The practice of Langar (Free food) introduced by Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji, establishes the principle of service to humanity. Large arrangements of Langars are made by many prominent Sikh organizations for the convenience of the devotees. Sikhs serve Langar during natural calamities to help mankind also. Langars continue for 24 hours in many historical Sikh Gurdwaras & Takhat Sahibs. When a large number of people were deprived of food due to the 'World Epidemic Covid 19', the service rendered by the Sikhs living around the world to deliver Langar & other essential things to the needy people was appreciated all over the world. When the world's largest peaceful movement against the new Agriculture Laws took place in Delhi, providing Langars to lacs of people also became a world record in itself. The practice of Langar serves the purpose of providing nutritious food to satisfy the hunger of the poor, needy, hungry and devotees who come to pay obeisance at the Gurdwaras. Langar practice strengthens the spirit of co-existence, love, co-operation, equality and brotherhood, it also inspires to eliminate discrimination like casteism, racism, skin colour, high and low differences from the society. 

But today exotic food of low quality, harmful refined oils and other substances are being used in Langar, which are proved fatal to the health of devotees. One thing is clear that such substances are not part of our Langar, rather their use is taking us away from our traditional Langar. On one side, air, water and environment have become polluted due to human mistakes, on the other side, adulterers have poisoned almost every food item by using chemicals and synthetic ingredients. Fake/synthetic milk, Desi gheo, Cheese, sweets etc. are being sold in the markets. Substances sold 

in the adulterated market are the root cause of human diseases. Due to which life- threatening diseases like blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, stomach diseases and cancer are spreading. According to Gurbani, our body is a temple. The name of God appears from within the body - "Har mandar ehu sareer hai gyan ratan pargat hoi" So it is our duty to take care of this precious body. Here we will talk about the ancient Langar and the materials used in modern times to become more aware about the use of harmful materials in Langar. 

History tells us that the substances used in the traditional Langar meet the main requirements of the body like protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals, which makes the body healthy and strong. Like millet, gram flour, wheat and corn fulfill the need of carbohydrate and fiber in body. Pulses, milk, curd, cheese, fulfill our protein requirement. Almonds, Cashews, Raisins & other nuts also provide protein and good fat. We meet the requirement of carbohydrates including fat from Kheer, Kadah Parshad and Desi gheo etc. Similarly, we get vitamins and minerals from seasonal vegetables, soups, fresh fruits and juices. Lassi and lemonade are very helpful in balancing our body temperature as well as digesting food and Jaggery, Jaggery powder, Sugarcane juice etc. give enough energy to the digestive system in the body that stomach diseases would not occur throughout the life, especially acid reflux. Sweets prepared with Desi Gheo and Jaggery powder or jaggery are not harmful to the body, but they must be consumed according to one's digestive capacity or physical rquirement. Desi Gheo is an ancient energy house, the physical activity of ancestors was very high, due to which their bodies were used to digest Desi gheo. Apart from this, iron utensils (Sarab Loh) were used for cooking and serving langar, which were considered healthy. Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji had prepared the Amrit from iron bowl and double edged sword (Sarbloh Khanda and Bata) and created the Khalsa Panth. In Gurdwaras Deg or Parsad is served in Sarbloh bowls also. In this way, Sarbloh/iron utensils have a great religious significance in the Sikh heritage, which is a symbol of the 'distinct identity of the Sikh community'. Therefore, using our ancient Langar food items and Sarab Loh utensils develop a feeling in our hearts of being connected to our Gurudwaras and glorious history. 

Nowadays, samosas, pakodas, poories and other fried items and sweets are being used in Langars are the basic roots of diseases. For example, to make a samosa, potatoes, salt, spices are filled in the dough/maida and by frying, excessive oil accumulates in it, due to which the potato does not remain a natural source of carbohydrate. There are two types of carbohydrates- simple and complex. Potato contains simple carbohydrate which is not harmful but should not be eaten in excess. Wheat is processed to make all purpose or fine wheat flour (Maida), which eliminates the fiber from it, that is harmful for digestive system. Thus, due to being wrapped in all purpose flour (Maida) and deep fried in oil, the potato-samosa becomes unhealthy. There are two types of fats in oil- saturated fat (bad fat) and unsaturated fat (good)

Commonly used oils or refined ones contain a lot of saturated fat as well as trans fat, which is dangerous for the health. Foods made of such oils can cause cancer, heart & respiratory diseases, blood pressure, cholesterol, acidic and other stomach diseases. By eating excessive bad fat everyday one can increase cholesterol and blockage in the arteries that can cause heart attack. 

Bread is being used in Langars to make toast, burgers etc. In a test conducted by a lab, it was confirmed that the dangerous ingredients 'Potassium Bromate' and 'Potassium Iodate' are present in the bread, which can cause cancer. The main reasons behind diabetes are all purpose or fine wheat flour (Maida), white bread, white pasta, white rice, etc. because the fiber is not present in these items so they cause diabetes by affecting insulin production. 

Cold drink, tea, coffee and poor quality syrups have also been made part of the Langar. A can of soft drink contains 4-5 teaspoons of sugar. Which increases fat in the body along with causing diabetes. Apart from stomach ailments, it is harmful to the heart. Doctors often advise people with stomach, lungs and respiratory ailments to stop having tea, coffee, etc., from this it can be imagined how harmful these are to the body. 

Sweets such as laddus, jalebis, barfis etc. are made with sugar containing chemicals and refined oils. By eating such food excessive sugar and bad fat stores in the body that becomes the source of many diseases. 

Processed/packed food items like toffees, chocolates, biscuits, etc. are being distributed in our Langar. Processed food is harmful for teeth and stomach and it also increases other diseases in the body. Apart from this, the use of plastic or disposable utensils in Langar has also increased. Drinking hot tea, coffee or anything else in plastic or disposable can lead to cancer, ulcers, hormone imbalance, impotence and neurological diseases. 

To avoid diseases and preserve our heritage, we need to be aware of our Langar. Generally, people don't know whether the food is pure or not? What ingredients should be present in food? Whether the ingredients required by the body present in the food? The Most important thing is how much calories from protein, carbohydrate, fats etc. (food) do the body need? Is the body getting enough vitamins and minerals? It is not difficult to find answers to these questions. Everybody has different requirement of food. So, diseases can be avoided only by finding and consuming pure food as per the needs of the body. 

Today people are choosing their food and drink items after watching Ads by famous personalities, whereas the most dangerous food items are promoted in most of the Ads. The advertising person is charging a large amount of money, and that person has nothing to do with healthy or unhealthy food. It is called business. People themselves have to become aware. The youth of our Punjab was world famous for good physical health but today the condition of a large number of youths is pitiful. Many IVF or fertility hospitals are opened for childless couples and expensive advertisements are made by such hospitals prove that the infertility/impotence has increased on large scale in the youth of Punjab. 

Pure olive oil is considered to be healthy. Which contains large amount of good fat that is beneficial for heart and body, that's why doctors suggest heart patients to consume pure olive oil. There was a time when every child of Punjab used to become strong by eating Choori and Panjiri of Desi Gheo, but such digestive capacity has almost disappeared in the bodies of today's large number of Punjabis. Therefore, Desi gheo should be used in small quantity as per the requirement of the body. 

In today's machine era, physical life of large number of humans is becoming lazy, sedentary and inactive day by day. Machines have replaced manual labour. Humans have become dependent on air conditioners and heaters to bear normal heat and cold weather conditions. Physical activity and exercise is almost eliminated from the daily life. With the help of science, most of the people have adapted smart lifestyle, but not smart diet, due to which a large part of the society is suffering from 


Today, we need to be aware of our heritage. Langar epitomizes the fragrance and uniqueness of Sikh heritage. Langar is a part of 'Distinct Sikh Identity', so we should retain the originality of the traditional Langar. Sangat is Guru-roop. So keeping in mind about the health of the Sangat, we should be committed to remove such harmful substances from Langar's. If we eat pure and according to the requirement, then in the future we will not have to fight with diseases. Disease does not alloww a person to be optimistic and it is a big obstacle in the way of progress. So, we should think carefully about our diet. Regarding food, Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji says -

Baba hor khana khushi khuaar. Jit khadai tan piriai man meh chaleh vikaar.

That means, we should not eat such foods, which, by eating cause pain or disease in the body and disorders in the mind.

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