Old Is Gold (Kitchen Story)
Old Is Gold (Kitchen Story)5 mins 263 5 mins 263
Pooja and her mother in law Janaki were having an argument in the kitchen over the use of plastic containers. Pooja was in no mood to give up and she always thought her mother in law had no taste in life and did not want to decorate the house with modern amenities. Janaki Amma was an orthodox lady, with a little headstrong attitude. Pooja was a modern woman. She tried to adapt to modern equipment that would reduce her burden to some extent. This time the argument was the need for plastic containers to store food items. Janaki in an angry tone told Pooja "I told you there is no need of buying these plastic storage containers, why do you waste money on these useless things? I am not comfortable using them.
Pooja was equally irritated but tried to be cool "Athai, (south Indians address their MIL as Athai) they are in trend now. All my friends, colleagues and relatives use these plastic containers. I feel awkward to use old and outdated containers that you are using”. Janaki did not stop there "What's wrong if we use those porcelain and glass jars? We have been using them for ages and we have had no issues at all. Pooja said "Exactly, they belong to the old generation. I like my kitchen to be arranged with the latest trend of plastic jars”. She did not wait for an answer from her in-law and left the kitchen.
Janaki was upset and murmured "Karma, I really don't understand this new generation daughters-in-law. Let her do whatever she wants". Slowly, the kitchen was filled with new products like Roti Maker, Microwave, Teflon Kadais, Plastic Polythene covers to store fruits and vegetables, Plastic Water Bottles, Plastic Tiffin Boxes and Sippers, Plastic Brushes to clean the utensils and so on. Pooja wanted everything that was advertised on TV. Janaki stayed away from the kitchen. She hated these new arrangements and the usage of plastic products, but she did not have the patience or the wit to explain it to her daughter in law.
She concentrated on taking care of little Abhinav (her grandson). Pooja used a plastic feeding bottle to feed her son as well. Janaki was disheartened and missed her old utensils. She used to enjoy dosas made on the Iron tawa with lots of ghee. She missed the taste of curds set, using earthen pots which were hung up. She missed the aroma and flavours of earthen cookware. She ate food just for the sake of eating and did not like the taste at all. She liked the masalas ground in the stone mortar rather than the mixer.
Pooja's best friend Vrindha came to visit her. She was flabbergasted to see Pooja's kitchen filled with plastic. Vrindha was a dietician by profession. She slowly struck a conversation with Pooja.
"Pooja do you know your kitchen is full of harmful things. The containers, the vessels, the Teflon coated tawas, they are more harmful than you think”. Pooja shrugged her shoulders and said “No Vrindha, I buy BPA free products and they are absolutely safe.
Vrindha smiled sarcastically and said "Pooja there is nothing like BPA free. Plastic is plastic. When you heat plastic items in the microwave, some amount of chemicals enter your body through food. It can cause Cancer too. Using Teflon coated products is also harmful. These products, not only harm you but is harmful to our environment too. I will give you an example, - The brush that you use to wash utensils attracts more bacteria and it cannot be seen through naked eyes. These brushes need to be washed and dried under the sun for a minimum of three hours. Are we doing it?? No right!!! Once we use them, we throw it in the dustbin as it’s not a reusable product. Most of the plastic that we use is not recycled. Instead, they are buried in the ground, which affects rainwater harvesting, or, they are burnt, which releases harmful chemicals in the air and we breathe this same air. Now, do you understand why so many kids and old age people are suffering from asthma and bronchitis??
Pooja’s concern grew and she asked "What else can I use? These are the products most household use nowadays." Vrindha laughed and said “Our ancestors knew the best way to cook and preserve our food. They used earthen cookware which preserves 95% of the nutrients in food rather than Teflon and Indalium or aluminum cookware. Using terracotta jars and glassware is best way to store food grains and spices. Using iron tawa and kadai is good for health, as Iron is a required element for our body. It reduces the risk of anemia. Let's get back to our roots. Let us learn the art of cooking that was followed by our ancestors to be healthy and also environment-friendly. After a while, Vrindha spoke again "It's not too late Pooja. Give away all these plastic to someone who recycles it. Stop using polythene covers and Teflon products. Save yourself, your family and our environment".
Next day Janaki Amma came to the kitchen to have breakfast and was surprised to see Pooja using iron tawa to make dosa!!!!
P.S: We have done enough damage to our earth. Let us do our bit to protect and bring back the glory of our nature. Let us save some of the nature that we enjoyed for the next generation too....