Friday, July 3, 2015

Lentils and Goat hold the key to fight the global hunger and poverty

Are you surprised by the Lentils and Goat combination? For the people in US and other developed countries, both are almost alien food items, not used frequently. For Indians, both are much familiar as India holds the 2nd position worldwide in the production of both and the lentils is the staple food. Canada is the largest producer of the lentils and China for the goats.
Lentils and goats are 2 essential components of the 'disruptive eating' which we practice and promote through Nirmal. Please read our earlier posts. The 'disruptive eating' connects the healthy eating to the climate change. Both are the most glaring issues of our generation.
The healthy eating component has 2 parts - one, you don't have to eat meat for protein and second, for non-vegetarians, the goat meat is far better option. Just to give an idea, the meat consumption alone produces more greenhouse gases than that of all aeroplanes, trains, automobiles combined, 21% of the total. The lentils combined with the rice or any whole grain is the complete protein. In bonus, the lentils is the excellent source of the dietary fiber. See the link -
 Also the veggie protein has one component missing as compared to the meat protein -B12. One can get plenty of B12 in the dairy and the eggs. The vegans need to get the supplement from the other sources.
We believe that the whole world population can't turn the vegetarians overnight, not feasible either as per the food chain point of view or the employment wise. Almost 1 Billion people are engaged in the meat production, transportation and the distribution. Out of 7 Billion of the world population, now there are just 750 million vegetarians, 500 million in India. Percentage wise, India has 42% vegetarians as compared to 10% in the US and 5% in the China. Such high percentage of vegetarians in India could be attributed to our cultural moorings as well as the Curry based food. The Curry uses the plenty of the spices whose taste is so dominant that it makes the presence of veggie or the meat item almost redundant. Like if you eat soya curry or chciken curry, your taste buds would get almost the same pleasure. The India was well known for its spices since the time immemorial and still is the largest producer of the spices in the world. That's why the Indian cuisine is the integral part of the 'disruptive eating.'
The goat meat despite being the red meat is healthier than even Chicken. See the link from the Michigan State University, one of the top agriculture research universities in the US -  
But that is not the biggest advantage of the goat meat. Once you go through this link - ""-story.html# , you may get shocked. One pound (454 gms) of the beef uses 1800 gallon of water (1 gallon=3.78 liters). Compare this with the pork needing 576 gallon, Chicken 468, Lamb 731 and the stupendous Goat needs just 127 gallons. I know the beef supporters always forward the argument that for the grain fed beef, the water requirement comes down by 75%, so 1 pound beef would need 450 gallons, still 3.5 times of the goat. One reason to combine Lentils with Goat is its water requirement, less than 100 gallons for a pound. Actually the scientists have developed the drought resistant varieties of the lentils.
Let me share some more facts. How many of us know that 70% of the agriculture land in the world is used for some form of feed for the meat producing animals, the pastures or  the grain. See the link - . Here the goat scores too as they are called the browsers not the grazers. As matter of the fact, for the same quantity of the meat, the goat eats 1/3 of the grass needed for the beef and 1/5 of the grain needed for the pork. Also the goat could be reared anywhere from the Himalayas to the Sub-Saharan Africa. In India, the villagers keep the goats as the pets due to its small size. Goat is also good source of the milk and its milk is more tolerant or digestive than the cow's milk.
As of now, the global meat consumption has share of the Pork 38%, the Chicken 30% and the Beef 24%, Goat 6%, total 98%. All other meats fit into 2% including the lamb, the turkey and other meats. And that baffles me. Like if you try our goat curry or goat biryani in Indian Cuisine, it beats hand down any preparation of beef or pork. Off course you need to get used to the spices.
So the goat meat is healthier, far more sustainable than any type of meat, could be tastier in due course, then why its usage is at the bottom of the rung.
We believe that the lack of information is the primary reason. That's why we have started a campaign to ask the UN to declare the #WorldsLentilsDay and #WorldGoatDay on Oct 16, the World Food Day. Let people all over the world focus on the lentils and the goat. We are also pitching for the UN supervised program for #LentilsLand and #GoatLoan. There is so much barren land or the unused government or private land in each and every country. Can UN help in leasing these lands to the landless poor people and help them grow the lentils, called the poor's protein? Also the UN can arrange the goat loan to these or other poor families to build an extra source of income in the form of goat rearing.
The UN sponsored International Days are very effective. Just last month the International Yoga day was celebrated on 21st June. It was observed by 190 countries out of 205 countries or so. I was following the #BeefBan issue in India. Everyone pitched in from the central ministers to the leaders from the other parties to the twitter world. I did not hear a single word from anyone about how the beef is not healthy neither sustainable. I know people would argue that the beef is far cheaper than the goat. It is because there is not very high demand for the goat, a red meat though healthier than Chicken and most of the goat meat produced in India is exported. Once the people start eating the goat meat, the supply would go up too. And with the goat loan, the Indian villages with 51% of population would become the goat farm land and that would bring the price down. In India, there is no need for the beef ban once the people know about the goat.
I am banking on Indian Prime minister Modi Ji to take the cause of the lentils and the goat this year at UN General Assembly like he did for the Yoga last year. I know he is a vegetarian and frequently talks about the lentils production in India. But both things have potential to change the Indian economy. And India needs it more.
Say after the sustained effort of UN and the countries like US, India, China, say by 2050, the goat meat share reaches 50%, Chicken 40%, other meats 10% and 25% of the world population turn the vegetarian, imagine the savings in the grain and the pasture land. This has potential to eradicate the global hunger and the poverty problem.
Why 2050? By then the world population would be 9 billion. Whatever progress we make in the space technology, we won't be able to send more than 10K people to the Mars or the Moon by 2050. So we have to fit in another 2 billion people on our planet and provide food for them. From where?  We have to take back the land from the meat animals, remember 70% of the agriculture land. And only way out is to reduce the meat consumption in general and gradually the goat to replace the beef and pork as the global brand. The forest cover depletion is no longer the option for the human habitat.
And yes, the water is not unlimited what we drink and use for bath, cooking etc. If you think the sea water which covers almost 70% of our planet is an option, forget it. We need to think before we eat anything. Sorry, the Chocolate too.
Recently we launched the campaign for #PureMHealthyM here in the Michigan. Let us take our message to all over the US and beyond. We bank on your participation.