Thursday 12 August 2010

Celebrated Chef talks about growing food sustainably



Dan Barber is a celebrated chef. He has been raising voice about increasing levels of chemicals in the food and how we are veering away from nature.

In the talk, Dan mentions how chicken waste (entrails, beak / feathers / feet etc) are pulped and fed to fish. Feed animal entrails to cows led to outbreak of BSE or Mad Cow Disease.

A British inquiry into BSE concluded that the epidemic was caused by cattle, who are normally herbivores, being fed the remains of other cattle in the form of meat and bone meal (MBM), which caused the infectious agent to spread

And then, towards the end of the talk, Dan asks, "How can we create conditions that allow every community to feed itself".

And the first thought that flashed in my mind was, "But isn't it what the Cow centered Indian agriculture system is all about".

Look at http://palekarzerobudgetnaturalfarming.com/ .

Mr. Palekar, a self taught gentleman has dipped into local agricultural tradition and his own experiments and documented the work on the site "Zero Budget Natural Farming". The thesis is that if we respect the natural ecosystem, and grow food in sync with natural ecosystem, then it is profitable and self sustaining.

Udyog Bharati is an RSS inspired NGO that is working with 200 villages where they have gone back to Cow centered chemical fertilizer/pesticide free model.

Just like it used to be before Nehru implemented a model that has resulted in suicide of more than 200,000 farmer and wretchedness of millions. Udyog Bharati's team, incidentally, has people from IARI, JNU, IIT.

Similar experiments are being carried out elsewhere in India.

In due course the western world will indeed discover the sustainable way to live that we were practicing for generations. But would we have forgotten it by then ??

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