FROM Dr. Robert Svoboda's FOREWARD in GAIA GOURMET:
As my association with The Sanctuary at Two Rivers in Costa Rica dates to well before its actual appearance in the forest there on the beautiful Nicoya Peninsula, I find it particularly satisfying to be able to pen a few words introduce in honor of Gaia Gourmet, the cookbook that has emerged from The Sanctuary’s womb.
Gaia is of course a name for the Earth Goddess, our Mother Earth from whom we are born, from whose bosom we are nourished, and to whose embrace we all eventually return.
Gaia Ma has made healthy sustenance available for all her children, and it is a sad commentary on our pretense at being civilized that humans are as a species so ridiculously undernourished at a cellular level at a time when we have more food available per capita than ever before in our history and a full one-third of everyone on Earth is either overweight or obese.
We are now awash in cheap food solely because of Gaia-destroying, industrialized animal farms and agricultural practices whose production practices ravage our environment and poison our bodies. We have entered the sixth great extinction event in the history of our planet, the first one which is being caused solely by the malicious influences of a single species: us.
Ominously for us, just as Gaia survived even the ‘Great Dying’ She will surely survive the ill effects of Her currently serious infestation by Homo sapiens; the real question is whether we will be able survive. If we aim to make it through the new millennium our only hope will be to return promptly to caring for ourselves and our world alike, righting imbalances both within and without before those imbalances destroy our ability to survive.
Critical to reversing the damage to our environment will be huge reductions in the mass production of meat for food. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has stated bluntly that "the livestock sector is a major stressor on many ecosystems and on the planet as a whole. Globally it is one of the largest sources of green- house gases and one of the leading causal factors in the loss of biodiversity, while in developed and emerging countries it is perhaps the leading source of water pollution." It is moreover a highly wasteful way to generate calories for human consumption.
Consuming a plant-based diet containing no or minimal animal-derived constituents is a sound investment in the health and wellness of both our inner and outer domains. Studies have shown that a vegetarian diet generally increases life-span while lowering the risk of coronary heart disease, the number one killer in the world today.
Chef Naga, author of Gaia Gourmet, is a long-time vegetarian whose approach to living yogically is exemplified in his cuisine. His culinary alchemy yields outstanding meals layered with dimensions of flavor. Locally-procured organically grown produce combined with well-chosen, meticulously proportioned spices and a wide variety of protein-rich nuts, seeds and legumes results in well-rounded, nutrient-dense dishes. He focuses in his recipes on bringing vata back into balance, given that all aspects of our fast-paced, globally-connected modern reality promote vata overload.
Ideally you will experience the talents of Chef Naga by visiting The Sanctuary and enjoying his creations as a lodger in one of Mama Gaia’s grandest expressions of beauty and tranquility, but if that is not currently possible, this cookbook is the next best thing to having these delectable preparations served to you there. Enjoy!
~ Dr. Robert Svoboda 2017