BE FOOD WISE

A couple of months back, I stumbled upon an old dusty book – ‘Food is Your Best Medicine’ by Dr. Henry G. Bieler. Curious about its content, I got it issued from the library and started reading it. Each page spelled wisdom! Dr. Bieler was a physician who shot to fame in 1965 with this book. On discovering the wonders of a good diet, he stopped prescribing medicines to his patients and switched to diet therapy. His colleagues, at that time, thought that he had lost his mind. But, as he describes case after case which responded to his way of treatment with food, one finds much sense in it. Bieler’s thesis was simple: you are what you eat, and opting for whole natural foods – as opposed to fast and convenience foods and sugary desserts – is crucial to optimum health.

The wisdom imparted by Dr. Bieler in his book is unchallengeable! But as I reflected and introspected, I realised that it is definitely not easy to give up our daily food habits for a stricter dietary regimen though the benefits are manifold to reap. It would sure take a super strong determination to follow the healthy diet pattern.

As it is said – some eat to live while some live to eat! Both groups co-exist in harmony unless of course either group moves towards the extremes.

The world scenario has greatly changed. From agricultural food products to processed, packaged and genetically modified (GM) food products, is quite a transition. Street food tickles the tongue more than hygienic home-cooked food. A bag of wafers and a bowl of popcorns make the day for teens and adults alike. Gelatos, faludas, sundaes and the like – rule the day. We call it advancement. Yes, they indeed are aftereffects of the various food and innovation revolutions that constantly hit the world.

To suggest to let go of all fun foods would be an extreme prescription that would remain limited to the extent of this article. The key word however is ‘moderation’. Afterall health and happiness are close cousins! To help them remain closely bonded, moderation is of utmost requirement. Eat what suits your biology, enjoy eating, but keep a check on how much you are eating.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations observes World Food Day on 16th October every year. This year’s theme was – Change the future of Migration. Invest in food security and rural development. The world today is more volatile than it was ever before. Each year the newspapers are flooded with news about refugee crises and migration issues. The developed nations have begun to feel burdened by the influx of migrants. In such a scenario, emphasis on food security and rural development is a must.

In cities, people don’t generally feel the hunger pangs as the rural people do. Even after massive developments and food revolutions, people especially in Asian and African countries die of starvation and malnutrition. What then is our duty as aware citizens? Should the policy framing and implementation be left to the sole prerogative of the governments?

Tiny steps make way for mega changes. Even as we guard our own dietary patterns, let’s also focus on the those hungry and starved people around us. Not all of them can be seen begging for alms. So, the challenge is to identify them and cater to them.

Another crucial value that needs to be inculcated is to avoid wastage of food. Here we waste food and there someone dies without a morsel! Not that avoiding food wastage would instantly reduce hunger deaths. But, it would awaken our conscience and make us grateful for every bite we take.

So, eat healthy, eat in moderation, eat happily without grumbling and share what you eat to show your love and care for those who have not many to care for them.