Each time I am cooking in the kitchen, I pay attention to everything I am using minutely. It is not just the taste and the results of my cooking that make me so fascinated by it. It is also the process, the love that goes into it and the ingredients that make it what it is. Each time I peel a potato, I am fascinated by the journey it would have undertaken to reach my kitchen. Each time I slice an apple I wonder if it was born in Kashmir or Himachal Pradesh. But not only this, each I cut a cucumber I wonder if it has absorbed lots of pesticides that were sprayed to ward off pests. Each time I each a tomato I wonder what chemicals were used to make it look so shiny and perfect!
While it may seem to you like a buzz word or a fad, but organic farming is the way to navigate through this difficult world of unhealthy and unreliable produce of fruit and vegetables. I also agree that what is called as organic in today’s markets, is only half so, and sometimes not even that much. But still that is the right direction to go into, given all the genetic modification that is being fed into our fragile bodies, the way our children are getting affected by years of fertilizers and the way we have no control over what is being sold to us! So don’t you agree that the way ahead is organic farming – and that too each person participating in it?
When I say each person, I do not mean each of us needs to have a kitchen garden or a farm, though we may love to have it, but what I mean is decisive action towards it, whether by supporting farmers and eliminating middlemen so that the pressure on farmers is lesser; or it may mean that we demand more rigorous scrutiny of the food that is being sold to us!
I recommend that each of us should help farmers learn about organic and innovative farming, so that they are not pressurized to make the maximum yield from the current outdated methods. Once they learn navigation through this expensive process, they will make better decisions. This will help them reduce their costs by reduced dependence on chemicals pesticides and fertilizers too. And I am hoping that in the larger picture these angels who feed us and give us life, are also saved from a dreadful life lived in the fear of debt and suicide, because it is these farmers and this agriculture that is truly the essence of existence.
I love this quote by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Agriculture is the backbone of human existence. For any civilisation to prosper, agriculture has to be healthy and sustainable. We need to get our focus back on agriculture which is the primary industry. Our earth has plenty for everyone. We only have to manage its resources well.”