During her visit to a dairy-farm in France, an English woman asked a farm-hand,”You produce so much good milk in France, why do you consume quite less of it?”, “Madame, if cows were to eat grapes, French men would drink milk”, replied the farm-hand.
What do you do when you are thirsty? You may say the answer depends on the geographical boundary. It may be beer for most Europeans, vodka for the Russians and water for most Asians. It may even be camel’s milk in Rajasthan, the desert land in India, where water is a scarce commodity.
In India, if we have money to spare, we go in for tender coconut to quench our thirst. Sold at the street corner, it is perhaps the cheapest natural beverage available in the world. The other one is palm-juice, obtained from the palmyrah tree. Together with the tender fruit of the palmyrah tree – called ‘nongu’ in Tamil, it forms a perfect beverage. Many European tourists liked it so much, that when the price was quoted, they were quite astonished. “So cheap !” they wondered. They were told by the bystanders that not only was it cheap, but it was also full of vitamins and minerals.
During the last century, multi-national companies introduced artificial drinks which are devoid of any nutrition. To encourage the street-corner petty shops, they also supplied refrigerators free of cost. The shop-keepers took the bait. Besides, they were given a wide margin of profit. With the hot, hotter and hottest season in India, the chilled drinks made a kill and the shop-keepers ran laughing all the way to the banks. The consumers – especially the lazy house wives and the student population became addicts of the artificial drinks.
Nowadays, awareness is created among the consumers about malnutrition and related diseases caused by the artificial drinks. Happily, the consumer is turning his attention towards the desi (produced and owned by the people of the land) products.