March 2, 2011

Gangamma and Raagi Mudde

What goes around, comes around.

"The Okinawans, residents of an idyllic island group in Japan, claim to be the longest-lived people in the world. A sample weekend breakfast consists of brown rice, miso soup with seaweed, steamed spinach and jasmine tea. Here in Canada, a sample weekend breakfast consists of waffles, muffins, eggs, baby back bacon, sausage links, maple syrup and coffee. In stark contrast, the Okinawans have 80 percent less breast and prostate cancer and less than half the ovarian and colon cancer of North Americans."

Source: Canadian Cancer Statistics, 2001/2002

What goes around, comes around. Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind. This is in continuation of the previous post where I wrote about a lifestyle condition that I had which was a result of a sudden switch to processed foods. There is no dearth of health studies these days. All of them point towards the single minded truth that

'What isn't good for the environment isn't good for me either'

What prompted me to write this post is the many sad truths I have heard during interactions with two doctors - one an experienced Cancer Care specialist who owns and runs Cancer Hospitals in India and the US, the other - a veteran Gastroenterologist whose experience spans decades in many countries. I had the privelege to interact with them on a few occasions as part of my work.

Two of them often shared with us the sad state of our food habits and its contribution to Cancer and many other health issues. Once I heard the story of a six year old (from a colleague of mine) who had to go in for liver transplant because of the accumulation of toxins which couldn't be purified by the liver (they said plastic - I am not sure about the verity of this) Doctors attributed this to over-eating of fried snacks (they named a popular brand even - but, since I am not sure about the correctness of the information, I am not stating the brand name here. Unfortunately, little kids long for this - Once I saw a 3 year old rolling over the floor in a mad fit as her mother refused to buy the packet that she wanted to! What an impact it has on our young ones?)

We can only feel sad seeing parents stuff their ward's school bags with fried snacks - what, we even see them eating it for breakfast! While waiting for my Son's school bus, I used to get petrified seeing little ones of his age eating fried chips to glory - what? for breakfast?

Back to Bangalore - my favorite maid of all times is evidence to the fact that basic foods offer the highest degrees of health, with absolutely zero side effects. I hope we all hear it right - BASIC FOODS - they are the best for our body and for the environment.

My maid- Gangamma as she is called lovingly, eats Raagi Mudde for breakfast -everyday. With Sambhar. Or with chicken curry whenever she has the luxury. She works at about 10 house holds - hopping from one to the other. Her day starts at 3 am. She starts with making Jasmine Garlands, takes them to the Market by bus at the crack of dawn, makes a few hundreds and returns home for her breakfast. Then, heads to our apartment for work. Even after finishing work at the tenth house, she is as fresh as ever! Her genes would have certainly contributed to her sense of well-being, her intense desire to get matters going at her house hold would have given her an added impetus to live on, but am very sure the BASIC FOOD- that she devours every day - Raagi Mudde - is sure to have played a great role. I remember reading a WHO guideline that Raagi must be given to infants - as soon as they start taking solids!

While I wouldn't fancy eating Raagi Mudde everyday for breakfast (I do believe that variety is the spice of life!), what I am sure is the very minimal environmental footprint a person like Gangamma has!  Compared to my lion's share! It will take several posts to talk about it.

Our generation is hooked to 3 white powders if I can call them so - white flour, sugar and salt. The dangerous trio is aplenty in any processed food that we take these days. Hailed as the new food poison trio, we are blind to the great amount of damage they cause to a whole generation. The examples we show today are what our children emulate.

Child is the father of man- If it were so, we mustn't lose hope !

As I sow my own peril, I also sow irreversible damages for my dwelling place.


Preethi said...

Well written Minu!! And so true!! I have tasted Raagi here, its awesome with some chicken or fish :)
Hats off to Gangamma. You must be missing her!!

sarika said...

hi minu .wel said dear....infact i met gangamma today n had conveyed ur message.....she really was very xcited to hear abt raagi mudde n was keenly asking for malukutty....n was very very happy ...she truly miss u.........

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