We obsess about eating ‘healthy’ food, but mostly, we just follow the trends. It is difficult for us to collect knowledge about what we should be eating and hence, we rely on doctors, nutritionists and experts. But the problem with food or anything in life is that everything is connected. What we eat is actually political. Our foods habits are interconnected to economics, political atmosphere, agriculture etc. Rujuta challenges everything we have been taught about Indian food. Decades back, we ate ghee, rice, coconut and sweets. But now, we are obsessed with ‘health’ which is a good thing. However, is the food that is sold to us as ‘healthy’ really healthy? We don’t think twice before eating a Marie biscuit, but we are paranoid about not eating ghee. We are not afraid of processed food but we are afraid of Indian food. Rujuta says that India’s current food habits are influenced by colonization. She also points out that the ‘nutritionists’ and authorities who talk about obesity and diabetes are changing their mind all the time. She turns our entire world upside down. Ghee, when eaten with rice, dal or sabzi is actually GOOD for diabetes, cholesterol etc. Sweets are not completely poisonous. You can eat rice at night and rice is not exactly the reason why you put on weight. She believes that imitating western food habits is a bad idea because Indians live in a different climate and their bodily needs are different. She asks you to listen to your grandmother and her age old wisdom.
Isn’t it interesting that yoga became cool only when the West embraced it? This book made me realize that I’m like the billions of Indians…blindly following trends and calling myself ‘rational’. I, like my fellow Indians, lack self-respect. This is not to say that everything that comes out of west is ‘evil’ (I mean, I’m writing this because of the West). But sometimes, it is nice to question what we have been taught. We usually do this in other areas but when it comes to food or health, we believe in ‘objectivity’. We may embrace subjectivity in relationships, but everyone has to agree on the Body Mass Index. But before we accept anything, let’s remember that what was ‘bad’ a decade ago, has been pronounced ‘good’ by the same authorities. Science cannot be separated from other areas [Homosexuality was once considered a psychological disorder]. This book calls for an interdisciplinary approach to nutrition and health.
P.S. This book is available on the Juggernaut App.