small amount of alcohol in food

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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Sumano
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small amount of alcohol in food

Postby Sumano » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:08 pm

Does eating food that contains a small amount of alcohol (in this case beer) break the 5th precept?
I am on the path, however not yet advanced. Any opinions or insights I share are meant entirely for discussion purposes and in cases where people might find them beneficial in whatever way. Since I am not advanced on the Path, I cannot guarantee that what I say will always necessarily be 100% true or in line with the Dhamma. However, having had an extremely interesting life with a wide variety of different (many of them deep) experiences, I hope that anything I share will be of use, provide food for thought, and inspire interesting and beneficial discussions.

Mettā to all! :anjali:

Jhana4
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Postby Jhana4 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:31 pm

I don't think an authoritative answer exists ( a canonical source spelling out in detail what breaks the 5th precept under which circumstances ). You are only going to get personal opinions, which likely will be self serving for the giver of that opinion.

My personal opinion is that I don't drink and that I personally wouldn't let an occasional dish prepared with small amounts of alcohol bother me.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

santa100
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Postby santa100 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:42 pm

A few factors to consider: does it cause "heedlessness" after eating? is the kind food prepared for you on a fairly frequent and regular basis?

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Sumano
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Postby Sumano » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:46 pm

santa100 wrote:A few factors to consider: does it cause "heedlessness" after eating?

I don't know. I am not aware of having eaten food with alochol before, so I don't know whether it causes heedlessness or not.

santa100 wrote:is the kind food prepared for you on a fairly frequent and regular basis?

No, this is just the first time.
I am on the path, however not yet advanced. Any opinions or insights I share are meant entirely for discussion purposes and in cases where people might find them beneficial in whatever way. Since I am not advanced on the Path, I cannot guarantee that what I say will always necessarily be 100% true or in line with the Dhamma. However, having had an extremely interesting life with a wide variety of different (many of them deep) experiences, I hope that anything I share will be of use, provide food for thought, and inspire interesting and beneficial discussions.

Mettā to all! :anjali:

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Sumano
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Postby Sumano » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:47 pm

Jhana4 wrote:I don't think an authoritative answer exists ( a canonical source spelling out in detail what breaks the 5th precept under which circumstances ). You are only going to get personal opinions, which likely will be self serving for the giver of that opinion.

My personal opinion is that I don't drink and that I personally wouldn't let an occasional dish prepared with small amounts of alcohol bother me.

Thanks for your opinion jhana 4!
I am on the path, however not yet advanced. Any opinions or insights I share are meant entirely for discussion purposes and in cases where people might find them beneficial in whatever way. Since I am not advanced on the Path, I cannot guarantee that what I say will always necessarily be 100% true or in line with the Dhamma. However, having had an extremely interesting life with a wide variety of different (many of them deep) experiences, I hope that anything I share will be of use, provide food for thought, and inspire interesting and beneficial discussions.

Mettā to all! :anjali:

2600htz
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Postby 2600htz » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:53 pm

Maybe it depends on your personality.

Some people feel good being that strict, their confidence goes up, their practice to. Some people feel they are being choked by the precepts, feeling they are being to hard with themselves, their confidence goes down, their practice to.

Anyways u could do research if the alcohol in that special food gets into your system or evaporates, or something else that gives u confidence in your decision, otherwise guilt will arise and that is always bad.

With metta.

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bodom
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Postby bodom » Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:04 pm

Stefan

Enjoy your meal and dont make a big deal about. :smile:

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo

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Sumano
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Postby Sumano » Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:05 pm

In the end, I decided not to eat it. Thanks everyone for your input!
I am on the path, however not yet advanced. Any opinions or insights I share are meant entirely for discussion purposes and in cases where people might find them beneficial in whatever way. Since I am not advanced on the Path, I cannot guarantee that what I say will always necessarily be 100% true or in line with the Dhamma. However, having had an extremely interesting life with a wide variety of different (many of them deep) experiences, I hope that anything I share will be of use, provide food for thought, and inspire interesting and beneficial discussions.

Mettā to all! :anjali:

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cooran
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Postby cooran » Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:50 pm

Hello Stefan,

We are often told that alcohol evaporates away in cooking. It seems that this is not the case.

Does alcohol really burn away in cooking?
http://www.ochef.com/165.htm

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:11 pm

Chris,

Thanks for the excellent article. I am continuously in awe of your ability to find great sources whether they be from the Tipitaka or Cosmo. Happy holidays! :heart:
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
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cooran
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Postby cooran » Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:28 pm

Thanks KB! Happy Holidays to you, all! :group:

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Kim OHara
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:48 am

cooran wrote:Hello Stefan,

We are often told that alcohol evaporates away in cooking. It seems that this is not the case.

Does alcohol really burn away in cooking?
http://www.ochef.com/165.htm

with metta
Chris

Excellent reference, Chris - thanks.
Another thing to consider is the total quantity of alcohol typically added to a dish, divided by the number of people consuming it.
For instance, I would normally add about 1/2 glass of wine to a stew, or 1/4 to 1/3 glass to a sauce, of a whole glass of beer to a stew, any of which will serve 4 - 6 people.
In baking, 1/4 cup spirits to a boiled fruit cake mixture or poured over the freshly-baked Christmas cake, for a similar number of people over several days.
Desserts might be the most alcoholic food group - trifles in particular, because none of it is lost in cooking or flaming.
But in all the other cases, each person is going to end up with only a tiny sip of the beer, wine or spirits. Heedlessness is therefore not going to be a problem.

Enjoy your meals - within reason :smile: - without guilt.

:namaste:
Kim

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Ben
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Postby Ben » Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:55 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:Enjoy your meals - within reason :smile: - without guilt.


But...but....it tastes so much better with guilt!
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Postby Ytrog » Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:53 am

What you ingest through cooked food would probably be in the same order of magnitude as what your body produces by itself, so I wouldn't worry too much. I once spilled pure methanol (an alcohol, though not for consumption) over my hand and it evaporated so fast that it was gone in 10-20 seconds and left my hand quite cold. That was in the time I still studied chemistry.
Suffering is asking from life what it can never give you.


mindfulness, bliss and beyond (page 8) wrote:Do not linger on the past. Do not keep carrying around coffins full of dead moments


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Ben
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Postby Ben » Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:04 am

When I cook and I might include a little wine in something that gets simmered - and simmered for a while.
Having said that I do recall an incident over 20 years ago when I had some tira misu at a restaurant. It didn't occur to me that the dish contained brandy and I was a bit surprised that I got drunk by eating one serving. I was a bit more careful after that.
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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Kim OHara
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:46 am

Ben wrote:When I cook and I might include a little wine in something that gets simmered - and simmered for a while.
Having said that I do recall an incident over 20 years ago when I had some tira misu at a restaurant. It didn't occur to me that the dish contained brandy and I was a bit surprised that I got drunk by eating one serving. I was a bit more careful after that.
kind regards,

Ben

Yep - same problem as with trifle: quite a lot of alcohol and none of it removed by heating.
A bloke I met once, years ago, told me he got booked for drink-driving after a very sedate Sunday lunch which included no alcoholic drinks but finished with a trifle made by his mother-in-law-to-be.

:D
Kim


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