A message from Founder Andrea Shuman
Ahara Rasa (Ah-huh-ruh Ruh-suh) means “the essence of food” in Sanskrit. Speaking to the subtle energies that we extract from food, rather than the mass itself, which in essence, is discarded. Ghee exemplifies the Ahara Rasa, being the most subtle and complete distillation of the cow’s life-giving milk.
Our background in East Indian medicine (Ayurveda) informs all aspects of Ahara Ghee. It is said in Ayurvedic texts, that all things in our universe are made up of the 5-Elements. From an Ayurvedic perspective, those are: Air, Earth, Fire, Water and Ether. It is through this lens, that we craft our ghees with the intention that they assist the balance of these elements, within you, dear eater. Allow us to remove the linear story and help you delve into the subtle and symbolic foundation upon which Ahara is based and in doing so, get to know us a bit better.
Ether (AKASHA): Ether is the quality of space. The space between molecules, the spaces and cavities in our bodies. The ears and the mouth are the sense organs of the Ether element, representing the space that contains all other things. During our ghee making, Mantra is first chanted, then played throughout the process, acknowledging the ether element and the subtle infusion of balancing energies into the cooking process.
Air (VAYU): Air is the energy of motion and can be seen as the tangible element related to prana, or life energy. We honor the element of air by choosing smooth, deliberate routines in our process, choosing butter that has gone from cream to yogurt, yogurt to Makhan (cultured butter). We take our time and keep positive conversation and intention as we slowly transform our cultured butter through all subtle-movements and stages of the ghee making process.
Fire (TEJAS): Fire is the energy of transformation and at the core of our process. While many companies, as they scale up, choose highly controlled methods of preparation, including use of steam cooking, we choose to work with the wild energies of the flame, flowing with the rhythms of the ghee as it demands an ever-shifting flame. According to Vedic text, ghee must be prepared from cultured butter, as the fermentation process is one of heat, creating greater Agni (Digestive fire), and therefore more easily digestible. Furthermore, it must be prepared over flame to ignite this principle. Our process is lovingly crafted in the traditions that respect the fire element and its ability to make our ghee more delicious and digestible.
Water (APNA): Water is the element of protection, soothing, comfort and is flowing in nature. Our ghee is crafted with the end result in mind. It is said that the origin of the water element is the foundation of taste, also known as Rasa. Without the water element, there is no taste. Our flavored ghees are designed with each included herb in mind, to utilize the water, inherent in the butter, to best draw out the Rasa or taste of the product, in turn causing the herbs to release their protective elements into the body via our ghee. Health and protection of the tissues is our primary desire, in so, it is the superior taste of our products, coming strictly from organic, and whole plant sources, that allows this to happen.
Earth (PRITHVI): Earth is the most stable of elements. Growing the grasses that feed the cows that produce the milk that becomes the butter that we craft into our ghee. It is of utmost importance to us as practitioners and individuals that we be able to follow that process with transparency from our ghee, right back to the grass our cows were grazing on. Our butter producers shun feedlots in exchange for open air and green pastures, the way cows were meant to eat. We choose our best and closest creameries and they in turn use local, Northwest herds to produce the cream that becomes our butter. We choose local, rather than cut costs by going overseas, harkening to the principle of “Satmya” which is the idea that a body processes better, what it is used to. In other words, you need not import butter, at great cost to the earth, in order to produce a cheaper product. It is a disservice to our customers. Consuming that which comes from your own country is more recognizable to the body and gentler on the earth.
Our Brand Mark
The icon symbol of the logo represents the combination of the Five Classical Elements: Earth, Wind, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. The top drop shape in the logo icon represents ghee’s role in tonification (building of tissues) while the bottom drop represents the opposite action of Purification (cleansing of tissues). Depending on the amount of ghee and the context in which it is consumed, it can take either opposing action. This “prabhav” or special property of ghee, continues to lead our intentions and process and is what makes ghee so special and different from other oils. The circle represents our embrace of and connection to the ancient cultures that inspire us, symbolized in the many small petals.