Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Fantastic Hidden Truth: We eat what we sow

Are you a pure vegetarian OR do you eat non vegetarian food ?

Do you know the various factors that determine what we eat -- our eating habit ? Are there are any patterns. How does vegetarian and non vegetarian food pattern being determined by society?

Anthropologists have developed so many theories around what we eat.  But I heard an interesting story or theory from a friend of mine emanating form his observation.

The story started after a villager from a tiny hamlet expressed his concern about change in food pattern. Small tea shops located at the outskirts of his village, which also used to serve simple vegetarian snacks, have now been replaced by chicken kabab outlets. You may call it as effect of globalisation or  change in taste of people.

Outlining principle according to my friend is  -- "we eat, what we sow". It was true yesterday and will be so tomorrow.

Main crop of that village was paddy a few decades ago.  With good rain fall and abundant water in the lake, farmers could get a good crop to the need of the village. There was no greed factor. Even during a bad rain year, there was no panic situation; more than enough to get to eat. Agriculture was not considered as business then, it was a profession followed by their ancestors and passed on to them.

All the village activities ,  not called as economy or commerce, were developed around paddy field. Apart from rice, paddy products included puffed rice and various other sub products. Small industries rotated around paddy and employed local villagers.

Village borders were dotted with a few small thatched roofed tea stalls. Common scenes in all villages across India. Along with tea, a simple snack made up of puffed rice was a popular serve. Since paddy was the main crop, puffed rice made from paddy, was a natural simple snack. These outlets were a convenient stop for peasant folks returning from fields after a hectic day.

Over the period the whole demography of the village changed. So also agricultural practices. For multiple reason crop yield reduced. Farms were sold or villagers moved to different business. Main crop changed from paddy to  maize. It requires  less water and effort to grow. Quick yield is guaranteed and so also Return On Investment --- a good cash crop for dwindling farm community.
Man does not eat maize as staple food here. Most of the maize corn are being used to prepare food for chicken. Number of poultry farms around increased. Naturally chicken eaters increased and chicken kababs  and other such dishes attracted a good crowd to those outlets. So all those thatched roofed shops changed to permanent stalls and puffed rice snacks were replaced by chicken dishes.

In principle -- if you grow paddy, you eat puffed rice ; if you grow corn you eat chicken.

So, we eat what we sow !!!