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Gabfest: And Thereby Hangs A Tail

Discussion in 'Education & Personal Growth' started by Cimorene, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Novalis

    Novalis Gold IL'ite

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    Growing up in the most provincial of the towns, my idolized word was "trite" because the day I discovered the word I exhausted my unspent bile by citing every ordinariness as "trite". I had a weapon to mark my enemies. "That is too trite", I would squeal. Udaan is deliverance from that anguish. As a devilish child, surrounded by auntyjis with trite gossip, trite languor, trite advice, everything was monstrously trite in their grandstanding actions. So, when I spot distinction and originality in someone, I would like to think of such propensity as udaan, a flight from the trite instincts. I know, some of my blabber refuses to make sense to anyone. I have the vision about it but not the expression to go with it. So I invent such private vocabulary.
     
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  2. Kohvachn

    Kohvachn Silver IL'ite

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    "Grain hoarding" brings to me some nostalgia... Back at our traditional house in Chettinad, there would be a grain storage facility to store a reasonable quantity of rice, say that would last for a year minimum. These types of grain storage structures are common among the agricultural communities (in India) I suppose. They have lost their purpose and presence with changing trends in culture and lifestyle. While they lasted, this low-cost risk management food storage technique provided insurances during lean times and helped to achieve self-sufficiency. Simple, indigenous solution for sustainability. Today, the "hoarding" term has become synonymous with food insecurities, panic, and pandemic! :hmmm:

    Anyways... #GrainDrain also means "opportunity" and boosted demands for local grain suppliers (GrowNYC). That's a positive! :wink1:
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
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  3. Kohvachn

    Kohvachn Silver IL'ite

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    Our food systems are an indirect reflection of the socio-cultural changes in an ever-evolving world, accelerated by human advancements, within a short time period too. Food is now a multi-billion dollar business worldwide driven by "profit-first" logic; "food sustainability" has a new meaning with centralized procurement, production, distribution systems, and greater reliance on foreign imports.

    Increasing migrations, urbanization, new lifestyles, better living standards, availability and accessibility to global foods at ease, extensive marketing, etc. - our consumption habits have changed big time. Unlike my grandmother, I dont have the need for special storages beyond a month's store of food stock maximum. "Just in time" delivery also meant too many food choices, anytime and anywhere. We consider quality, value, convenience as purchasing criterion, and fail to care about the source of food or give a thought about the complexities that may be involved in the background processes.

    Silver lining: this pandemic has brought the world's attention to the fragilities of our food system. We need to rethink our role, responsibilities, contributions, and start to actually care about the entire food ecosystem, just not about the food in our plates!
    Maybe it's not too late we try to reverse the negative consequences of these trends? Starting bottom-up from us, with a shift in our attitudes about how we may choose to consume, making conscious ethical choices whenever. Or it's business as usual, post-pandemic?

    For instance, Amazon stocks have hit a record high during this pandemic with all the additional e-shopping because of the lockdown, while its workers are at health risk with minimal protections and unsatisfactory hazard pay. And, Walmart like superstores use their market monopoly power to demand very low prices from suppliers, just so we can buy cheap. Both cases are forms of exploitation.

    amznwmrt.PNG

    Shouldn't this concern our purchasing decisions? More reasons to grow own and buy local, sidestepping the market giants for good.

    To think, businesses and brands' wealth growth is sustained by consistently growing consumer demands. But are they the only ones to be blamed?
    I would say the capitalists' greens ($$$) are fuelled by consumers' greed equally. We let the human society evolve into this capitalistic economy. Just didn't happen in a vacuum, we are responsible too. :mask:

    Interesting insight: One-third of respondents (China 76 percent; India 60 percent) in the latest global survey have said they have managed to convince other people to stop using a brand that was not acting appropriately (especially during this pandemic).

    I'm trying the same here, shamelessly, if you haven't gotten the hint already! :wink:
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
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  4. Kohvachn

    Kohvachn Silver IL'ite

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    Food crisis (production and supply shortages, high prices) combined with the recession, unemployment, inadequacies of the stimulus measures, widening inequalities, insecurities...could cause social unrest. Populists may take advantage of the chaos and the weakest, trigger (racial, communal, political) hatred and protests demanding policy changes or the removal of the govt over incompetence or public discontent. Meanwhile, cybercriminals are busy hacking (ex: Zoom) and Darkweb is flourishing with grey market sales (of masks, medical supplies, etc). I_S_S and Mafia are also invested (perfect time now while world leaders are distracted on containing the contagion). Riots, crimes, counter-surveillance measures are predicted to surge post-pandemic. What a vulnerable world it will be like ahead? Chaos will be the new normal? #DoomGloom :sweat:
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
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  5. Kohvachn

    Kohvachn Silver IL'ite

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    It isn't just the frequent drought, famine, climate change and urbanization that has pushed the small scale farmers out of business but also large scale industrialized farming, centralized supermarket sourcing, global suppliers, monopoly culture has all made it nearly impossible for local producers to compete. Remaining (vast) hectares of lands are utilized to produce feeds for processing industries or to feed animals that are grown for meat industries which could otherwise provide enough food for the local population. Grains and essential foods that could have been grown locally are instead imported.

    Ideally, a resilient and decentralized food system design should include a comprehensive mixture of local productions from diverse (small, medium, large) farms, combined with growing our own, with the focus more on the community and its sustainability. Foods that cannot be grown or made or not available locally can be imported, and from diversified global supply chain partners to ensure the robustness of the system. Self-sufficiency and food security can be achieved by the collective will and efforts of govt, markets, producers, and consumers. (Notable: Confarm - An state initiative by Telangana to ensure food availability during COVID-19 times!)
    Hmmmm...towards renaissance already! :wink1: Kudos! :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
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  6. Kohvachn

    Kohvachn Silver IL'ite

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    Have you noticed? How every academic, science, research, energy, environment, consumption, conservation, sustainability, climate change, economics, social welfare, capitalism, trade, business, stock market, technology, AI, surveillance, food, health, culture, religion, education, social media, agriculture, manufacturing, service industries, globalization, policies, politics, election, democracy, journalism, news, op-eds...topics and conversations are about a single element now: COVID-19! What's Now & Next. Same trend even here on IL.

    Remember a month back I asked you - what will be the next global revolutionary big thing? We had no clue haan that IT would be an 8-kilobyte RNA strip! We discussed every possibility but a virus! :sweatsmile:

    ...When natural disasters hit, newsrooms scramble to send reporters to the affected place to report out the situation, which is often a seat-of-the-pants exercise. This time, the affected place is everywhere, and everything!

    Damn. #Corona_Is_Cool_Like_That? :relieved:
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
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  7. Mistt

    Mistt IL Hall of Fame

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    Kohvachan,
    I remember those big grain storage containers at my grandma's house. They just look like this and thanks for bringing back those pleasant childhood memories.

    IMG_2230.JPG
     
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  8. Kohvachn

    Kohvachn Silver IL'ite

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    Yes. There are many varieties and I was only a little kid back then so don't remember many details. From whatever I can recollect, we had a boxy container. Looking up on the internet, this type fits the image in my head more appropriately:

    p1.PNG

    A "pathayam". It feels very ancient already! Not only the storing techniques but other traditional, manual food processing methods like pounding, crushing, winnowing, grinding, blending, churning, etc. are, in a way, essential survival skillsets lost on us over modernization. Say if all the utility stores were to kinda disappear from this planet one day, my life would just go super blank I guess. Or a simple power cut for that matter! Bleeeeep annnd...!

    [​IMG]

    :lol::facepalm: Lol. Thank you for sharing. :beer-toast1:
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2020
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  9. Gauri03

    Gauri03 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    It wasn't just grain storage. Production and preservation of food were the cornerstones of rural life. The growing season was limited and one had to ensure the food lasted through to the next growing season. That is where traditional food processing techniques like pickling, fermenting and desiccation found their use. I remember my mom grating/pureeing fresh vegetables like spinach, gourds, tomatoes and mixing with a coarse urad or moong dal paste with spices to make vadis that were then dried by the hundreds on the terrace. These were stored and used to make curries in the off season. Something interesting I remember from the summers with my grandparents was the idea of seasonal foods. Watery fruits and vegetables like cucumbers, melons and gourds were summer foods, and denser vegetables, especially root vegetables like carrots, yams and radishes were winter foods. There were no peas and carrots in summer and we didn't miss them. I'm not sure when exactly that started changing but I remember the Safal frozen peas were the first nonseasonal vegetable that popped up in the corner vegetable shops in the early 90s around the time India opened up for FDI. For a long time my mother considered them an abomination. Who eats peas in the summer she used to say! :smile: Globalization brought us carrots in the summer and cucumbers in the winters, and with the advent of the Internet, discerning desis want avocados and quinoa in their supermarkets putting us at the mercy of supply shock in the global food supply chains. Eating local and seasonal means being okay with a limited selection of foods. Our grandparents couldn't have dreamt up the sheer variety of food available for consumption today.

    Eating local might be good for the planet and for our health, it certainly isn't easy on the wallet. The more labels the produce has--organic, local, seasonal--the more $$$ you have to part with to acquire it. Most of the world's population cannot afford to eat as per their conscience. And then there is this, Local food crop production can fulfill demand for less than one third of the world's population. Unless there is a second green revolution that favors sustainability while increasing local crop yield we might have no choice but to rely on global supply chains to keep the planet fed.
     
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  10. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    You have mentioned my favorite habit of watching the value of what was not said by me. This currency is invaluable both when it is used and unused depending on the circumstances. I have regretted what was said more than what was not said.
     
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