Food, or so it appears, is just about everyone’s favourite subject and extolling the virtues of preferred eating places seem to come up in almost every conversation, be these supposed to be business or otherwise orientated which, in a country where way over 58% of the population of 190 million and rising rapidly, are seriously malnourished, really should give pause for thought but, of course, it doesn’t as those who are lucky enough to ‘have’ rarely, if at all, give even a passing thought to the fate of their fellow country people who happen to fall in to the all so conveniently ignored category of ‘have-not’.
To be fair though, there is a fairly new and expanding segment of society to whom food has taken on a whole new meaning and is, in a quiet way, the source of something which can, in all honesty, be described as a ‘Food Revolution’ and, as it continues to grow – pun intended – is bound to have a lasting effect on the lucrative food market in all of its many guises: Guises which, dependant on market swings, must change with the times or suffer vastly reduced profit margins while ‘newbie’s’ take over to skim the cream off the monetary crop.
This Food Revolution is, at the moment, largely limited to the up and coming middle class, those with enough education and exposure to have gained an understanding that chemical free food is a far better, safer option than the poisonous gunk which is the daily fare, both inside and outside the home, of the ‘wannabe’s’ who, blinded by crass commercialism and toxic – lethally so on the food front – consumerism they indulge in, so as to be seen to keep up with the proverbial Joneses, and they actively train their offspring to do exactly the same. This division of the middle class in to sensibly aware, upwardly mobile models and the blindly, led by the collar of advertising and grossly insular, ignorant ‘sheeple’ brigade, is further marked by health issues with the Food Revolutionaries suffering far less ills than the sheeple brigade who are down with stomach bugs etc on an almost weekly basis and this, unsurprisingly, has a knock on effect education too: Young sheeple miss far more days of school, due to illness, than do the off-spring of food revolutionaries and sheeple are, thanks to fast food, fizzy drinks and both salt and sugar dense snacks, increasingly obese, suffer from appalling acne and, as they age, develop illnesses such as diabetes and the like. The younger members of the food revolutionary brigade, however, have a tendency to be clear skinned, slim, physically attractive people who exercise regularly and, above all, eat only natural, chemical free, low fat foods and, aside from pulled muscles, rarely have cause to visit a doctor to be polluted by chemical cures and will, if the need is unavoidable, opt for homeopathic remedies instead.
There is also, and this certainly must not be overlooked, yet another segment of society – and a massive one at that and it happens to be the segment that includes a high percentage of the 58% plus, who face a daily struggle to find enough food to eat and who will, given the circumstances, eat whatever comes there way, albeit half a toxic burger that a sheeple has binned or otherwise. Of this huge percentage of the population, many are rural dwellers with very little, if any, land to call their own and on which to cultivate crops which is where a very interesting anomaly enters the equation.
On the whole, food revolutionaries, those seekers of pure, unadulterated, fresh produce, are city dwellers with extremely little or no land on which to grow their own healthy, organic sustenance so, unfortunately, they have to rely on a limited number of sources for their daily dietary requirements and, as always happens, these sources – be they honestly organic or simply claiming to be for the sake of profit – hike up prices to such astronomical levels that even food revolutionaries have to think twice before purchasing what they need: The solution though is right there – it is, if they give it enough thought and are as motivated as their words imply – staring them right in the face.
Forget the sheeple as, for the time being, they are lost to even a stray vestige of common sense and will go on poisoning themselves at will. Instead, link the food revolutionaries with the legions of malnourished, subsistence farmers who, in order to survive much longer, urgently need educated help and a modicum of financial assistance to get them going, and get them growing exactly what the revolutionaries require and to hell with the mercenary middle man completely!
All it needs is for food revolutionaries, operating in organized groups in different rural areas of the country, to get out there, sit down and talk with subsistence farmers in need and draw up some kind of ‘I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine’ kind of deal: Subsistence farmers need educating on new varieties of seasonal crops, they need the seeds, they need to be taught how to expand on their traditional methods of organic agriculture and, above all, they need a guaranteed market for what they grow and for their organic eggs, milk and other organic dairy products and the food revolutionaries need, dream of, all of this and more.
The missing link is simply the guts and determination of food revolutionaries – most of whom will at least know someone with ancestral village connections – and instead of waiting for miracles to happen and their organic demands to be met, they need to organize and be brave enough to go out there and get on with the job which, let’s face it, will, in turn, raise the nutritional levels and living standards of the 58% and over who are, right now, desperately in need of salvation.
The writer has authored a book titled The Gun Tree: One Woman’s War and lives in Bhurban.