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  • 1. A D O W N T O E A R T H S U P P L E M E N T gobartimes MAY 15, 2004 NO. 42 A P O N D E R I N G PA N D I T J I panditji@cseindia.org Dear Gobar Times Readers, Sugar. We just can’t do without it. Or so we think. What is Diwali without Doctor's advice: yummy mithai? What’s a birthday without a mouth-watering rich chocolate cake Jaggery, honey, fresh topped with sugar icing. What’s a burger without a soft drink. (Yes, a can of soft fruits... The healthiest drink is about 8 teaspoons sugar!) But we seriously have to ask ourselves: Is sugar source of sugar — nutrition or entertainment? Refined sugar has no nutrition but empty calories. And sweet, natural, unrefined, a report by the World Health Organisation has linked excess sugar intake to unprocessed. obesity, after which heart diseases and diabetes follow. The report advises us to Just like me. Heh, Heh! consume less than than 10% sugar in our diet (as against 25-30% earlier thought safe). So are sugar and sugary products mostly about fun and entertainment? If yes, then fun at what cost? For the first time in history, there are more overnourished people than undernourished ones. So the solution is easy right? Less sugar. Wrong! Sugar drives soft drink giants, fast food industry and the processed food industry, which have already rubbished the report. They’ll fight tooth and nail to see sugar consumption doesn’t go down. But the final decision will be left with your sweet tooth. – Pandit Gobar Ganesh
  • 2. COVER STORY SWEET FAT Is there a relationship between the hugely higher modern levels of sugar consumption, and the wave of obesity that has swept over the developed world and is now reaching the poorer countries? WHO thinks so. EMKAY CHOCO.COLA.CANDY.SAUCE.CEREAL.SOUP.OBESITY. T oday almost everything has sugar inside it. More Than Just Cavities It’s bad for our teeth, we keep telling But first, why this restriction and exactly how ourselves, but scientists are discovering how harmful is sugar to the body? For one, whenever too much sugar can damage almost every part of you eat sweets, you get a sugar rush and blood the body. Till recently it was thought that if sugar glucose levels rise rapidly. So the pancreas consisted of 30 per cent of your diet, it was fine. secretes a large amount of insulin to keep glucose Then the American National Academy of Sciences levels down. This large insulin response makes brought this figure down to 25 per cent. And blood sugar fall to levels that are too low 3 to 5 everybody seemed OK with that. hours after the sweets have been eaten. Now, the But now, there is a storm brewing. A panel body doesn’t like this much fluctuation. of experts appointed by The World Health Secondly, sugars are just “naked calories”, Organisation (WHO) has found that it isn’t safe to that is they are packed with energy, but they consume no more than 10 per cent of sugar in have no nutrients. No fiber, no minerals, no our diet. The powerful sugar lobby, alarmed at it’s proteins, no fats, no enzymes. So the body has to profits crashing, has rubbished the WHO and borrow vital nutrients from healthy cells to threatened to move US Congress and stop metabolise the incomplete food. Calcium, funding to the WHO. sodium, potassium and magnesium are taken 66 Gobar Times, May 15, 2004 Down To Earth supplement
  • 3. COVER STORY from various parts of the body to make use of the sugar. That also severely harms the body. Sugar makes us fat? Big Sugar, Big Politics In fact, this issue is at the centre of the whole global sugar debate. Last year, the WHO report If the world takes heed of on Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic the WHO guidelines, Diseases said that people could reduce their risk then a huge proportion of obesity, diabetes and some heart problems by of the sugar industry's curbing sugar consumption. market would disappear, Now how does that work? Excess sugar is so of course it fights it. stored in the liver in the form of glucose (glyco- gen). Since the liver's capacity is limited, a daily intake of refined sugar above the required America’s Sugar Association—which includes sugar amount of makes the liver expand like a balloon. cane and corn farmers, and industry giants Coca-Cola, When the liver is filled to maximum, excess Pepsi-Cola and General Foods— or ‘Big Sugar’ are glycogen returns to the blood in the form of fatty trying to block the WHO report: Diet, Nutrition and the acids. These are taken to every part of the body Prevention of Chronic Diseases report. They have and stored in the most inactive areas: the belly, threatened to lobby US Congress to cut off the $406 the buttocks, the breasts and the thighs. million it sanctions annually to the WHO, and is about Once these are completely filled, fatty acids one-fourth of it’s budget. They are also trying to invade active organs like the heart and kidneys. armtwist developing countries to back them. Many are These begin to slow down; finally their tissues already indirectly backing the US sugar lobby. degenerate and turn to fat. Sugar Association president Andrew Briscoe said in This can lead to obesity, diabetes and even an April 14 letter to the WHO's director-general Gro certain cardiovascular diseases. Brundtl, “We will exercise every avenue available to expose the dubious nature of the report.” Eat less sugar, right? According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a No, it’s not as simple as that. Today, almost non-partisan, non-profit research group based in everything you eat has sugar inside it. From soups Washington, DC that tracks money in politics and its to sauces to frozen meat. Some breakfast cereals effect on elections and public policy, last year the sugar for children are as much as 50% sugar! In industry donated more than $3 million to American America a flue-cured tobacco was found to have federal elections. 20% sugar by weight. Also, Congress maintains a sugar-support program Indians had better take note. 25 percent of that guarantees domestic sugar producers a minimum males and 36 percent of females above the age price by restricting sugar imports and buying and of 20 years in India are overweight. Our country storing excess production, as it does with other farm has always had great sugar surplus (a closing programs. According to the General Accounting Office balance of 109 lakh tonnes of sugar at the (GAO), the program costs Americans $2 bil- beginning of the 2002-03 season, enough for lion annually in inflated sugar prices, and seven months). In the era of liberalisation, storing excess sugar will cost another consumption of soft drinks, fast food and $2 billion over 10 years. processed foods are on the rise. As we get richer, (Health Freedom Nutrition) we also are getting fatter — and unhealthier. Most of the sugar is consumed invisibly in the GEETA form of fast foods and soft drinks. Gobar Times, May 15, 2004, Down To Earth supplement 67
  • 4. FAST FOOD FUNFOODS! “Our ancestors had to expend a lot of energy just to get through the day… But now (in many places) food is always available, and technology has made it easy to be sedentary. So it's really the environment that's causing the problem.” —James Hill, Centre for Human Nutrition, University of Colorado Health Sciences Centre SAMAPTI The interests of agribusiness and fast food are now merging with media and entertainment industries. Food is pre-packaged family entertainment. W hat does food mean to children of the America’s Center for TV watching generation? Enjoyment? Disease Control and Entertainment? If one looked at all Prevention found 15 per- those TV commercials, then one could be for- cent of children between 6 given for thinking that junk foods lead to excit- and 19 to be overweight, ing, strong and brainy kids. TV, newspapers, thrice the proportion 20 magazines billboards all point in that direction. years ago. And a WHO- Fast food giants spend tonnes of money and backed survey of Delhi public make sure that they perpetuate a lifestyle that schools found that 53 per cent chil- suits their pockets even at the cost of making dren aged 10-14 eat junk food on a daily basis. millions of people fat. McDonald's, in a single In fact, the WHO calls childhood obesity a year, spent about $500 million on TV advertise- global epidemic that is spreading into the devel- ments alone. oping world. In fact, it is catching up with smok- The truth is frighteningly different. As ing as the leading cause of illness and death. teenagers consume more and more colas and burgers, the number of those becoming obese is Food Industry = Entertainment Industry alarming. While America leads the pack in Sports, entertainment, news, fast food and teenage obesity, India doesn’t lag far behind. movies have become barely indistinguishable. 68 Gobar Times, May 15, 2004 Down To Earth supplement
  • 5. FAST FOOD According to Public Health Reports, “advertising, affected. Studies consistently report a higher pricing and packaging, and availability all encour- prevalence of obesity in African Americans and age Americans to eat more food, not less. The Mexican Americans compared with the white, design of neighbourhoods promotes using motor non-Hispanic population. In the National Health vehicles rather than walking.” and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) Environmental risk factors that may influence 1999-2000, 23.6% of non-Hispanic blacks and our everyday behaviours include increased expo- sure to high-calories fast foods, "junk" foods, and refined sugars. Low-income families Fast food giants like McDonald’s fight hard must often depend on smaller stores that have a to retain hundreds of millions of dollars of limited selection of fresh foods, often at higher government subsidies for "training" their cost. Supermarkets have two times the amount workers. A worker has only to work for 400 of healthy foods as neighbourhood grocery hours for the chain to receive its $2,400 stores, but there are four times as many super- subsidy. In essence, the American taxpayer markets in white neighbourhoods than black subsidises low wages, automation, and neighbourhoods. turnover at fast food chains. Farmers get That’s pretty getting to be the story of the just 21% of the food dollar in the US, the world. As teenage obesity is on the rise, it is seen rest goes to corporations. that rather than preventing them, the environ- ment and many other factors are actually guiding children to the path of obesity. The End of Small Farms The fast food revolution impacts agriculture and environment. For example, McDonald's, the fast food chain is the largest purchaser of beef and potatoes in America, apart from being the second largest producer of poultry. It goes without saying that they influence the policy on agriculture. So fast food companies are industrial- ising agriculture and pushing small family farmers off the map. In fact, since 1980, America has almost lost one million medium to small-sized A WHO-backed survey of Delhi public family farms. Thanks to the industrialisation of schools revealed that 53 per cent of agriculture the US is losing farmers so fast that it children between 10 and 14 years of age now has more prisoners than farmers. snack on junk food every day. The Cheap Food Argument Another argument which the fast food industry 23.4% of Mexican American adolescents were throws is that fast food is cheap and it helps the overweight, a startling near-doubling increase economy. The truth is far from that. The (from 13.4% and 13.8%, respectively) in the American fast food industry is heavily subsidised past decade. This contrasts markedly with the and there are steep hidden costs of long-distance prevalence of overweight in non-Hispanic transportation for other countries. whites of 12.7%. The rates for obesity are also greater for Issues of Minority minority children. Over 25 percent of Black and In America, it was found that when it comes to Hispanic kids are overweight as against the obesity, minorities are disproportionately national average of 15%. Gobar Times, May 15, 2004, Down To Earth supplement 69
  • 6. BAD SWEETS GOOD HEALTH Sweet Trooth Yeh kya ho raha hai?! Hi! I’m Sugar Puff H E A D A C H E S OSTEOPOROSIS W E A K N E S S G A L L S T O N E S COLD, COUGHS HEART ATTACKS C A V I T I E S D I A B E T E S papa. I just luuuvvvv anything that is sugary. “These wretched headaches! Aspirins work no more on “I’ve got diabetes. So my doctor has told me to stop eating Sweets, pastries, soft me. This definitely can’t be because of sweets.” sweets altogether” drinks....yummy yum. WHAT’S HAPPENING: As you eat more sugar, cells are WHAT’S HAPPENING: A high dose of sugar introduced into I thought sugar would just destroyed as a consequence of being robbed of Vitamin B. the system sends the body into shock from the rapid rise in kill my teeth and I was Insulin production is inhibited leading to a very high sugar blood sugar level. The pancreas eventually wears out from ready to live with that level in the bloodstream. Surveys show that this can lead to a overwork, leading to diabetes. but... confused mental state or unsound mind. “These dentists are millionaires. I’m going to make my “My bones ache all the time. My doctor tells me that I’ve son a dentist! I thought I’d just have a some cavities, but got osteoporosis.” I have a full set of false teeth now. And my gums ache WHAT’S HAPPENING: Our blood becomes acidic with the too.” excess consumption of sugary foods. To balance this, nutrients WHAT’S HAPPENING: When you eat something, the teeth’s like calcium are borrowed from the bones. High consumption bacteria breaks down the sugar and secretes chemicals, which of sugar means that this calcium is not replaced. And that dissolve tooth enamel. Sugar also makes the blood thicker, leads to the long-term deterioration of bones, osteoporosis. affecting the flow of vital nutrients to teeth and gums. “My doctor says I’m prone to a heart attack. But I have no family history of the disease!” “I’m not as strong as I used to be. I guess it’s old age.” WHAT’S HAPPENING: Sucrose increases blood levels of WHAT’S HAPPENING: High sugar intake also corrupts cholesterol, insulin and the stress hormone cortisol. All these muscle performance and impedes strength development increase the risk of heart disease. It is also known to increase dramatically. blood pressure. “My colds and coughs have become more frequent.” WHAT’S HAPPENING: Sugar is often called an anti-nutrient “Gallstones from sugar? Not possible!” as eating more of it leads the body to use up its supplies of WHAT’S HAPPENING: In 1984, the British Medical potassium, thiamin and chromium. All sugars, even natural Journal reported that refined sugar may be one of the ones, appear to compete with Vitamin C for transportation into major dietary risk factors in gallstone disease. white blood cells. Without adequate amounts of Vitamin C, the immune system becomes severely affected. SAMAPTI 70 Gobar Times, May 15, 2004 Down To Earth supplement Gobar Times, May 15, 2004, Down To Earth supplement 71
  • 7. IN DEPTH products as it is cheaper than Sugar white sugar. It is today present in numerous products including soft drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks, baked goods, candies, smacks jams, yogurts, condiments, canned and packaged foods, and other sweet- ened foods. Per capita availability was 97.3 pounds for refined sugar and zero for HFCS in 1966, and 64.6 and 62.6 pounds for refined sugar and HFCS, respectively, in 2001. (USDA) Sweet Gene: For the past 25 years, scientists have known that a taste for sweet foods is a trait with a genetic element, but the actual genes have been elusive. About a decade ago, progress was made as scientists determined that a region of the mouse chromosome 4 called Sac (short for Origin of Candy: The English word candy was saccharin) was associated with a preference for adapted from French candi in the Old French sweets. Scientist have now discovered the gene phrase sucre candi. It was zucchero candi in for sweet tooth. It lies on Human Chromosome 1, Italian, azucar cande in Spanish, and assùcar is called sweet receptor gene, called T1R3. candi in Portugese. These words derived from It is the difference in sequence within the sweet- Arabic sukkar qandi 'candied sugar', meaning taste gene that decides if you have a 'sweet sugar that has been cooked and forms a tooth' or not. ball when dropped into cold water. Arabic got the word Honey: What is both a sweetener and from Persian qand, which an antiseptic, is the most men- came from a Sanskrit root tioned food in the Bible, and is khand 'to break'. The ulti- the only food manufactured for mate origin was probably us by animals? Believe it or not, the Tamil word kantu 'ball the answer is honey. Bee keep- of candied sugar', and that is related to a word meaning 'ball' or 'lump'. ing for the collection of honey, a So there you are. Sugar candy came into highly prized food was of great value in English late in the fourteenth century and was ancient civilisations. It was used as a sedative by shortened to simple candy sometime in the early Romans and Greeks, by Egyptians to eighteenth century. embalm their dead. The French believed that newlyweds were to have drinks containing honey HFCS: Refined sugar (sucrose) is the predomi- for 30 days following their wedding, and the nately used sweetener, but its use has been word 'honeymoon' originated from this custom. replaced over time by HFCS. High fructose corn In ancient times, honey was a source of sugar syrup (HFCS) is a liquid sweetener used in the and was valued for its medicinal benefits. manufacture of foods and beverages. In the late Composed of the sugars glucose and fructose it 1960s scientists developed an enzymatic process so contains numerous other types of proteins and that transforms glucose from corn meal minerals. When a honey bee takes nectar from a into a mixture of fructose and glucose. HFCS is flower, she stores it in a "honey sack” then becoming the most preferred sweetener in food returns to the hive, deposits the drop of nectar 72 Gobar Times, May 15, 2004 Down To Earth supplement
  • 8. IN DEPTH into the honeycomb, and evaporates the water J A G G E R Y out of the nectar by fanning her wings. Once the The sugar crops in India includes Sugar honey has aged, wax is used to seal it in the Cane, Honey, Jaggery (Cane), Jaggery comb. A honeybee makes 154 trips for one tea- (Coconut Palm), Jaggery (Date Palm), spoon of honey. A colony produces 60 to 100 Jaggery (Fan Palm) and Jaggery (Sago Palm) pounds of honey a year. To gather a pound of where the bark of the plant is the main honey, a bee flies a distance equal to more than source of starch.Gur(vellam in the south) or three times around the world. It jaggery is a “natural” sweetener made by takes two million flowers to make the concentration of sugarcane juice. It one pound of honey. accounts for 50 percent of the sugar eaten in India. Ancient Medical scriptures mention its Sugar India: India great nutritive and medicinal value. t is an has a diversity in energy food that is said to “purify” blood, the sugar crops regulate the liver function and keep the body that are grown in healthy. Also a potent source of Iron and a the country. It is not superior product among natural sweeteners just sugarcane, that have with regards to the Vitamin contents. Jaggery from cane sugar or Gur is used in been used as sweetners over the chutneys, in sweetened dals and subzis of years. Apart from Sugar Cane, Honey, Jaggery the west and eaten with pure ghee and rotis (Cane), Jaggery (Coconut Palm, Jaggery (Fan or stuffed, mixed with coconut, into Palm), and Jaggery (Sago Palm). Jaggery (Date dumplings called ‘modak’, specially made in Palm) is cultivated as a primary source of sugar Ganesh chaturthi because of the elephant's throughout Eastern Asia, and India. headed God's alleged fondness for this sweet. How did our ancestors manage? q Sugar was practically unknown and formed an 100 grams of white 100 grams granulated sugar of jaggery insignificant part of the average diet in the Classical civilisations of Egypt, Greece and Rome. Mineral Salts 30-50mg 2850mg In fact the Greeks (who had a word for nearly Phosphorus 0.25 116 everything!) did not even have a word for it! Calcium 14 118 q When Spain drove out the Moors after the Magnesium 0 136 Crusades, it inherited some of the cane planta- tions. It was during this time that Christendom Pottasium 4.6 1056 took its first big bite of the forbidden fruit and Iron 0.1 3 liked it. q In 510 BC, hungry soldiers of Emperor Darius discovered some "reeds which pro- duce honey without bees" near the river Indus. The reads they had discovered were sugar cane. But they did no carry it with them for growing in their native land. q In England in 1226 AD, Henry III had trouble finding 3 pounds of sugar for a banquet, but by 1259 AD, the commodity was more readily available, at a price of 16 1/2 pence per pound. Gobar Times, May 15, 2004 Down To Earth supplement 73
  • 9. HOW SWEET Tell me why? A great sugary snack feels heavenly but can you eat just one cookie, or do you keep eat- ing “just one more” till the whole bar has gone? Your body converts the carbohydrate in your diet into the fuel (glucose). Your muscles and brain require glucose for energy. Your brain depends exclusively on a steady supply of glucose from the SAMAPTI blood. That’s how blood sugar level affects your mood and behaviour! craving for more carbohydrate. So you eat perhaps another sugary snack. Up goes your calorie intake, up goes your weight, and you have set yourself up for Sugar Craving! more cravings in a few more hours time. 1. You eat a large sugary snack. A high carbohydrate (usually sugar diet). Long term: People then become reliant on this 2. Food enters your liver and it breaks down into carbohydrate cravings to feel better. This tendency to Glucose. use certain foods as though they were drugs is a 3. Glucose enters the bloodstream rapidly frequent cause of weight gain. and Increases the blood sugar level. 4. High Blood sugar level leads to release of Sugars in your Food insulin from the pancreas. Simple carbohydrates (sugars) are made 5. Insulin then aids in the uptake of Glucose up of one or two sugar molecules and include nat- & amino acids into muscle and leaves trypto- urally as well as the more processed sugars like table phan (an amino acid) circulating in the blood. sugar. They are easily converted to blood glucose in 6. Tryptophan crosses the blood-brain barrier region the liver and can enter the bloodstream very soon and easily enters the brain to be transformed to after being eaten. This rapidly rises your blood sugar serotonin. level. 7. The increase in serotonin release by the dietary creates a good mood. Complex carbohydrates (whole grains) are long chains of sugar molecules. They are digested more Short term: two hours later the blood sugar level can slowly than simple sugars resulting glucose from their fall too low, because there is no further glucose enter- digestion is released at a slower rate into the blood ing the blood. So the body tries by various means to stream resulting in a steadier level of blood glucose. bring the blood sugar level back up again. It creates a Obesity Diabetes 1. Sugar cravings increase the high calorie diet and TYPE 1: DIABETES TYPE 2: DIABETES Without insulin, liver Liver is resistant to G = Glucose cause obesity. G = Glucose effects of insulin. won’t accept glucose, but releases glucose I = Insulin I = Insulin 2. High sugar diet causes the Pancreas Pancreas liver to promote fat deposi- Pancreas does not produce Insulin leaves tion. pancreas and enters insulin Liver bloodstream 3. High insulin in the blood- Liver Glucose enters bloodstream Glucose enters bloodstream stream causes more fat Stomach Bloodstream Stomach Bloodstream deposition. Without insulin Cells are resistant Small intestine 4. Muscle: Due to excess Small intestine to insulin. Very glucose can’t enter cells little glucose enters cells glucose there is continuous fat accumulation which is Body cell Body cell aggravated by the sedentary Insulin Deficient Insulin Resistance lifestyle. 74 Gobar Times, May 15, 2004 Down To Earth supplement
  • 10. ACTIVITY Complete the OSEs! O S E Primary form of sugar used for ENERGY 1 2 O S E The sweetest naturally occurring sugar 3 O S E found in sugar cane and sugar beets 4 O S E A sugar product of fermentation. It is commonly called “malt sugar”. Beer and breads often contain it. O S E is the major carbohydrate sugar found in milk and the primary source of energy in infants. 5 O S E A glucose polymer found in cell wall of plants. 6 Constitutes 50% of wood and 100% of cotton. O S E A type of sugar found in every living cell. 7 O S E It is converted to sugar alcohol that is widely used in gum, soft 8 candy, breakfast cereals, frosting, and in many diet foods labelled as sugar-free. It has only half the calories of glucose but has 70% of the sweetness of table sugar. O S E is a component of the milk sugar. Before the body can utilise it for energy, it must first be transformed into glucose by the liver. 9 10 O S E A type of starch that constitutes 15-30% ILLUSTRATIONS: GEETA of total starch in most plants Answers:1. Glucose 2.Fructose 3.Sucrose 4. maltose 5.Lactose 6.Cellulose 7.Ribose 8.Mannose 9.Galactose 10.Amylose Gobar Times, May 15, 2004 Down To Earth supplement 75
  • 11. RESPONSE Only looks matter! Ms Rice India: Long, thin and shiny We thank Gobar Times readers for the overwhelming response we received to our Rice issue (January 2004). So many rice reporters out there! Here are some excerpts of the entries we received. All participating teams should look out for their surprise gifts. Appearances must impress traditional varieties, the profit from both was more or less the same! Today the demand is for thin long and white That’s because HY cultivation costs more in grains of rice, even if they have less nutritional terms of chemical fertiliser usage. So, the children value. That is why the traditional varieties of rice managed to convince 12 farmers to use cow grown in Nagpur’s Ramtek, Moudha and dung compost instead of chemical fertiliser in Kamptee are no longer cultivated. order to maximise their profits. Popular varieties like HMT and BPT have been around for only 15 years. They require plenty of Cheap, best and... unpopular! water and therefore are cultivated only once a year during the rainy season. Gujarat’s “kada” is the “cheap and best” rice A traditional rice variety called patelteen was variety and very popular with workers. It’s nutri- brought from Gujarat by local farmers. The name tious, easily digestible and is sweet in taste “Patel” was used since it’s a Gujarati surname. and smells good after cooking. It is grown by The HMT variety comes from this. tribal farmers and can be grown under drought A variety which lost out because it wasn’t conditions and in saline water. good-looking was the swarna. It was fattish and There is a local saying “Kada sabse bada” yellow in colour. This and the “1001” lost out, because they couldn’t be “polished”. (Polished rice means the removal of not only the bran, but GT Rice Reporters also two layers of rice in the mill to make it q Class 4-10 students and teachers of the Ecology and thinner, bringing the nutritional value to “zero”). Natural Resources Education network have been conducting several rice surveys in West Bengal. Jacinthia Mascarenhas, Nagpur, Maharashtra q Class 8-9 students from the Cardnal Pimenta Adivasi High School in Thane and Gnanmata Convincing organic economics Sadan Society surveyed 50 varieties of rice. q Class 11 students of Don Bosco Higher Secondary Students of the Ecology and Natural Resources School Panaji, Goa studied basmati rice, hybrid rice Education network in West Bengal compared and other local varieties of rice in their area. the economics behind growing high yielding (HY) and traditional varieties. They were surprised >> To read these and other full reports, please to find that though HY varities were more go to our website www.gobartimes.org productive and generated more income than the 76 Gobar Times, May 15, 2004 Down To Earth supplement
  • 12. RESPONSE From birth to death Rice is an intrinsic part of the culture of the Warli people of Maharashtra. A handful of rice is thrown into the joli into which the new born child is laid. This rice is supposed to be the source of growth and strength of the child and the tribe. On death, when a person is laid in the earth, he is fed a morsel of boiled rice by his immediate family. A serving of rice is then wrapped up in sag leaves and placed by his side, food for the journey. Even the bull that ploughed the rice field over the years is fed cooked rice at its death, a token gesture of gratitude, paying back afor years of life-giving service. “This has been a most fruitful experience, and a great learning Lord, I am going to my parental home, experience for our children. ‘Rice’ Wait, dear! Wait, dear! couldn’t have been a more relevant Just let me tie this rice into sheaves, Then you go to your parental home. topic for our adivasi children.” Wendell D’Cruz (Free translation of a song that the Warli women Gnanmata Sadan Society, Thane, Maharashtra sing as they transplant rice in the fields.) (kada is the best). However, it’s sad that most varieties of rice and other food crops, not even farmers don’t grow it because it doesn’t fetch a one person responded. good price. Dr Ashok Kundapur Rajubhai Jantrania, Surat, Gujarat Udupi Parisarasaktara Okkuta, Karnataka Nobody cares for the old The eco-friendly Yerra Sannalu We are deeply concerned about vanishing The traditional variety of rice known as Yerra varieties of rice, but there is no ready demand for Sannalu is grown in Andhra Pradesh’s Srikakulam them. Farmers are falling for high yield varieties. and Vijaynagaram by the Savara tribe. To create a demand, we thought of appealing to The rice requires mimimum tillage and is religious heads, to encourage use of classical grown in uplands, requiring no supplemental varieties of rice along with other cereals and irrigation. No fertilisers are required. It is highly vegetables. (For example, “Elaichi”, a small drought resistant. It’s straw is used as cattle feed. variety of banana, also called “Deva Bale” in South Canara is the preferred one for pujas). MT Naidu But when we tried to collect data involving Society for Modernisation of Agriculture and students, merchants and farmers preserving old Rural Technology, Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh Gobar Times, May 15, 2004 Down To Earth supplement 77
  • 13. ACTIVITY Serving Size Pay attention to the serving size. It tells you the amount of food that the nutrient Label Detectives information given on the label is based on. Food stores are filled with delicious They are provided in familiar units, such as things. What's in the food you are cups or pieces, followed by the metric amount, e.g., the number of grams. It is eating? The food label tells you. based on the amount of food a person typically eats. For example, one serving of Total Fat: Aim low. Most people need to cut back on fat! Too macaroni and cheese equals one cup. If you much fat may contribute to a whole list of health problems. Try ate the entire package, you would eat to limit your calories from fat. Choose foods with a big 2 cups, which means you would consume difference between the total number of calories and the twice the amount of the nutrients listed on number of calories from fat. the label. Saturated fat: It is listed separately because it's the key player in raising blood cholesterol and your risk of heart disease. Eat less! Cholesterol :A second cousin to fat — can lead to heart disease. Salt: You call it “salt,” the label calls it “sodium.” Either way, it may add up to high blood pressure in some people. So, keep your sodium intake low Carbohydrates: It has two groups: starches (complex carbo- hydrates) and sugars (simple carbohydrates). On a food label, sugars include…brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, fructose, fruit juice, concentrate glucose (dextrose), raw sugar, syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar maltose, molasses, table sugar (sucrose). A food is likely to be high in sugars if one or several of the above items appears first or second in the ingredients list. GOOD: Less than 10g per 100g. HEALTHIEST: Less than 2g per 100g. Fibre: It aids digestion and helps fight some diseases. Look for products with high fibre Vitamins and Minerals: Get enough of these nutrients as these can improve your health and boost your immune system to fight diseases. Calories: They are a measure of how much energy you get from food. Calories come from three sources: fat, protein, and carbohydrate.Too many of this can cause overweight problems. The units of calorie intake is usually in kilocalories (kcal). One gram of fat gives 9.5 kcal when consumed. Similarly, carbohydrates yield 4.2 kcal/gram and proteins yield about 4.1 kcal/gram. Protein: Protein listed on a nutrition label only refers to the amount of complete proteins in the food. They are the building blocks of our body. Get more of these. 78 Gobar Times, May 15, 2004 Down To Earth supplement