Marla Vijaya kumar
marlavk at yahoo.com
Sat Aug 25 23:07:22 MDT 2012
On a visit to Madras (now Chennai) about 30 years ago, I came across a funny incident. I and my colleague were having tea at a restaurant. Two European women walked in and sat at the a table near us. The bearer approached them and said, "Madame, would you like to have some snakes?" (I suppose he meant snacks!). Visibly worried, the two women replied, "No! No! we don't eat snakes. We want Indian food. We want 'idly'."
Idly is a very popular food item in Southern India. It is made out of a finely ground paste of rice and black gram and steamed. It is eaten along with a soup made of tamarind, vegetables and spices. A sauce made out of yellow gram and coconut is also relished along with idly.
Many Indians do not eat meat, chicken or even eggs all their lives. It has something to do with the caste system. Brahmins and a few other castes are vegetarians.
Vegetarians come under the bottom section of the food pyramid whereas, meat eaters go up the food chain. This imposes a burden on the ecosystem. I wonder whether eating meat is a biological necessity in today's context. The hunter gatherers of yore were meat eaters, but today, we can get our calories comfortably from vegetarian produce. It is just a thought. No controversy.
Vijaya Kumar Marla
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