Perspectives from the Covid-19 Pandemic
May 7, 2014

Is your meal lonely today?


Does the meal on your plate have company, or is it lonely? In this world of nuclear families, busy couples, and busier children, there is a dearth of time. This is true not just to cook items that will decorate a plate, but to eat them as well. We are constantly looking for the easiest dish to cook in the shortest possible time, that can also be held conveniently in one hand, while we are busy at our desks. Bloggers compete to churn out the most photo-worthy one-pot meals. Are they worthy of our guts though?

Looking back at a nutritious, diverse thali (plate), it reminds us of a joint family with grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins being together, making wonderful memories every day, cooking traditional wholesome meals that adorn the plate. Seems like a thing of the past now, where large families sat on the floor cross-legged laughing and enjoying piping-hot, fresh meals lovingly served to them. The important aspects that are missing today are the time, the leisure with which to savour the meals, the mindful eating, the diversity of food served, the company of our loved ones.

In the rat race of ambitions, achievements and goals, we have left behind not just traditions, people, but also our nutrition. The colourful, nutritious thali cooked lovingly, have been replaced by easy-to-eat meals that are neither healthy nor nutritionally balanced in terms of what our body needs. The lack of time and knowledge about β€œViruddh Aahaar” (opposites in nutrition) are reasons why we routinely mix ingredients that should not be cooked or consumed together, leading to more harm than good. Do we stop to think that these foods that temporarily satiate us might actually be causing long-term damage to our health?

What is missing is the combination of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, cereals, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, healthy oils and most importantly the delicately balanced, culinary levels of complex combinations of spices. We also lack the spectrum of six basic tastes and flavours that used to complement each other in traditional meals, such as savoury, sweet, sour, umami, bitter and hot.

How does all of this reflect on the way we feel and the state of our health in the long run? If we take a hard look at our simple meals today, do they really make use of our knowledge about food and nutrition, or our rich culinary heritage? How about our health, mood and emotions? There is a direct correlation between the diversity and complexity of our meals and our long-term health.

At Microbiome Superhero, we strive to throw light on these forgotten aspects that are a simple key to good health.

-Team Microbiome Superhero

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