Health Topics

Healthy Living

March 2010
Springing Forth with Renewed Ideas
Dr Sreedevi Yadavalli
Without doubt, spring is the most pleasant of seasons. Each year, when spring pops up, it reminds us of the power that weather has on a person’s outlook. The lush greenery and bright patches of blooming flowers against the clear blue skies just makes a person feel happier and healthier.

Whoever related seasons to the human colour palette had it right. Spring is all bright yellows, acqua blues, peach and bright greens; summer is all dusty reds, mauves and maroons; autumn just deepens the spring colours into burnt oranges and browns; and winter is all whites and off-whites, offset with dark blackish shades.

Nevertheless, the beauty of colour just warms up with the advent of spring. No wonder then that the traditional Indian festival of Holi celebrates colour as symbolic of new life and energy. But then, even though Holi is always associated with the exuberance of life, there is every need to temper the colour with caution. Chemicals used in Holi colours harm health, but thankfully, there is growing awareness on using natural and eco-friendly colours.

In fact, going green and natural is also currently an agenda with farming methods across the country. The recent Bt Brinjal controversy is proving to be Springing Forth with Renewed Ideas a shot in the arm for organic farmers. We are learning that the chemistry that kills pests can take a toll on us as well, a fact that is contributing to the surging popularity of organic foods. The trend is actually worldwide. It is estimated that the amount of land under organic cultivation across the world has more than doubled since 2000, according to the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, and now stands at 79 million acres.

In India, notwithstanding the lack of a policy to actively promote it, organic agriculture is slowly but surely emerging in pockets as an alternative to the Green Revolution technology. The Bt Cotton experience and Bt Brinjal scare have further driven home the point about the adverse impacts of tinkering with nature, which could harm the health of the agricultural system itself and even make it unsustainable in the longer run.

This augurs well for the future health of India and Indians, for we could possibly witness a quantum jump in policy focus from chemical-intensive farming to sustainable agriculture. After all, how best to enhance the welfare and wellbeing of farmers and consumers is always crucial agenda for the government. It’s the methodology that now needs some re-thinking. So, here’s to the season aiding the springing forth of renewed ideas!
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