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Indian Sweets - SILVER FOILS ARE NOT VEGETARIAN

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Old 10 February 2010, 03:39 PM
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ravrajsharma ravrajsharma is offline
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Unhappy Indian Sweets - SILVER FOILS ARE NOT VEGETARIAN





Vark, Varak or Varakh is a foil of very pure silver and is used for garnishing Indian sweets. The silver is edible, though flavorless. Large quantities of ingested elemental silver can cause argyria, but the use of vark is not considered harmful to the body, since the quantities involved in normal use are minuscule.

Vark is made by pounding silver into a sheet a few micrometres thick, and backed with paper for support; this paper is peeled away before use. It is extremely brittle and breaks into smaller pieces if touched. Vark sheets are laid or rolled over Indian sweets made from dates, nuts and various fruit and vegetable based rolls or sheet candies.

Vegetarian lobbyists claim that vark is hammered between animal fat or hide and is thus a non-vegetarian product.

The silver-topped sweet is even served as prashad in many temples and on auspicious and religious occasions. Varakh is also used in flavoured syrups as in Kesar (saffron) syrup.

If one observes Vark under a microscope one will find traces of blood, stools and saliva of a cattle or an ox. Vark is not derived from an animal source. However, a crucial material of animal origin, ox-gut, is used in its manufacture. This ox-gut is obtained from the slaughterhouse.

The intestine (ox-gut), smeared with blood and mucus, is pulled out from the slaughtered animal by the butcher at the slaughterhouse, and sold for the specific purpose. This is then taken away to be cleaned and used in the manufacture of Vark.

Usually 4 foils are used per kilograms of sweets and the ox-gut of one cow is used to produce foil for approximately 4,000 kilograms of sweets. It is estimated that the average consumption of sweets by a middle class family of four in India is about 100 kilograms per year.

It surely does make for a pretty presentation, though it doesn't actually add to the taste, does it? It really helps devotees to know what not to consume, let alone offer in Bhoga or Prasad.
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Old 11 February 2010, 12:28 AM
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Re: Indian Sweets - SILVER FOILS ARE NOT VEGETARIAN

i have doubts about this . im from bengal region -- the leader in indian sweets and my close friend own a leading city sweets outlet . they are orthodox hindus and strict vegetarians and the sweets are made in factories beside their house( which i have visited since childhood) . i dont think they would have allowed this to happen .

if it were true the news would have leaked into media by now and would have created a huge uproar in the country dominated by vegetarians . this would cause supreme court sanctions etc on its production . this is specially true in todays age of information technology when countless media channels are sitting to get the best scoop or dig out a hidden scandal .

but till now nothing like this has happened . all we see of such news is in internet which , as we all know , is the most unreliable source and a haven of gossip .
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Old 11 February 2010, 07:29 AM
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Re: Indian Sweets - SILVER FOILS ARE NOT VEGETARIAN

Vannakkam: This news has been out for at least ten years now. Not only is the silver non-veg, but the other missing statement is that sugar in larger quantities is very unhealthy. Trying to convince the Indian subcontinent of this scientifically validated truth as well as the one regarding white rice versus brown rice is a difficult task to say the lest.

But it is possible. Here in the west 50 years ago, 99% of bread was from unbleached white flour. Now, after education about first whole wheat flour, and then multigrain breads, the ratio is about 60 - 40 in favor of the healthier choice. But it took 50 years.

Aum Namasivaya
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Old 11 February 2010, 09:50 AM
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Re: Indian Sweets - SILVER FOILS ARE NOT VEGETARIAN

Be careful , these may be aluminium foils too , very dangerous for health .
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