Over the years the SA Hindu Maha Sabha has received complaints that certain brands of food contain animal products. Such types of food have found a place on the shelves of stores and purchased by the public without any knowledge of its many migrants.
Hindus generally follow a strict vegetarian diet. Consuming such foods even unwittingly goes against Hindu belief.
A serious situation arose in 1992 when it was discovered that most commercial bread was baked and smeared in marine oil. Due to these disclosures and after several meetings, two major bakeries decided to change over to a newly formulated vegetable fat.
Following this public outcry the Sabha produced the ‘Shuddha’ logo represented by the Lotus flower which signifies purity in all its manifestations. The lotus, as we know, grows in an any kind of water but still exhibits its true nature – that of beauty and non-attachment.
Hindus make up the majority of vegetarians in South Africa. By publicising Shuddha in the media we are trying to create an awareness to manufacturers, distributors, retailers and the community.
To use the Shuddha logo food manufacturers have to make an application to the SA Hindu Maha Sabha.
The committee is committed to growing the Shuddha accreditation and plans on marketing through social media and newspapers. The accreditation will be renewed annually.
Until such time when all food classified as vegetarian carries the Shuddha logo Hindus are advised to carefully read the ingredients on the packaging on all products before purchasing.