Of FDI in retail, Walmart, Kirana shops and being Primal

I would not like to be considered regressive. In fact I consider myself pretty progressive. Still this decision by the government on allowing FDI in retail, which will bring big bad American biggies like Walmart knocking on our door has me worried. Don’t be alarmed, this rant has nothing to do with politics or politicians or economics for that matter. It has everything to do with being healthy.

Isn’t it bad enough that we have packaged ‘health foods’ like Kellogs and soya chips? Isn’t it bad enough that kids eat sugary cereal for breakfast? Isn’t it bad enough that we’re buying milk in tetra packs with preservatives and god know what else, instead of the fresh raw milk the doodh wala used to bring to the doorstep? Isn’t it bad enough that we’re buying dahi from Danone instead of those wonderful active live cultures we used to make at home?
There was a time when we were the organic capital of the world. Our milk came from cows, not from industry. Our veggies still come from real farms (albeit entwined with pesticides), and do not look like some hybrid mutant veggies and fruits that you find at American grocery stores. Which is why the organic movement in America is so big. They need it. We don’t. At least not up until now.

Walmart to me personifies the Big Bad World of industrial Packaged foods and everything that’s cheap and mass. Industrialization of food, mass marketed and sold as ‘health food’ that’s cheap, is what the Walmart’s and the likes have brought to the world. It’s ruined a huge percentage of Americans and it’s coming for us. (Well the few that have remained untarnished anyway!)

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think that the crap we have at our local Kirana’s is much better. We believe in fiber, we believe in grains, hell we even believe in sugar for fuel! So all my wrath is not aimed at Walmart and friends but to the power of mass thinking in general.


And now to top it all, we will have MORE mass produced, inferior, cheap, preservative ridden stuff, suddenly all within our reach and it will become fashionable to switch to a certain new brand of inferior fish oil, or canola oil, or suddenly our way of making ghee at home will be frowned upon. We stopped using delicious, healthy, beautifully textured coconut oil because they said sunflower oil or safflower oil is healthy. I mean think about it; oil from a seeds of a flower? It’s not even food. It does not even exist in nature. It comes from factories after tons of machine type things do all sorts of alterations to it. Don’t ask me what. It’s unnatural; that I know.
We do have a bad habit of blindly believing what we’re told without really questioning it too much. We also have the problem of herd mentality.
To quote from Seth’s Blog:

“Mass wasn’t always here. In 1918, there were two thousand car companies active in the United States. In 1925, the most popular saddle maker in this country probably had .0001% market share. The idea of mass was hardly even a dream for the producer of just about any object.”

Today, a few of us do know that there is truth in the statement that ‘mass is dying’. Mass, came into being in a big way in the last century. Today individuals are making a difference. Those of us who can talk to their audience one on one and connect with them are reaping the rewards. We young Indians know that we cannot please everybody, and anyone who wants to do anything, should not even try. Social networking sites like Twitter are leading the anti-mass revolution. We know now that in order to do anything well we should do with love and passion and appeal to those few individuals who will do the WOM for you. We know now that being unique and breaking out of the herd brings some heartache but lots more joy.
So let’s embrace our individuality, let’s think for a moment about what’s good for us and let’s not blindly believe what the biggies would like us to believe, let’s not lie down and give into this factory produced industrial garbage they call food!
Excuse the rant. Tomorrow I’ll go back to writing with thought and patience. Today I’m venting and I’d like to hear what you have to say. Especially if what you say involves calling me something along the lines of ‘cuckoo’.