How is it that food affects our consciousness?
Food is the first essential part of our life, annamayi kosha. The first stage of realization of the nature of reality involves understanding our relationship with food.
Without food, prana (breath) will not work, nor manas (mind), nor jnana (intelligence). Psychic make-up depends upon body chemistry and body chemistry is directly influenced by food input. Food is not just fuel for our bodies - it is as much alive as we are.
Food is also a medium through which one person's feelings can be transferred to another. In our country we say that food prepared by one's mother can satisfy the child more than the same food prepared by another. Certain foods will create a particular consciousness and another's consciousness can be transferred through prepared food. The body has both the physiological side and the emotional side and food affects both.
If you eat saffron yoghurt for a few days you will feel happy. Whenever I have groups of 20 or 30 people in a workshop, I use fenugreek because it is a regenerator. It also gives inspiration and joy. I can prepare food of such type that upon taking it a man will run like a horse for sex. Or I can cook food such that upon eating it one will feel calm and become quiet.
This is all a question of knowing the art of spicing. Some spices are hot, while some have a cooling effect upon the body. One must know how to mix them properly to cause different effects. Spices are very important. After all, if it weren't for spices, America might never have been discovered.