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AuthorComment
Mamta
1/1/2007 12:23pm
Menka Gandhi

Why do you think we will have a contact address for Mrs. Menka Gandhi? We are not from Gandhi family you know :-)!

Mamta

Ashish
6/1/2007 08:39am
KSK GOLD & SIVER VARAKH

I think all the previous queriers regarding the vegeterianism of varakh should be answered by the following information.

There is a new manufacturer of Silver Varakh out in the market now. The company goes by the name of KSK (Kanishka) GOLD & SILVER PRODUCTS. They are, from my understanding, the ONLY company in the world that manufacter varakh using purely JAIN and Vegeterian methods.

Also, they are the only company to receive an letter of reccomendation from BWC (Beauty without Cruelty), the non-profit agency that is promoted by Mehanka Gandhi.

Ashish

Aayush
2/3/2007 08:29pm
WEBSITE

Yes, its true. The website is www.kskvarakh.com. It is also available in the US, that number is 212-741-8888.

Ravi
7/3/2007 12:53pm
hidden problems

We had a hindu friend was quite shocked also that much cheese is not suitable for vegetarians/hindus - in the UK many manufacturers have taken animal products out of things like deserts and there is a lot of vegetarian labelling (not always 100% correct alas) - many people eat animal products because they are not educated to the extent they are snuck in by manufacturers

AskCy
7/3/2007 01:13pm

Ravi I never realised how many thing's have/had animal products in them until this topic came up.

Who would suspect sweets we give our children have gelatin which comes from animal cartiledge. Its also used in other products like jelly and other puddings.

Cheese using animal rennet to make it "turn" from milk to cheese (paneer uses lemon juice for this purpose)

and as this topic has shown something used for special occasions and thought to be pure turns out to use animal products that no one even suspected !

Steve

Sharma
31/5/2007 11:35am
sudh sakahari

Being a pure vege we should never take sweets with silver foil

Irfan
20/6/2007 06:30pm
Varakh

Guys, I never thought that any body would be that particular about such an antiquated item as chandi varakh! wow!

I belong to a family which was involved in manufacturing and distributing both silver and gold leaves in India (Delhi-through the entire last century). Growing up I have witnessed how they are manufactured and sold. Back in the days the mass consumption of this product was in the Unani and Auyurvedic systems of medicine. Because of the fact that gold and silver are quite malleable they are beaten to the extent of an ultra thin film which is called Varakh.

Earlier in twentieth century deer intestines and later goat intestines were used to place small stirps of gold and silver and beaten. Don't visualize intestines as intestines(bloody, gory, dirty) they are cleaned up and at the time of using it for the purpose of making varakh they are like a bright orange paper sheet clean, smooth and COMPLETELY dried.

You can witness the process yourself there is nothing to hide their. As far as whether or not you should eat them! you have to use your own discretion. Time and space doesn't allow me to go any further but that is pretty much it.

Hope it helps.

Mamta
20/6/2007 09:00pm
Chandi Varak

Hi Irfan

It was nice to have a definitive answer to this question. We would love to hear more about the production of chandi varak, all the details, please. As you live in India, you know that devout Hindus and other strict vegetarians will object to having any part of animal product come in contact with anything they eat. It is surprising that varak is used on all Indian sweets, even the ones in temples.

Kavey
20/6/2007 09:01pm

Irfan

I don't think anyone is assuming that they are not in completely clean and prepared state but it's a personal choice for strick vegetarians to ensure that no animal products are used in their food or the preparation of their food and it's up to them to decide whether they feel the use of the hides is appropriate or not.

For that reason, it's of interest to people holding such beliefs, that such techniques are used when the impression they had was that no animal products were involved. Then they can make the choice.

Whilst you or I may not have the same beliefs, I do think everyone is entitled to full disclosure on manufacture methods so that they can make their own choices.

Kavita

Irfan
21/6/2007 06:29pm
Chandi Varakh

To Kavita,

I stand corrected, I may have been a little callous in the matter, not fully realizing the impact and scope of this subject. I have nothing but respect for your beliefs in this matter. I imagine it would be treated at par with the Muslim revulsion about pork products and by products.

I have been away from this whole scene ever since I left Pakistan some twenty years ago. If with the advent in technology it has been manufactured in a different way i.e. without the aid of animal by product I am not aware of it.

To Mumta,

Thank you for certifying me as the resident expert here, however I must tell you that I am not worthy of this mantle as all my life I have been an observer of the process rather then a participant. The life cycle of this product goes back over centuries. I asked my grand father how did he come into this business and he said because his father and the father of his father were doing the same thing. I don't know if there are any records kept but I recall reading somewhere that fascination with precious metals lead to its edibility, probably lead to its current form. That it hasn't change forms over years is quite certain and was seen as worthy to be put on different dishes on the king's table.

One last thing, this was a dying business because of the introduction of imitation Varakh. However those who were linked with this business selling pure gold and silver Varakh may have invented alternate uses of this product like any smart marketer would do. It is a good bet that it might be serving some other purpose, beside being slapped on a 'Halwa' dish and look pretty! That I am sure of.

Kavey
23/6/2007 01:42am

Irfan, I myself am not religious and not vegetarian so this matter is not of personal relevance to me.

However, I do understand that many people do place great importance on maintaining their strictly non-vegetarian lifestyle and that the use of animal products, no matter how well cleaned etc. would be objectionable to them, if they knew about it.

Hence my feeling that the best policy is to be open about production so that each individual is free to make their decision.

That way strictest vegetarians know not to eat varakh.

Less strict ones may choose to eat the product.

And those of us (including me) who are not vegetarian, will eat it but have an awareness that the product is not suitable to offer strict friends/ family.

shital prashad j
19/10/2007 05:00pm
chandi varak preperation

This is an important discussion. I am reproducing from an article in Ahimsa Times- September 2007 issue-www.jainsamaj.org.

READER'S NOTES

IS VARAKH (Silver foil) VEGETARIAN? -Sandeep Shah- A couple of years ago, Indian Airlines, the domestic air-carrier of India had issued instructions to its suppliers to supply sweet without silver foil called VARAKH. Do you know why? This is what, I would like to bring to your notice. If you keenly observe this VARAKH under a microscope don't be perturbed if you happen to see traces of blood, stools and saliva of a cattle or ox. VARAKH is a silver foil and we have no second questions on this, but to prepare this VARAKH important parts of the CATTLE/OX is made use of Intestines of Cattle / OX are obtained from the slaughterhouse. This is obtained after butchering to death the cattle/ox for beef and the part, which cannot be consumed: the intestines are pulled out of the animal and handed over to the manufacturers of VARAKH. Before handing over the intestines, they are washed in the slaughterhouse to get rid of the blood and other remains on these intestines in the limited facility that is present in the Slaughterhouse. We are not sure how neatly this job is carried out. Intestines are cut into Small pieces and then are bound together as pages in a notebook.

My email address is jainshital@hotmail.com

A silver block is placed in the middle of these bound intestines, and the whole thing is Placed in a leather bag and sealed. Experts, who know how to make VARAKH, pound the bag with wooden sticks, till the entire bag flattens out. The silver block would by this time be turned into silver foil. This Silver foil would now be separated from the intestine pack and will be placed on paper. This is VARAKH, which reaches the market ready for use. Even staunch vegetarians, who shy away from egg, unknowingly consume this as a part of sweet, pan and aeronaut. Some unknowingly consume this because of the additional taste that VARAKH provides. Now the question is "Why the intestines of the cattle/ox? Why not something else?" The reason behind using the intestines of the cattle/ox for preparing the VARAKH is because of the elasticity of the intestines. They do not get cut even after a severe pounding. In India, on an average an estimate indicates that 2,75,000 kilos of "VARAKH" is consumed. Can you estimate how many cattle / ox are sacrificed for just a bit of taste? Courtesy: Sandeep Shah , Mahavir path, Baramati, 413102 E-Mail: sandeep_369@yahoo.com

Editor's Comments - According to an article written by Mrs. Maneka Gandhi and published in Rajasthan Patrika dated: 25th September, 2007, it would be alarming to know that in order to produce 1 Kg. of varakh, 12,500 animals are required to be killed, every year, 30,000 (30 tons) varakh is required every year for sweets alone, leave apart its use in other ways like, pasting on idols, using for wrapping pan, vegetables and fruits. It has been well-established that there is no material available so far which can be utilised to make varakh except fresh intestines of animals, like oxen, cows and camels. Companies and individuals proclaiming that varakh is now being made by machines is a hoax and commercial propaganda to mislead people. Industrial Toxicology research Centre has carried out a lot of studies on the micro-constituents found in varakh and they have established that varakh commonly available in the market contains small amounts of metals, like lead, chromium, nickel and cadmium which are not only poisonous but these can even lead to illness like Cancer. It is therefore high time that people, specially in India, who are so fond of consuming sweets in large quantities should think about the possible consequences and stop buying varakh and sweets which are covered with varakh. P. L. JAIN, E-Mail : pljain2006@gmail.com

Rajneesh
19/10/2007 06:10pm
silver varak in India

Hi,

just read this article about silver varak in your website hence this information provided to me by my friend in india last year should interest you all.

As for me a non-vegeratian it does not matter as long as it is not contaminated (but then how do you know that it is contaminated???)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Source of Silver Foil in Sweets :- ONE MUST READ THIS

USA, Aug 23 (VNN) - A couple of years ago, Indian Airlines, the

domestic air-carrier of India had issued instructions to its

suppliers to supply sweet without silverfoil called VARAKH. Do you

know why?

Silver is widely used for various purposes in the market today.

Silver is considered precious and its utility is enormous. The

reason behind this is that silver reflects back 95% of the light

energy that falls on it. The silver foils used for edible purposes

is called VARAKH So what's so special about VARAKH?

This is what I would like to bring to your notice.

If you keenly observe this VARAKH under a microscope don be

perturbed if you happen to see traces of blood, stools and saliva of

a cattle or ox.

VARAKH is a silver foil and we have no second questions on this, but

to prepare this VARAKH important parts of the CATTLE/OX is made use

of.

Intestines of Cattle/OX are obtained from the slaughterhouse. This

is obtained after butchering to death the cattle/ox for beef and the

part, which cannot be consumed: the intestines are pulled out of the

animal and handed over to the manufacturers of VARAKH. Before

handing over the intestines, they are washed in the slaughterhouse

to get rid of the blood and other remains on these intestines in the

limited facility that is present in the slaughterhouse. We are not

sure how neatly this job is carried out. Intestines are cut into

small pieces and then are bound together as pages in a notebook.

A silver block is placed in the middle of these bound intestines,

and the whole thing is placed in a leather bag and sealed. Experts,

who know how to make VARAKH, pound the bag with wooden sticks, till

the entire bag flattens out. The silver block would by this time be

turned into silver foil. This Silver foil would now be separated

from the intestine pack and will be placed on paper.

This is VARAKH, which reaches the market ready for use. Even staunch

vegetarians, who shy away from egg, unknowingly consume this as a

part of sweet, pan and arecanut. Some unknowingly consume this

because of the additional taste that VARAKH provides.

Now the question is "Why the intestines of the cattle/ox? Why not

something else?" The reason behind using the intestines of the

cattle/ox for preparing the VARAKH is because of the elasticity of

the intestines. They do not get cut even after a severe pounding.

This aspect is brought out in the magazine "Beauty without cruelty"

and the Television show of Maneka Gandhi, "Heads and Tails". In

India, on an average an estimate indicates that 2,75,000 kilos of

"VARAKH" is consumed. Can you estimate how many cattle/ox are

sacrificed for just a bit of taste?

If you are surprised as I am, after reading this article please

inform as many as possible so as to ensure that we unknowingly don't

consume beef.

I would like to thank the authors of this article in Taranga, a

weekly magazine in Kannada, for enlightening us.

---------------------------------------------------------

hope this article clear your doubts...Rajneesh

SUDHIR SAWANT
28/12/2007 04:56pm
VEGTARIAN VARAKH

AS AN AUTOMATION ENGINEER I HAVE WITNESSED THAT THE VARAKH MADE MADE BY KANISHKA PLATINUM GOLD AND SILVER PRODUCTS PVT.LTD. IN JAIPUR IS PURELY VEGETARIAN ( JAIN VARAKH ). THE INVENTOR OF THIS VEGETARIAN VARAKH IS A AMERICAN CITIZEN ( NRI ) AND HE MADE THE RESEARCH FOR LAST FIFTEEN YEARS . I WAS AMAZED TO SEE HIS TECHNOLOGY BY USING THE CARBON PAPER TO MAKE THE VARAKH . KSK VARAKH HAS BEEN CERTIFIED BY BEAUTY W/O CRUELITY AS 100% VEGETARIAN PRODUCT.

I HAVE SEEN THE METHODS ADOPTED BY MANY TRADITIONAL PANNIGHAR PEOPLE AND OTHER MFG. OF THE WORLD . I AM CONVIENCE THAT THIS IS THE ONLY METHOD WHERE HYGENIC VARAKH ( SILVER FOILS ) ARE MADE.

FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS TO SEE FURTHER DETAILS PLEASE VISIT THEIR WEBSITE WWW.KSKVARAKH.COM

Mamta
28/12/2007 10:59pm

This is very interesting Sudhir and nice to know. I wonder how can one tell which one is vegetarian when buying. The varaks I have seen in shops in india are usually sold between layers of unmarked paper/newspaper cuttings, with no manufacturer name on them!

Mamta

Anna
14/6/2008 02:29am
Varak

This is all so very interesting and informative. I just discovered your discussion so I am coming in very late. However, I wanted to add a few thoughts to consider. I was truly shocked to hear that varak is not vegan. I was looking around for places to purchase the edible silver leaf as I am considering making a vegan health product using the silver. I have studied Holistic and Ayurvedic Health for many years and in these fields, silver/ colloidal silver have important health applications ~ anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. I had seen and consumed various Indian sweets with the silver leaf. I thought it interesting and wondered about its use and is it possible that the ancients knew about the health benefits of silver? The true knowledge of its purpose may have been lost over time. Perhaps the health benefits of the varak far out weighed the concerns of how it was being made. This is all something to think about. Thanks very much for this forum. For more information on the health benefits of colloidal silver go to www.all-natural.com/silver

Laxmi Rao
14/1/2009 06:42am

Dear Mamta,

Thanks a lot for putting this subject under the forum.

Helped me a lot to clear the doubts.

I would also like to thank people who have added to value to my knowledge.

Thank you once again,

Laxmi

AskCy
14/1/2009 04:18pm

I think a lot of us have learned from this particular topic !

Steve

anshu jain
24/9/2009 10:12am
chandi varak

iam jain,from childhood i never eat varak decorated sweets.but now a days from so many people i heard that varak making with help of animal product is old sayings. i have ate it once, but today i was shocked reading about varak making with help of cow intestine.iam really hurt with all this.

Manish
18/4/2010 03:25pm
Varak

Now a days many big companies have started manufacturing varak using modern tools. So varak is now 100% veg.

mani366@gmail.com

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