Food for thought: Thoughts on food 🙂
Prof. Suresh Mishra’s committee seems to have been unusual: both for the intent with which it was conceived and for its sensible, eminently do-able recommendations. The question before it was wastage of food and how to prevent it. Some of its recommendations:
- Many wedding invitations say ‘No gifts, please.’ They could also say, ‘Please don’t waste food.’ [Maximum wastage of food occurs at weddings, followed by birthday parties, and seminars and conferences.]
- The media can play a role by highlighting the wastage at ostentatious weddings/ social events rather than concentrating on the opulence at such weddings.
- Food wastage at government functions needs to be addressed first, by beginning the austerity drive from within.
- Celebrities, including political leaders, bureaucrats, and industrialists can become role models by conducting their family and other get-togethers in a simple manner. The media ought to highlight this too.
- Food wastage as a topic can be included in the curriculum at the school stage itself and children can be made aware of the desirability and importance of ‘no wastage.’
These recommendations were made by a three member committee, appointed by the food ministry of the government of India. In a nation where so many go hungry, the immense waste of food that occurs in social events is no less than a crime, and it was important to take stock of this. But the committee’s recommendations have universal adaptability: many of us could adopt them, in whichever part of the globe we reside.
Food for the palate: Simple upma
Heat 6-8 tablespoons of oil in a pan. Splutter mustard, brown a teaspoonful of split bengal gram and split black gram. Add a pinch of asafoetida, a few curry leaves, pinched. Add 4 ounces of semolina [rava] to the hot oil, fry till golden brown. Add six ounces of hot water, salt to taste, a pinch of turmeric, and keep stirring. Keep adding water [hot or cold] till the mixture is soft without being squishy. Garnish with lime juice and coriander if you have them. Eat hot with sauce, chutney, sambar, pickle, or curds. Or just simply by itself.