The joke in our family is that our cat, Kitty, wants to try out for the T.V. show Master Chef Australia! She is completely taken with the Master Chef aprons that my Australian friend Don, very generously mailed me, after I told him that I was addicted to the series.
My addiction is quite strange actually! Firstly, because I’m not an avid television fan. I was raised without T.V. and even later, never developed a compulsion for it. And secondly, of the little time I watch T.V., food or cooking programs are not on the list. (more…)
Posted by Rita Banerji on June 15, 2012
Some Indian sweets. The ones I generally pick are the ras-malais, the white balls in a bowl. There is a good reason why!!!
I grew up in a culture where we eat many foods, including rice and rotis with our hands. And in other cultures there are foods called ‘finger-foods’ like fried chicken and burgers and pizza, that are meant to be eaten with one’s fingers
BUT THE BIG RULE IS: one is allowed to put one’s finger only in one’s own food! Not in other people’s. This is what a lot of people, specially in India still don’t understand.
In a recent lab study there were about 4700 species of bacteria identified from swab samples taken from only 102 people’s hands. What that means is (more…)
Posted by Rita Banerji on May 22, 2012
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Someone, had very lovingly gifted me this apple, which you see in the photo above, and it has been sitting in my fridge for over 10 days now! I never had any intentions of eating it. And one of the reasons I would never eat it is because this apple has done a lot of sitting around! Before it got its seat in my fridge, I figure it was sitting in the fruit shop for about 3-4 days, and in a retail ware-house for about a week before that, and in some ship that sailed from the U.S. to India, for about 10 days before that, and in crates in loading docks for a few days before that, and in some apple orchard’s warehouse in California for some days before that.
So between its place of origin – the U.S., and it’s destined place of consumption, India, this apple has been sitting on its butt for more than more than a month. And even though it looks like it could do with a collagen shot, it still hasn’t perished!!! It is so loaded with chemicals — that it has an extra-long lease on life!!! (more…)
Posted by Rita Banerji on June 5, 2011
March 24, 2010
A potato farmer, Maktabul Hussein, only 18 years old, committed suicide today in Jalpaiguri, in West Bengal. Why? Because the price of potatoes have dropped so much that he could not make up the money to pay back the Rs. 500,000/- loans he had taken to cultivate his land.
Maktabul was getting only Rs. 1.80/kg for his potatoes. And this is what is bizarre! Over the last few months everyone in town has been complaining about how the cost of potatoes has been soaring, along with that of onions, lentils and rice. At one point potatoes was selling for Rs.20/kg! If the middle-class was feeling the pinch, just imagine how it has been for the poor. Potato after all has been the poor’s sustenance! What more – recently the West Bengal government announced that there has been such a surplus of potatoes that they are going to be exporting them!
What are we supposed to gather from this? Is there a potato cartel at work here? That odious middle-man? Does he hoard the potatoes – and rips off the poor farmer who breaks his back cultivating it. And then turns around rips off the customers by charging them 10 times the cost?
In the book Needless Hunger, the authors show that it was exactly this kind of food cartel that had resulted in Bangladesh’s famine, when hundreds died of starvation.
Posted by Rita Banerji on March 26, 2010