small amount of alcohol in food

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
Stephen18
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small amount of alcohol in food

Post by Stephen18 »

Does eating food that contains a small amount of alcohol (in this case beer) break the 5th precept?
Jhana4
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Post by Jhana4 »

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.
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santa100
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Post by santa100 »

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?
Stephen18
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Post by Stephen18 »

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.
Stephen18
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Post by Stephen18 »

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!
2600htz
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Post by 2600htz »

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

Post by bodom »

Stefan

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

:anjali:
This is our foundation: to have sati, recollection, and sampajañña, self-awareness, whether standing, walking, sitting, or reclining. Whatever arises, just leave it be, don’t cling to it. Whether it’s like or dislike, happiness or suffering, doubt or certainty... Don’t try to label everything, just know it. See that all the things that arise in the mind are simply sensations. They are transient. They arise, exist and cease. That’s all there is to them, they have no self or being, they are neither ‘us’ nor ‘them’. None of them are worthy of clinging to.

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Stephen18
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Post by Stephen18 »

In the end, I decided not to eat it. Thanks everyone for your input!
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cooran
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Post by cooran »

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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

with metta
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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Post by Khalil Bodhi »

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:
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cooran
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Post by cooran »

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

with metta
Chris
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Kim OHara
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Post by Kim OHara »

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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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

Post by Ben »

Kim O'Hara wrote: Enjoy your meals - within reason :smile: - without guilt.
But...but....it tastes so much better with guilt!
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Ytrog
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Post by Ytrog »

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.
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Ben
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Re: small amount of alcohol in food

Post by Ben »

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: [email protected]..
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