. Here is a link that talks about it a bit: http://franlife.blogspot.com/2007/09...-ayurveda.html

I see. That makes a lot of sense then. I'm in Singapore so there are a lot of Hindus and Buddhists around.

Thanks a lot!
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#10 Old 11-07-2010, 01:55 AM
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That's a funny reason to avoid potatoes considering how any plant will die after you eat/cook it anyway! =/

yeah, but they do it that way because if you pull a potato out of the ground, you're killing the entire plant, whereas if you pick peppers, for example, you're only taking the fruits, and the plant will live to produce more peppers. I suppose you could look at it as a big picture vs little picture type of thing, although I'm not sure that really does the reasoning justice.

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#11 Old 11-07-2010, 02:06 AM
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Hindus used to also avoid potatoes but that changed over the years. Some still won't eat carrots for the same reasons.
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#12 Old 11-07-2010, 03:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Her Jazz View Post

Yes, I don't know where you live but if you live near certain religious communities (I'm part of one myself although I occasionally indulge in touch of garlic/onion but not often) that are vegetarian such as certain types of Buddhists, Hindus or Hare Krishnas then a lot of these people avoid garlic and onion.

In certain scriptures, eating garlic and onion (and overly spicy food) causes people to be more passionate. This includes anger and lust. Distractions in serious religious life.
These foods are often referred to as "rajasic" foods which means "fiery" according to Ayurveda. Here is a link that talks about it a bit: http://franlife.blogspot.com/2007/09...-ayurveda.html

Well, you learn something new every day. Though why garlic causes people to be more passionate is beyond me - I thought it would have the opposite effect - garlic breath is not pleasant!

Having said that I use onion and garlic in most dishes I cook. I also use a strong mouthwash....!
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#13 Old 11-07-2010, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Kiz View Post

[...]and Jains avoid onion and garlic too, as well potatoes (you have to pull them out of the ground thus killing the plant).

Hmm, I thought the Jains didn't eat potatoes and other things grown in the soil because you risk killing / injuring little creeper and crawlers when you harvest as you have to dig through the soil.

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#14 Old 11-07-2010, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by angie54321 View Post

Well, you learn something new every day. Though why garlic causes people to be more passionate is beyond me - I thought it would have the opposite effect - garlic breath is not pleasant!

Having said that I use onion and garlic in most dishes I cook. I also use a strong mouthwash....!

Well, it's supposed to make the person who eats it more passionate...that doesn't necessarily take into account their SO's.

But really this is passion in a very literal sense of the word. People who are quick to anger, obsession etc. as opposed to the more normal sexual sense. (although it can include that too)
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#15 Old 11-07-2010, 06:01 AM
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But really this is passion in a very literal sense of the word. People who are quick to anger, obsession etc. as opposed to the more normal sexual sense. (although it can include that too)

That is the way I meant it, not necessarily in the sexual or romantic sense, just that one's senses and emotions are inflamed. I don't tend to agree with that, I love cooking with onion and garlic, but that was the theory we were taught.

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#16 Old 11-07-2010, 09:55 AM
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[QUOTE=angie54321;2743643]Well, you learn something new every day.QUOTE]

Seriously! I never knew any of this. It's very interesting.
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#17 Old 11-07-2010, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Her Jazz View Post

Well, it's supposed to make the person who eats it more passionate...that doesn't necessarily take into account their SO's.

But really this is passion in a very literal sense of the word. People who are quick to anger, obsession etc. as opposed to the more normal sexual sense. (although it can include that too)

Ah, now I understand. I obviously have a one-track mind when it comes to passion!

I'm one of the most chilled out people I know though, and I eat loads of onions and garlic - had some for lunch, now just about to cook more for dinner....so I guess the theory is incorrect, at least when it is applied to me.
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#18 Old 11-07-2010, 03:11 PM
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Yeah, I've heard about this, too - that some people don't eat garlic and especially onion...but I'm not sure why exactly the canteen stuff asked about this, since avoiding onion and garlic is not a widespread tendency.
I myself put onion and garlic wherever I can, I love them - but better cooked than raw, due to their...erm...beautiful aromas!
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#19 Old 11-07-2010, 03:41 PM
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[QUOTE=fadeaway1289;2743784]
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Originally Posted by angie54321 View Post

Well, you learn something new every day.QUOTE]

Seriously! I never knew any of this. It's very interesting.

Yes, thank you for posting. I learned something I never knew before.

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#20 Old 11-07-2010, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by dormouse View Post

Garlic and onion are both perfectly vegetarian. And they are delicious.

both are veggie and the garlic is deeeelish but I loathe onion and avoid it like the plague....

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#21 Old 11-07-2010, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by angie54321 View Post

Ah, now I understand. I obviously have a one-track mind when it comes to passion!

I'm one of the most chilled out people I know though, and I eat loads of onions and garlic - had some for lunch, now just about to cook more for dinner....so I guess the theory is incorrect, at least when it is applied to me.

According to Ayurveda, different foods are best for different types of people. If you are a calm person, then you can eat these types of food and get away with it. If you are a quick tempered person etc. then you would have a different diet.

This also has to do with the seasons and other things.

Religious people who give up onion and garlic for these reasons are pretty much going with the "better safe than sorry" rule. Or only exclusively eat them when they are sick for medicinal reasons.
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#22 Old 11-08-2010, 12:32 AM
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Asafoetida/Hing has a strong smell but mellows when cooked and adds a very light garlicky taste.

Also, yellow Asafoetida powder is more mild while white is much stronger with a serious smell. It also helps the digestibility of foods such as beans, reducing the likelihood of gas.

To each their own, I guess, it just doesn't strike me as "garlicky". There is definitely a mild "cat pee" thing happening for me. But then, I am a garlic addict so I guess anything else is second best.

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#23 Old 11-08-2010, 01:13 AM
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I don't know anything about garlic, onions and religion. but i know that if you have a problem with your bile it's bad for you. it makes you want to throw up and it also hurts above your kidney, where the bile is
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#24 Old 11-08-2010, 11:19 AM
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Garlic and onions are nature's natural antibiotic. In my own home with my immune system is down I have to have these two things to up my Immune system. It fights off colds and other illiness's . I don't see why a vegetarian have to avoid these things.
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#25 Old 11-08-2010, 06:08 PM
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I don't see why vegetarian is so hard for the world to pin down.

Vegetarians don't eat animal flesh, but they can eat any kind of vegetable.
Fish is meat, garlic and onions are vegetrables. Why do people get so confused? Really? XD
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#26 Old 11-08-2010, 06:27 PM
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Kai, it sounds like the person the OP met had had contact with vegetarians who also avoid onion and garlic for religious reasons. Nothing too terribly complicated about that.

As for myself, if eating foods to make me more passionate will help me a better advocate for the underdog and dis-empowered, pass me the onions and garlic!

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#27 Old 11-08-2010, 06:41 PM
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I don't know anything about garlic, onions and religion.

so ya didnt bother reading the thread then ??
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#28 Old 11-08-2010, 07:14 PM
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Yamuna Devi's Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking does not use garlic or onion. It's a good book - one of the first cookbooks I ever bought. I'd have a hard time cooking without the big aromatics myself under usual circumstances.

connect.krishna.com explains why onions and garlic aren't used in vedic cooking:
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Hare Krsna, AGTSP~ Onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, chives (any plant from the allium family) are all consider rajasic, causing an inflammation of passion which would thereby hinder devotional service due to bodily distress they cause. Therefore, vedic vegetarians avoid using those ingredients. Lord Krsna also does not like these things for the same reason, so these things cannot be offered to Him. It is also stated in Ayurveda that garlic and onions only be used as medicine, not as a food for the healthy, since it is rajasic and somewhat tamasic.

No, I don't know what rajasic and tamasic mean.

My guess is the person asking about garlic and onion had a previous interaction with a vedic vegetarian.

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#29 Old 11-09-2010, 07:16 AM
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I had no clue some faiths do not include onion, garlic, & chile in their diets. I would surely perish without them and chile particularly. I eat chile in one form or another pretty much daily, it's common in the southwest US/ Mexican border area I think.
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#30 Old 11-10-2010, 10:14 PM
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Some strict Hindus and Buddhists avoid them because they disturb the mind and make meditation difficult. The only Hindu group I know of that forbids these is ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness). I'm a Hindu vegetarian and I've never consciously avoided them. North Indian cuisine often features a lot of onions.

As Her Jazz mentioned, onions and garlic are considered to be in the mode of ignorance (tamasik in Sanskrit). Strict Hindus avoid foods in the modes of ignorance and passion, eating only food in the mode of goodness (sattvik).

Australian Hindu vegetarian chef Kurma Das explains the reason for avoiding onions and garlic here.

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certain types of Buddhists, Hindus or Hare Krishnas then a lot of these people avoid garlic and onion.

"Hare Krishnas" are Hindu. They are part of the Gaudiya Vaishnava sect, which was founded in the 16th century by Bengali saint and social reformer Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

The phrase "Hindus and Hare Krishnas" annoys me because it is implying that Hare Krishnas aren't Hindu. They don't like to use labels, but they are part of a Hindu sect which means they are Hindu. It would be like saying "Christians and Baptists" and referring to the latter as "Praise the Lords".

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