Chennai, May 9 : India should go back to roots of Indian tradition for health and nutrition, says acclaimed Indian food technologist and Vice-President of International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS) Dr V Prakash on Thursday.Delivering a lecture at a seminar on ‘Challenges in food value chain in agri-food processing--solutions through convergence from farm to folk’, organised by the MSSRF here, he emphasised on the rich tradition of India and the country being No.1 in many food businesses. Stating that India was rich in human resources, while many countries lack it, he said the agenda of Farm to Folk was a very challenging one and was not going to end with a magic solution as the population grows scaringly to reach ten billion by 2050.
During this period of economic development and shift in consumption pattern of the consumer, the convergence of informal to organized Food Processing sectors was bound to happen. ''Will it be sustainable with all inclusive marginal farmer is a major issue that needs addressing'', he said. Noting that food losses and waste, which was once attributed to low income countries, has now shifted to high income countries as per the calculations of carbon foot print of wastage of processed food and cooked food and was hundreds of times more in the high income group countries, Dr Prakash said for sustainable future Earth this was an important agenda for minimizing food losses and waste.
''Thus the paradigm shift towards the rural, quality, process and policy along with and not just urban, quantity, production and technology is the key for a sustainable agenda in agro processing'', he noted.Linking farmers and growers to micro and macro markets was very crucial in the food chain in India by focussing on new venture entrepreneurship (Skill based village level MBA’s). Strengthening institutional and marketing mechanism for stronger link to urban markets surpassing multilayer problems in value addition chain, especially for perishables and long term storages of grains was vital, he said.
Speaking about the miracle of the brown rice--the unpolished rice being nutritionally rich--and because it was impossible to preserve the it for a longer period in a cost effective manner, he said one loses the rich nutrition that was gained through the unpolished rice and suggested consuming rice bran oil as a supplement to brown rice. He said only if one gets back to the roots of Indian tradition in consumption of food one could live a healthier life, because nutrition fortification happens in the kitchen. ''So it’s time to re-educate ourselves for better healthier life'', Dr Prakash said. (UNI)