Sunday, May 15, 2016

Freedom of Personal Choice?

It all started at Twitter, see some tweets here.

Does @BBCWorld really think children should never have a sweet drink, not even when out for a special dinner? Ever?

Do you think water can be more effective than the #sugartax to fight childhood #obesity and oral #health issues? 

nt abt ever? we know alkaline better 4 us, why nt lemon drink instead of

 It's not about which is best. It's about the freedom of personal choice. Or are you just a slave?

The issue was a BBC World article, link above, which mentioned how in Britain the restaurants were issued the advisory to provide free water to their patrons on top of the recent announcement of the ‘Sugar tax’ on the sugary drinks. Britain too have the obesity problem far less as compared to the US but these efforts are targeted specially at the childhood obesity.

Very relevant for the US if you think of 80% of the restaurants visits are to the fast food places and I don’t think they are designed to offer free water. If you ask for water, some places may offer a smaller cup but the water and cola come from the same fountain. Who would monitor? But the basic fact is offering water does not make business sense. Like cola costs 10 cents assuming 2 small cups (16 Oz) of consumption and even if you sell at $1, it is the highest profit margin for any item at a food joint. So when we discarded the sodas at Nirmal cafĂ© eventually, we lost one major profit making item. Now our yogurt drink called Lassi and Lemon water are the best selling items. But yes our patrons can get free water from a separate source themselves.

Now back to our debate – Freedom of personal choice? No
thing wrong with that. My contention is simple. We need full disclosure. Think of it. Whether you go to a bank to get a $500 loan or get a credit card or go to your doctor or have faced the judges at the courts, everywhere first you are told all information including what you can do and can’t do, what is good, bad or ugly. It’s another matter that most of us don’t even read all info printed in the small letters which may need the binoculars. Do we get full disclosure of the food items? Like if you agree with 75:25 rule which I mention all the time, you may agree that our eating and drinking choices may decide what type of life we live both quality and quantity wise. Specially now we have two 75:25 rules, the latest addition being 75:25 ratio for alkaline:acidic food we consume. I would request you to go through these two links:

That brings us to the ‘Mind’ food – food with a thought. One disclaimer here, we are not related anyway with based in Australia though I love their info. But we go beyond #EatHealthy which takes care of you only to #EatRight which impacts you, the community, the country and the planet. How?

My favorite example is the goat meat for a purpose. First, I grew up eating goat meat and it used to be a staple meat in India, India still 2nd largest producer in the world. Second, the huge disconnect here. The goat cheese is wildly popular in the US rightly so as the goat milk and cheese are only alkaline dairy products whereas there is no taker for the goat meat. The male baby goats are killed within a week which has resulted in the Heritage Foods USA’s campaign for ‘No Goat Left Behind’ or ‘Eat Goat to Save Goat.’

But what we know about the goat? The goat meat is even healthier than Chicken, see our website blog. Or the goat meat could be far less acidic than beef or pork. Or one pound of goat meat needs 127 gallons of water to be market-ready as compared to 1800 gallons of water for beef and 700 for pork. Or for the same quantity of meat, the goat needs 1/3rd of grass for beef or 1/5th of grain for pork. Also the goat could be reared anywhere from the Himalayas to the sub-Saharan Africa.

Taste-wise goat is almost similar to the lamb, for me the best specially with Indian curry. The why the world meat consumption is pork 36%, poultry 31%, beef 25% and goat mere 6%. Trust me here the cola profit margin is not the issue, information is. Like I, eating goat meat for the last 30 years or so, came to know about all these info during the last 2 years when we failed to convince our patrons to make switch to goat instead of lamb. Eventually we discarded the lamb too at Nirmal. Food exclusion combined with info is the best way to challenge the status quo.

Why you think all financial documents have small prints? Because they want us not to read these, period. Same with the meat industry. They are big and powerful. Why to change the status quo even if it means bad news for the planet or the poverty and hunger all across the globe. 64% of the world agriculture land is used for producing the animals’ feed.

We are slaves of our own ignorance and get exploited. Here is the deal. We humans are the social animals, not the animals. Whatever personal choices we make in any aspect of our life, good or bad, impacts the whole family, the community and in turn the country and the planet. So nothing is personal as such if you care for others, the basic tenet of being the human.