Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

Making a green statement: Say no to ‘good looking’, exotic and “out of turn” food

Written by Keshav Chaturvedi | New Delhi | Posted: July 28, 2014 3:52 pm | Updated: July 28, 2014 3:56 pm

food-main

The adage “we are what we eat” isn’t for nothing. Food is what we all live for and governments and societies are made or marred by lack of it. It is also a huge style statement. But a green citizen views food from a completely different angle. It is also a barometer of their environmental footprint. Some foods, cooking practices and eating habits are environment friendly while others are not.

Food is meant to provide nutrients to your body and taste to your tongue, it is not a cosmetic product or a showpiece. So it is imperative that instead of looking for “good looking” fruits and vegetables and over packed food products, look for locally grown natural looking vegetables and fruits.

Large retail chains and other food products manufacturers have put unnatural specifications for the size and outer look of the vegetables and fruits. This wastage is pegged at 45 per cent of the total global food wastage. It happens precisely for the reason that while being perfectly edible it is not “good looking” enough for corporate retail chain. So shun this practice.

Go for vegetables and fruits brought to you by neighbourhood vendor from local mandi. Spend some time selecting from what is available; it is therapeutic and fun.

It will also improve your understanding about the product and create a whole new experience. Also, locally sourced fresh vegetables are still the best bet for your health.

There are some people who long for exotic looking or sounding food that have been sourced from faraway places. They think these exotic varieties are the answer for their health problems. They are not. They are what they have been projected as – exotic, period. There are many local varieties which have more medicinal value than these exotic ones. Also the fruit or the vegetable grown is a certain geographical area is well suited for people living in those conditions and not the person who is living somewhere else in a completely different environment.

You can have these exotic delicacies once in a while but not regularly in the name of health food because they are drain on your purse with very little proven benefits over the locally available varieties.

Then there are some who want to eat guava in June and mango in December. Your body has been programme by nature to have different vegetables and fruits in different times of the year. There is a method in natural rhythms. Respect it. Eat something when it is naturally available only then you will enjoy its real taste and health benefits. Otherwise if you insist on eating “out-of-turn” fruits and vegetables, all you will do is fatten the purse of traders whose large godowns run on the your generous support for pampering your taste buds.

Keshav Chaturvedi is a media professional for the last 23 years. Recently the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s publication division brought out his book – Climate Change Negotiations: An Assessment.  He was also the content head of the renewable energy magazine Energy Next brought out by IREDA. Presently he writes for the Financial Chronicle (the financial paper of Deccan Chronicle) and is the consulting editor at http://www.greencommunications.in. He also maintains a regular blog on sustainable development issues http://www.indidynamic.wordpress.com.   

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