Healthy food...a luxury

11:26 AM

The media keep telling us we should eat more fruits, eat more vegetable, use olive oil,  consume less fat, and add a couple of handful of raw nuts to our diet as well as drinking unsweetened drinks and all that jazz.

I say that all this is fine and a pretty concept, after all prevention is the best remedy in the world right?

But, what do you do when all the stuff that are good for your health are costing a bomb? Because let's face it in the past 4-5 months the prices of goods in India has been sky rocketing. And, incidentally it's all the good stuff that is becoming more and more out of reach for the common man. Junk food such as maggi noodles (ramen type noodles) have been selling at the same price for the past few years. Ditto when it comes lays potato chips.
And don't be fooled about junk food companies adding such nonsense as "no cholesterol" "added calcium" or the like on the package. It is NOT healthy. But hey, it's cheapm cheaper than 1kg of rice, or 1kg of potatoes, or onions, or tomatoes (which not only seem to have doubled in price but diminished in quality as well). Carrots are out price, so unless you earn the salary of an IT consultant you can kiss a daily salad goodbye. 4 years ago a carton of Tropicana Juice costed about 65 rupees, now it's 82-85 for the variety that has no added sugar and about 70 for the one that comes with load of sweetness. Even local apples start being a commodity at something like 45-50 a kg if you are lucky, 60-70 if you are not.

DH and I make a point of eating almonds daily, but this too is coming costlier and costlier. We  also still insist on getting a glass of pure juice without added sugar. But again it comes at a price.
Just yesterday I nearly chocked myself seeing that local pomegranate sell at 70 rupees a kg and bananas at 30 (a year ago it was still 15-18).

If it was only that, but when we came back from Switzerland and had to call our gas cylinder provider to come and fix a deffectuous rubber seal in our regulator the guy sadly informed me that the next cylinder we will have to order will be priced 750 rupees instead of the usual 370-ish we used to pay. Again, DH and I are fortunate in the sense that a cylinder last 6 months and it won't put a hole in our budget. But the average Indian family use about one of those every 2 months. The reason why ours last so long is because we don't eat 3 cooked meals a day, breakfast consist of fruits, toast, cereals and juice, lunch is generally or a salad or microwaved leftovers (I'm often alone for lunch anyway) and dinner is a cooked meal on the stove.

Our eating habits is something that most middle class traditional Indians regard as weird, and they never quite understand why we spend so much money on fruits for breakfast when a pack of maggi noodle cooked with vegetables and tomato sauce (as in ketchup) is probably more substantial (but void of a lot of essential vitamins).

The way I see it, those who are going to survive this crisis aren't the one who will stubbornly stick to their old way, but those who will show the best adaptation skills. Gone are the day you can overuse your gas stove, or throw your leftover based on the principle that it's no longer fresh. And while we are at it, some priorities will change in our budget if we want to keep eating well and spend less on medical bills.
I'm used to leftovers, growing in Switzerland living on my own as a student on the legal minimal income meant that you don't really have much of a choice. And now I apply the same logic again.

Ziploc bags became my new weapon of choice to avoid seeing rotting vegetables in my fridge as I freeze peeled and cut raw things for later use before they reach a state of  decay. I eat as much raw food as I can to avoid using too much cooking gas, and remember the way my grand ma used to make preserves and bake in bulk to store it for later and buy stuff when they are cheap.
With all my effort to cut costs, I now just wish my kitchen was designed for optimum storage, but I find packs of lentils, flour and dry goods creeping all over the place, I wish I had a proper pantry as in the good old days when one had to rely on preserve instead of jamming a fridge that wasn't yet invented!


  1. Anonymous1:05 AM

    yes bangalore has become costly over the years. I see that you have started feeling the pinch in the last 1-2 years. sorry to break it-it really pinches if you have kids. I have a cute 3 year old who i am trying to send to a school in bangalore. it hurts to see the fee structure. for the money you are asked to pay, you get nothing. Soon i will have no option but to leave this place which is more and more polluted and more in traffic etc. with TATA coming up with the nano car, I am pretty sure everyone will want one in bangalore and that will be it for me and family

  2. The arrival of the nano is indeed scary, but considering the fact that petrol is coming less and less cheap that might hopefully deter a few.
    I don't have kids yet, but the school system is worrying me a little too.


Blog Archive