Q-1: What is the CONCEPT of Safe Food?
Falling health is common in all walks of society. Food is as responsible for it as much as stress and pollution. Food is expected to nourish, but our diets have falling levels of nutrition. Whatever little available nutrition is also poisoned by chemicals. Safe Food is utmost necessary to escape this erosion of nutritive values of our everyday food. Food in every form is the result of farming. Farming is in the grip of the doctrine of the Green Revolution which advocates cultivation of hybrid seeds that have far less nutritive values than the traditional. Hybrid crops are susceptible to infections that warrant use of chemical pesticides. The residues of these deadly chemicals reach our bodies affecting human health in many ways. The awareness of safe food is vital to put an halt to this, and to ensure the building up of a healthy nation. Such a safe food will be raised from crops taken on local natural seeds, in their natural seasonal cycles without external chemical interventions to unnaturally engineer or boost yield.
Safe food movement is an effort to switch to cleaner practices, zero use of toxic chemicals and make farm produce more healthy for the consumer. It is an urgent need of the hour to halt the ill-effects of hyper commercialisation. This envisages education at all levels – farm, market and consumer.
Q-2: What is the connection of ORGANIC farming with Safe Food?
The safe food described above can only be produced using organic or natural farming methods. There is an insistence on improving the soil quality by using biological crop stubble, natural mulching, composting, organic fertilisers, cow-dung/urine. The well-being of soil, flora, fauna and humans is curiously tied together as one. The entire chain is disturbed if any one of these is affected. Soil is the base of all the others in this series.
Just as with vegetables and food-grains, so also with animal based foods. Animals, for example, on an organic dairy farm, are provided a better quality of life, given more space to move, are fed healthier feeds of natural origin, are not injected with performance drugs, so their bodies are free from undesirable hormones and traces of inorganic chemicals.
Organic farming practices ensure the preservation and improvement of soil health and the primary animals in the food-chain and therefore connected directly with Safe Food.
Q-3: How can a common consumer VERIFY if their food is safe?
Foods in all forms can be tested in laboratories. But testing food for research is one thing, doing that in everyday life, quite another. It can be expensive and unrealistic. Organic certifications are offered by labs but they are for supply-chains taking food across wider distances. The most recommended means of ascertaining that your food is safe, is KYF – know your farmer. Consider to visit their farms. Supply-chains are equally important and it is desirable to build one-to-one relationship with your supplier of organic food.
In addition to a connect with the farmer and the supply-chain, consumers should use their sensory perception. Time required to cook organic food, the aroma of natural farm raised food items can indicate the veracity with experience.
Q-4: How do we improve the AVAILABILITY of Safe Food?
Since organic food can only come from organic and natural farms, every single person should further the cause of organic farming. Demand is the biggest driver of change. As the reality about medical expenses exceeding food expenses sinks in, more consumers are seeking to switch to better food. When more consumers demand organic foods, more farmers will be enthused about rejecting toxic chemicals and adopting natural farming practices.
Each one of us can contribute to the cause and effectively influence government policy. Urban consumers need to spend a little more time pondering these aspects. That will raise the demand and therefore the availability.
Q-5: How do we insist on Safe Organic Food in our BUSY URBAN LIVES?
Safe food must become the topmost priority of every urban citizen. We need to nourish our bodies to do everything that keeps us busy. Safe Food will add healthy days to your calendar by eliminating down-time due to falling ill. Any
A little more time, some money and a lot of awareness – consider that as an investment. That is all it takes to ensure you and your family consume safe healthy and nutritious food and continue to enjoy your active lives.
The document below articulates in Marathi the need for this movement.