Tag Archives: society

Pledging to eat wisely

WED Logo_ENThink. Eat. Save. That’s the theme of this year’s UN World Environment Day (June 5). First thing that flashed on my mind when I read it was how mindful was I while choosing what to eat.

I got my first job in 2009. Since then i had the cash-flow coming in. With cash in hand, freedom to eat what I like followed. Though it started off just as a once in a while eating out, it didn’t take long to get into the habit of every weekend and worse off  to alternate days. I couldn’t come out of this cycle and got stuck badly, only to spend no less than close to 30% of my pay!! That was huge amount. It’s not all about money. In the name of socializing, meeting, get together, I ate hell lot of food from restaurants, McD, Dominos, etc.
In all those eat outs, I see one thing which was predominant and common. Food wastage. Little did we care. After reading through the WED Theme, i see all of this in a whole new perspective. Like adding salt to injury, it’s not just the food that we wasted but also the resources that were used in making them, there by adding to the already energy deficit world and increasing our ecological footprint.

Even at home I used to ask my mom to cook only to skip the meals either to due to late work hours or mood swings etc. I see what I have done. I deprived not just myself but someone who was hungry on some other corner of the world by wasting it. I should have just been more thoughtful and sensible. It’s never too late.

Am listing out few reasons for food wastage according to my experiences:

  • don’t eat more than you can chew:

Over estimating the eating capacity and ordering more than what is required, we end up in leaving out some food for sure.

  • frequent hangouts.

With ever-increasing complexities of social fabric in our daily life, its important to connect but we have to choose wisely what to eat, when to eat. Probably being opinionated about food should help.

  • bad inventory

vegetables, fruits , food grains wastage due to improper handling/ storage.

Probably mindful eating doesn’t come that easily, it should be cultivated like all other good habits. I have already started on it but a long way to go. Planned meals and a food diary including grocery list cross check should also help which will give a fair idea of what goes where.

There are some startling facts that are put up in UN website like

The theme for this year’s World Environment Day celebrations is Think.Eat.Save. Think.Eat.Save is an anti-food waste and food loss campaign that encourages you to reduce your foodprint. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), every year 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted. This is equivalent to the same amount produced in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, 1 in every 7 people in the world go to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of 5 die daily from hunger.

If you thought using a car/ vehicle is only source of pollution, you have to read What’s behind a glass of milk to know how Bovines are no better than a car in polluting the environment by releasing 100-500 litres of methane!! Can you believe it?

Things I would like to do( already doing some of them)  :

1. Take (cook) what i can eat.
2. Carry a bottle with tap water during travel.
3. Pack lunch/ dinner during travel.
4. Self cook and pack lunch to work more often.
5. Finding a balance between hanging out and eating out( will do away with meaningless birthday celebrations)!!
6. There are NGO/ other organisations which will take the food remaining at parties/ events and distribute to the needy.
7. Not being pompous about potpourri of food variety available during events / parties as and when possible( i.e. in my control) and educate others too.
8. Share the facts and discuss the theme about food wastage with family and friends.
9. Plan my meals.
10. Keep a food diary.

I promise to think, eat and save from now on so that our later generations won’t get a chance to badmouth us for exploiting nature for our greedy eating habits. This is such a crucial aspect of saving our environment, I wholeheartedly appreciate UN for choosing to focus on food waste as their theme this year.

What are you planning to do ? Ready to join the campaign ?

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The Luna guy

Often I say to the people close to me that am not supposed to be here, i.e. not in this generation, probably I should belong to a generation backwards (may be 70s – 80s). I’ve asked myself a lot many times why do I feel so, on regular intervals as am encountering various events through life.

  • I feel clogged / suffocating when people value trivial over humans and their feelings. Probably back then, mankind didn’t have to live in a highly sophisticated materialistic society.
  • I never understand people’s buying pattern of gadgets/tools/vehicles with high specs when the moderate/basic would do, just because of the cool factor or just may be to flaunt it. I too have done it for a while and by the time I’ve realized it burned my pocket deep. Back then we didn’t have these many options and we didn’t have to use our brains so much so for possessing our stuff/things/tools for survival but not when it needs the most like studies/engineering/contribution/collaboration.
  • With bombarding news channels(yes that’s the way I see them:bombarding news), overwhelming technology mostly used for war equipments than it should have been in alleviating poverty, uplifting of disabled. I acknowledge that steps are taken on technological front towards the areas am crying about, but only baby steps. That’s my cry. Back then when technology wasn’t this good, problems of the world/society were nothing worse than that of today.
  • Craving to be extraordinary/out of the box when ordinary / in the box is not yet lived, which leaves out one to be shallow sooner or later. Back then it was not being cool/ great that was being that was taught. Its value,virtue and compassion that was most taught.
  • To trash the conventional is a fashion now. To wear smaller clothes in winter and overcoats in summer is kind-of-cool-fashion now. We do it because someone, somewhere just did it in that movie/show/country has done it. Back then to be comfortable was the best fashion that was taught and implemented.
  • Above all, the most important is space. With so many things trivial, attractive, fleeting, I(one) has less time for my family/ favorite sport/reading/ even to talk to myself. Back then things weren’t this demanding. I suppose/ from what I have learnt/listened it was better and simple.

I know someone out there reading is getting impatient and started terming me as moron/insane/idiot/illiterate/as****/  blah blah. Am not running away my dear from this life after saying above reasons. I have to live this life.

If you were from India, let me elucidate my point. Thirty years from now, cycles and a two-stroke two-wheeler called TVS Luna and the likes were the most famous and running. Given the roads of a developing country, they were good enough. Slowly there came Hero Honda CD 100( which was around 95 cc) bike. It was an instant hit. It will be sinful not to mention Bajaj Chetak. Over the years, new entrants across all segments i.e. two wheelers, four wheelers, trucks etc are just flooding the market with new models/variants on and on. Confused consumer will always choose the best/latest/ future proof even when it’s not needed. That’s the way they market. I never understood(probably will never) the logic of buying a two-wheeler for a whopping 2 lakhs to ride it on the city roads, not even off the roads or a highway. With 250-350 cc bikes, signals confronting every two minutes, god knows what is running on the mind of bike rider. Let alone save him.

Recently govt of India has imposed a regulation that all the tv channels should be digitally transmitted in the metros and some good number of major cities and towns across the country. Agreeing to the point that it will help them in going forward, my questions about the extra power that these set-top boxes consume is being produced are unanswered. When farmers are suffering and committing suicides on one front with lack of electricity and other amenities, is digitization need of the hour. I fail to understand. Wasn’t there a strong lobby behind this digitization? Or it was lack of understanding ?

Am no scholar/Mahatma to dissect society, but as a human belonging to it aches me to the core and not withstanding rapid change I feel like one who doesn’t want to move over to the next big thing. I am afraid I wont have much of an option but to change and embrace it. It’s a complex world to live in. I cannot be 100 % good(even if I strive to). Whatever I do will be unjust to someone somewhere or I deprive them which was theirs. I feel like a guy riding Luna beside the one who is cruising in his SUV. I don’t feel like belonging here.

Nevertheless, now that am here I have to hack the way out of the current system and live this life. I wonder what it takes to make it through this life.

What can be done ?

We have debates on television channels about the problems on a day to day basis with politicians, commoners, so-called highly experienced journalists, blah blah.. with lots of loud talk. When I see this scintillating action from people for Anna Hazare anti corruption movement, recent Delhi gang-rape protests, for once I feel happy but only to notice a while after the enthusiasm has subsided. A week later or so news channels will hit the block with breaking news about graft charges on a top IAS / IPS officers or policemen shot by a politician or even worse a women raped on roads in the daylight!!

So, even after lots of people’s movement and youth(future of India) getting involved directly into these matters why are these things repeating? Here is my take ….

Somehow I have a strong feeling that a typical Indian is a hypocrite. I know not many of you might want to agree. Let me dissect this one. For a country like India people with good intentions is hardly enough. We need people with Action. Quite contrarily we are filled with former category or even worse with no common sense. Yes I say again no common sense!!

We have politicians with promises up their bag which they hardly fulfil in their term. We still vote to the same fellows every election selling ourself into holy crap they utter or the money they offer or by having no option left. For the rest of the five year term we scold/ abuse/ protest  about all the decisions he takes.

We have armchair intellectuals / journalists / news reporters / debate hosts who air lopsided/ biased views or paid-news. Most of them (~=99.99 %) I feel are here to exaggerate and cash in on the status quo. Yet we tune-in on a regular basis and subscribe to those half baked and flawed analysis for weird reasons.

We have social activists / ngo s/ csr fighting for a good cause like an RTI, Yamuna, Anti corruption, Protecting rights of women etc. In a couple of these movements I have noticed the infighting which tarnished the image to new lows day to day basis. I always thought people who are into these won’t be ego-maniac but altruistic, surprisingly I was wrong. We can see in the news how differences between them are surfacing. Feeling that they are saviours of our future/ country is another whim. They too are humans. 🙂

We have one industry in which probably one can find highest number of hypocrites. You guessed it rightly, cinema industry. A pure male chauvinistic industry which comes out in public and preaches equality and bull shit!! WTF!! Hero can flirt / sleep / marry ‘n’ number of women. If a movie that does otherwise is a cultural blunder for India and it will be hot in the news for a long long time 🙂 Our sick mindset is as such that we idolise them.

We have modern women/ Facebook gen girls who protest with placards “Stop teaching me what to wear, ask your son not to rape”. Agree. They say commenting/ lack of respect / womanising / groping etc is not our culture. Yes madam I agree. No one has even 0.000000001 % right to ask you what to wear. Let me tell you all  that wearing things that are indecent / provoking / attracting to men’s eyes too is not our culture. There is a thin line of difference between freedom and what fits our culture. Am not generalising things in this case but asking

to give it a thought.

We have our youth(which decided the course and future of a nation) aimless, wanderlust, following band wagon in selecting the career, having hardly any general knowledge and voicing the concerns or developing mob psychology. I feel apprehended by some of the college going guys thought process which can never help neither him nor his home nor the nation. Basking in the era of instant gratification youth is choosing short lived world over satisfying and fun filled long term and better future.

We have fan-boys of actors who don’t pirate their favourite actors cinema/ audio tracks. They do it ruthlessly for the ones of other actors shamelessly. These fall under the category of society abusing governments for rate of unemployment.

Because most of us are hypocrites, things are repeated everywhere. What can be done ?? Thats the big question…

Climb mountains not so the world can see you, but so you can see the world.

Below are somethings that strike me…

  • Keep a reminder about your expiring license / pollution certificate of your vehicle / any document so that you never have to put yourself in a situation to bribe police while you are in a hurry to go to a restaurant where your someone special is waiting 🙂
  • Print media is less exciting and comparatively better than electronic media about sensationalising the news. change yourself for a while and see the difference.
  • Draw the line between freedom and what to wear. whatever it is, after all opposite sexes attract. also lets teach children right from the childhood about respect. not relative but absolute respect for every other person irrespective of his caste / creed / religion/ age / colour…
  • Don’t throw that lays chips / Britannia biscuit packet/ polythene cover / pet water bottle  etc on roads . Don’t spit. Don’t piss. Remember we chide our sweepers / leaders/ politicians / country for being dirty and not hygiene. Keep it with yourself and throw it away after going back to home / office. Lets learn two cents from Japan on this count.
  • Learn some civic sense. Don’t cross roads in a zig zag fashion. Our roads are bad. Adding salt to the injury, pedestrians make it  difficult for car/ truck/ bikers by crossing roads in zig zag fashion. Use subway, over head cross ways, zebra crossing or at least make sure you cross the road until no vehicle is near by. Use your hand. All vehicle drivers lets start making use of indicators, lane driving, less honking, slow moving vehicles on left and vice versa etc..
  • Lets buy songs / rent movies etc.. think about that pop corn selling guy, auto rickshaw guy, ice cream guy, theatre operator, music director, producer, etc etc.. its kind of butterfly effect our small offences might hurt a lot to someone somewhere else. Ask your friends in US how strict are copyright and piracy regulations are.
  • Nothing is more important than the cause. Stop infighting. Things can be tabled and resolved. Media is the biggest gainer of your infighting 🙂
  • Lets make sure the ones we vote is on the basis of  their education/ ability/ vision/ credentials rather than son/daughter/wife of some xyz.
  • Common sense is of the utmost important one for all of us. We have to make journey towards it. Not away from it. Lets practice and learn/teach from childhood. I don’t wish to see it advertised as a subject / degree that they teach in school/ college.

Its possible to build a better India.. step by step..brick by brick.. day by day..person by person.. Its possible but time taking…with heavy loads of patience and going slow is the key..

 

Update : Below links make an interesting read on similar lines..

How much is too much ? – The Hindu

Whats the Difference? – Manohar’s thoughts

And they lived fearlessly ever after… – Olio talk by Suchitra Kaushiva