Food & Health

A four-day cooking workshop at Navadarshanam in Bangalore emphasizes that healthy food can be quite delicious

It’s only when we are pushed into a corner do we wake up and decide that we have to change. Just like any other urbanite pressed for time, I have always eaten food for its taste and presentation rather than for the nutrients present in it; if it looked and tasted good I was sure to have it. Then my health took a beating and I was forced to look for healthier options and examine what I was mindlessly eating.

In this era of oil, technology and information, all of us are busy all the time. There is so much to do, so many demands from within and without, and we need all the comforts and entertainment we can get to avoid falling off the treadmill of daily work. It is also an era of specialization and division of labour. Engineers know little of social sciences, eye specialists don’t know the work of bone specialists, and most of us in cities do not know how the farmers grow our grain, where our food comes from or what exactly is in it.

I think the very first thing to recognize about food is that it is the very basis of life, and this is something that ecologists often forget. They treat food as one thing and Nature as wilderness somewhere else: the assumption is if you produce food you cannot have Nature, if you have Nature you cannot meet human needs. And so we build up these amazing dualisms that force us constantly into more destructive routes towards meeting our vital needs, fooling us into believing that the more resources you consume and destroy through intensive agriculture, the more you ‘save’ Nature.


 Ellu Neeru




Amratha Panaka 


(hot, sweet & sour drink)

  • For every half litre bottle of carbonated soft drink (CSD) purchased, your water footprint on the earth (the amount of water depleted) is up to 300 litres of water.
  • Today, 50 Indian villages suffer from severe shortage and contamination of groundwater, because of soft drink production.
  • It takes 442 litres of water to manufacture a one litre plastic CSD bottle.
  • Up to 50% of the water used in each PepsiCo plant turns into wastewater.