FooDie

Once upon a time (oh, yeah that is how long back it seems), there used to be news, then there used to be breaking news, and then there used to be OMG-I-am-so-appalled kind of breaking news. But now in this day and age when just about anything is discussed at prime-time, and multi-tasking of an It-Baba by manufacturing not so swadeshi fashion garment in Swades makes it to the headline, it is not appalling that news no more is appalling. Amidst all the brouhaha created by media and/or social media about anything and everything happening around us, very rarely does some piece of news still manages to appall me!
Although I know statistics, in general, are as accurate as the Indian meteorological department is about the weather forecast, one of the statistic that caught my eye, and really pained me, was about how India wastes approximately 67 million tonnes of food every year – a number higher than the national food output of countries like Britain. This amount is enough to feed the entire population of Bihar for a full year. And trust me if we keep Bihar well-fed, we will probably be successful in reducing the collective aggression of this country by one-half!

2-cartoon-sumantabaruah-unep-wed-2013This statistic is gloomy- especially for a country that has more than half the population starving (even if we don’t count all the people on diet). Just to put things in perspective, the value of food lost amounts to Rs.92, 000 crore, nearly two-thirds of what the government spends under the National Food Security Programme to feed 600 million poor Indians with subsidised rations. That’s a lot of food!

There are lots of reasons for this situation.

A lot of this food is wasted even before it reaches the consumer. Because of no storage or cold storage facilities, redundant transportation mechanism, food sorting, etc. So basically half the produce doesn’t even reach the market, and the rest half is washed, coloured, dented and painted, before it reaches us!

This brings me to another major reason for food being wasted- how it looks! A lot of fruits and vegetables do not look “up-to the mark”, hence the vendors find it very difficult to sell them, and they eventually deteriorate and are thrown away! We are spoilt for colours in this time of fashion-supermarket, that we want our apples also to be that perfect shade of Red! Not, “Red” Red. But Red!

While our farmers do not have storage facilities, we do. And hence we stock up on all the food that we think we might for the next fortnight, if not less. But two days later, someone not so important remarks about how our weight has increased by OMG 500 grams!! While we don’t throw away the packaged food that we have – for stress eating of course- but end up throwing a lot of this stored food eventually.

And finally, something that all of us can practice every day three times a day is-Take what you eat. Eat what you take! Nothing is worse than affording, buying, cooking and then wasting food!

Cheeni kum

8732d8f6055db0399ec521695c74b311I am so ashamed of myself. And not because I did something as clichéd as uploading the picture of yummy dessert from last night on Instagram, but because I actually had it. The whole of that mouthwatering, yummy, delectable, delicious blueberry cheesecake.  As of now, I am supposed to be on diet, and hence eating anything that even remotely tastes good is criminal!

Like most people, I can always say that fitness is my first priority. I don’t miss my exercise unless there are more pressing issues like sleeping, working, reading, watching a movie, sleeping again, trying that winged eye-liner for the hundredth time, failing at it, looking like a panda and then sleeping…you get the point! If it weren’t for these distractions, I could have managed to fit an entire Bangladesh in my thigh gap.

And then sometimes I get tired of all my excuses, and decide to rather get tired at the gym. There is a lot to lose, you know! Earlier gym were simpler. There was stuff to pick-up and then, heavier stuff to pick-up. Now it is much more complicated. Now, to upmarket themselves, they sell sauna, spa packages, aromatherapy (not talking about sweat here), yoga, Zumba or aerobics, nutrition counselling – if it has a taste, spit it out. But the great thing is, you lose weight as soon as you join the gym, because they charge both your kidneys as fees.

Staying fit and healthy is a community service, because everyone around you is trying to stay fit as well. Knowing about fitness can be of great help to avoid awkward social interactions. One day you go to the gym, and the whole world is trying to tell you – don’t eat carbs post 7 p.m., and even if you do then team it with a high protein salad, which for him right now is my brain. I generally have wheat bran chapatti – which my grandfather tells me was by-product in their times – and now are “imported” and sold in a better packet than wheat. And of course blah blah blah green tea.

The beauty of the whole thing is you don’t even have to be fit to advice other people. The other day, I saw someone with so many potatoes in the market, that I couldn’t control telling them if they have any idea how much starch does the thing has. Turns out, he was only trying to sell them!

Well, it is going to be challenging, but I am going to keep at it. Having said that, I feel there is too much hogwash regarding this topic, and people are talking more than they are following. I think it is so exhausting to even think about it, that you already need a big piece of anything unhealthy to recuperate. Nevertheless, I ain’t missing my protein-packed dinner for anything. And of course, green tea.

I wrote about this topic because how can you go to the gym and not announce in the newspaper? I would be such a waste.