Friday, 15 February 2013

You Are What You Eat

   Voila! Now I know why the aunty next door reminds me of a samosa! Or why Goans wear a lithe body like their own squids & prawns; or why Koli women are rotund like the  pomfret fish (mermaids, eh?); or why the Venkat Ramakrishnans from Kerala have heads resembling coconuts; or why, living in Mumbai, I’m sometimes unable to distinguish the man from the vada pav!

   Needless to say that I’m going overboard with the phrase and neither Brillat-Savarin nor Feuerbach meant their quotations to be taken literally. They were stating that the food one eats has a bearing on one’s state of mind and health. As Gautam Buddha states, “All that we are is a result of what we have thought,” the essence of You Are What You Eat is essentially the same. We are. It's every bit as true as it is hard to see. Just as our homes are made from lumber without looking like trees, our bodies are made from the nutrients we extract from foods. The nutritional content of what we eat determines the composition of our cell membranes, bone marrow, blood, and hormones. Consider that the average adult loses roughly 300 billion cells to old age every day and must replace them. Our bodies are literally manufactured out of the food we consume.

   This idea is not just one of those things picked up from the Western world; it is ingrained into our Indian culture as well- there is a Gujarati saying (my editor will be proud of me for this one!) which goes as, “Ann juda ena mann juda” It means that different kitchens breed different kinds of thinking. It’s an interesting thing to think about and ultimately goes on to show how intricately food becomes a part of who we are.
        Although a question still remains unanswered...

No comments:

Post a Comment