Monday, October 19, 2009
One writes not expecting to see one’s article in print, now the fallout!
The Sunday Leader in the special Kottu section of October 18th published the previous blog entry, with my permission of course, but I for some reason thought it was the earlier article, the comments there from resulted in the published piece.
Either way it was an entry out of personal experience and not empirical evidence as should be appreciated. I would however like to elaborate on some of the issues dealt with in the said piece as this debate is nevertheless important and opportune, and the sooner we tackle this problem of diet holistically, so we bring in the agriculture sector as well as the consumers of their produce on to the same plane.
I would like to add that while the farmers in Polonnaruwa eat white rice, usually parboiled nadu, devoid of nutrients, and full of starch, the Southerners tend to prefer Rathu Kekulu, or red rice of various hues of redness.(note that the level of polishing determines the level of redness and not the type of rice per se) So there are regional disparities in diet. At the same breath I would like to add that the red rice I am referring to is currently selling about 10Rupees a KG below the aforesaid parboiled nadu. So it is a fact that many of the affluent in Colombo eat lower priced rice than their staff, who eat the white parboiled. Of course they do eat out and imported Basmati seems to be dish of choice at restaurants.
My struggle with regard to selling organic vegetables is however something I still grapple with. Most of my completely organic foods are very small in size when compared with the non-organic versions and sometimes have insect and other exterior blemishes. In my very small level of cultivation, without the aid of greenhouses etc, my organic products cost more than twice to produce, but are perceived as inferior products by the consumer, until I spend hours giving a lesson in nutrition. It is impossible for me to win this struggle on my own, as attested by my road to penury as a result of my efforts. These points also should go into the overall education on healthy eating habits.
Needless to say the most embarrassing part of the published extract was about my personal preferences and diet, for the world to read, but then again that’s what blogging is about. Despite my unbelievably poor and irregular eating habits, I have hardly had cause to take as much as a panadol in the past 5 years back in Sri Lanka. I attribute it to just drinking King Coconut water, Fresh Milk from my cows, and the juices from the oranges, limes and lemons I grow. For all intents and purposes they are all organic and see an earlier entry to explain what I mean. www.rajaratarala.blogspot.com/2009/05/i-am-orange-kala-dodang-also-called-gus.html