I love pizza. I love biryani. I love cheesecake. But these are foods I am ready and willing to give up if that’s what it took to prevent the apocalypse. What I am not willing or intending to ever give up is fruit. The sweet litchi, squishy plums, pulpy mangoes, juicy melons, tangy berries, glossy pear, soft chiku and oh, list goes on…
If fruits were celebrities, avocado would be first on the list to receive the red-carpet treatment. Now, if you read/ listen to the news regularly you may be aware of the avocado emergency situation in Australia. For the uninitiated, here is what is happening –
Fun fact – Jambudvipa, the land of rose apple, is one of the first documented names of the country we live in, India. Rose apple or java apple or jaam, as it is locally called, is lesser-known today like many of our other local fruits including phalsa, karonda, tadgola, loquat, jackfruit and many more. The reason? We have started believing that blueberries are richer in antioxidants than mulberry and avocado has better heart-protecting properties than chiku !!!
It may seem strange now, but there was a time when our neighbors and friends wouldn’t have known what an avocado was. Why? They weren’t always quite as popular as they are today. A once unknown ingredient is now a staple in dishes across the globe, thanks to the diet and food industry which wants you to believe it is the “healthiest” option. While we have all accepted avocados as the “superfruit”, we have unwittingly abandoned the local, fresh produce of the region we stay in. This is not only true for India but worldwide.
This phenomenon can best be described as “Nutrition Transition”, a term coined by Barry Popkin, a nutrition science researcher. This is seen to be increasingly evident in developing countries where, according to food economists, the rich people attach low prestige to local foods and are attracted to the “Superfoods of the West”. Uniform eating choices and reduced diet diversity is the direct outcome.
Including fresh, local and seasonal foods, however, is good for our individual health, global economy and the planetary ecology. The modern nutrition science guidelines are also supporting this idea now. The latest American (2020) and Canadian (2018) dietary guidelines suggest that we must eat foods that reflect our personal preferences, cultural traditions and budgetary considerations. Each fruit with its vibrant color is a storehouse of a myriad micronutrients and electrolytes. The best for you and the planet is the one that grows closest to you and covers the least food miles to reach your plate. These will be naturally climate-resilient, offer a better nutrient profile, use lesser non-renewable resources, improve soil quality and contribute to a greener, healthier planet.
Hence, to spread awareness and to bring to the limelight the many native, exotic fruits that we have forgotten or have been avoiding (owing to the false diet culture), I would like to initiate the campaign “#FalAajKal”.
Why should you participate ?
1) If you love fruits.
2) If you love the planet.
3) If you believe in sustainable living.
What you have to do ?
Use #FalAajKal while sharing pictures/ stories/ memories of your favorite fruit. Feel free to tag me ! I would surely love to see the fruits you are eating, and if I can, share the health benefits/ fun facts of the same for our followers !
PS – A special thanks to my very talented friends, Faiza and Ishanee, for coming up with this ‘hashtag’ and having my back whenever I got stuck.
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