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Healthy choices

 Now that it has been enunciated by officialdom, namely the Minister of Health, that we are a lazy, unhealthy people (Express, January 15 ) many of us may take stock of our lifestyles.

Unquestionably there are health benefits to proper nutrition and exercise. These benefits will definitely redound to the home, village, community, employers and ultimately to the country. 

Education is the key to empowerment and that should help to define who or what we are. But is this really so in a capitalistic society where the so-called freedom of choice is the mantra of the day? On the one hand I am being exhorted to act and choose sensibly yet I am being bombarded with so many well-advertised fast food outlets, bakeries, bars, doctors’ offices, medical diagnostic labs and pharmacies.

Where are the counteracting forces of recreation grounds, parks, play stations and other places for sound social activities? What is being done or contemplated in the schools, community centres and the workplace?

Even if I select fruits and vegetables to add to my diet, I am still in a state of illusion. Why? Take a look at the white coating on grapes (read the carton—treated with sulphur dioxide as a fungicide).The apples and pears are all shiny...wax. The bananas—greenish-yellow yet “ripe”—forced ripe with a ripening agent.

Has anyone investigated how much chemicals are used to produce a crop of cabbage, patchoi or cauliflower? Yet I am deluded into thinking that I am eating healthy! 

What are my suggestions? Use as many local fruits as possible, backyard gardening, organic farming and empowerment through education.                                                                                     

                              Sahadeo Ragoonanan

                                          via e-mail

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