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Changing eating habits of villages


Villages have  changed a lot from 70’s .  We keep on hearing about the changes in urban areas but the villages have sen more drastic changes specially in food patterns.

During late sixties and seventies village food meant primarily  Jwar , bajra and corn. All big grain staples. A big proportion of foo used to come from these crops. However the wheat caught up soon and surpassed these grain in production . Rice used to be a luxury crop which could only be grown in water rich areas so areas with lesser irrigation facilities had to wait for year to bountiful rain to grow  rice crops.

Mustard oil was available in northern plain of India as this crop grown in winters and almost all areas can grow this without much difficulty.

Although the desi ghee was made by the milk produced by desi cows at home . Now everyone could not afford the cows.

Food grains availability was mostly dependent on the cultivation in local area. Sumptuous meal like Puri, Rice, Buniya( made from beans) , kheer  etc used to be a major attraction at the dawats ( meal invitations) on special occasion like marriage, ceremonies, poojas etc. That time people used to go to distant villages fro these meals as different regions used to offer a different varieties of food.


Jaggery & Khand (semi liquid sweet -a byproduct of jaggery) was common household item and sugar was not available earlier . In fact juices were made with khand & curd  with cold pitcher water and it used t be highly refreshing for tired people.

Sugar came later on with introduction of tea. Tea was not a common household item in late sixties and seventies n villages. It was juices made from khand and curd. Soon it took over because of its taste and with the little quanity you had to store n house. Which meant less space required and ease of up keeping like  jaggery & khand.

Sweets like Jalebi used to be made in jaggery and looked darker. With sugar it became more tasty and lighter in color. however even more unhealthy.

With the food distribution network development and introduction of new crops this became easier to get the tatse of different varieties of food at more frequent intervals . People still go to other villages but now expectations are different.

We can still hear the stories of people who could eat huge amount of food in earlier days in villages. It was not impossible as they used to work harder in farms earlier , with new technology it has become easier to manager farms now.

Village are still better when it comes to carving out time for attending dawats. They can still afford to spend more time in your events than your urban counterparts.

Another worrisome change is the shift in focus of the people from the  concept of ‘Parhej’ to now eat to become healthy. Earlier when people used to fall sick they used to leave the harmful items from their diet & used to eat a patient food like bottle guard or pumpkin. However now with advent of modern medicine the life span of people has increased but it has also increased the dependence on medicine to remain healthy. I guess if a bit of Parhej and some combination of medicine will make people more  healthy and lesser side effects.

Only being alive is not enough, they need be alive and have good heath too. Ayurvedic concept are still more relevant in villages. But the focus has to revamped again.




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