We sacrificed our food-scientist/dietitian/doctor for a few extra bucks

Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

Every family inherits its own set of wealth and weaknesses. Our immunity and health conditions are gifts from our ancestors. But there is this one person in the family, who inherits something different. She “used to” pass on this precious knowledge about her family to her successor(s). She knows how to keep the whole family hale and hearty. She knows what each and everybody in the family likes to eat, and occasionally puts a smile on all the faces when the dinner is served. She is the strongest person of any family; A mother.

A mother inherits some things nobody in the family does. The list of food which our family genes were accustomed to, the diet plan for each member of the family, and the apt home remedy for our ailments.

But the humanity at some point started to take it all for granted. It did not recognize her efforts, which were actually helping the human race to survive hard times. She saved us from diseases, despite the fact that she had gone unnoticed many times, until one day she decided to quit. She jumped on the bandwagon of laborers, trying to find meaning in her life, losing her greater identity.

Mother knew best

To explain the fact of how mothers were saving an entire race, let me take an example from my life. As I am from a south Indian family, our staple food is Rice. These days rice has become the predominant reason for most of our diseases, especially diabetes. The rice that we eat these days is just the endosperm of a much nutritious grain. Most of the Indians don’t know that they are preferring the dangerous polished rice over the nutritious version of it. Just for the looks of it, people buy this white poison in kilos and feed their beloved children too.


Any rice grain contains an inedible Chaff and an endosperm covered in bran. When I was young my mother used to pound rice grains in a rice pounder like the one in the picture below. This loosens the chaff from the grain, which after winnowing will give you the rice with bran. The bran contains essential nutrients like thiamine and riboflavin along with fibers. This rough and painful process toughened the women and the result strengthened the family.

Hulling (right) and Winnowing (left) in Tamil Nadu (India)

There were 3 wonderful business opportunities around this rice. If you separate the healthier bran from the useless endosperm (Rice polishing), you create a high carb diet for a vast population. Which makes them diabetic, causes digestive problems, and makes them customers of a young medical industry. Now you can sell the bran as a separate medicinal product for unimaginable prices. And advertise readily available polished rice as a boon for working moms.

What we lost are a healthier family and a strong mother.

The in-house dietitian and food scientist

Most of the families in India have a tradition of fasting days throughout the year. A mother enforces this and teaches her children the way to burn calories, which were accumulating for a longer period of time. She also restricts the food intake for each of her children, based on their age and activity. During cold days she prepares a different set of food, and during summer she introduces certain food to keep our bodies cool.

We were enjoying homemade lemonades and Popsicles when it was 40 degrees outside. There was cucumber and watermelon when we came back from playing cricket in the hot sun. Somehow she knew that ice creams will only increase the body temperature. When there was a flu spreading in town she introduced more turmeric and garlic in our diet.

A mother always experiments with the recipe she was bestowed with by her mother-in-law or mother. She improves the preparation time, quality, and nutritional value of it. She also tries alternative ingredients when she finds any of the children is not reacting well to the recipe. She attains perfection in a short span of time because she is gifted by birth with the power to save us all.

The omnipresent General practitioner

A mother knows that food is our medicine. When our bodies go into fasting mode in the event of a viral infection, she energizes us with a drink of sugar water. Because having food is difficult and the body needs glucose to survive.

Ginger lemon tea for cold, Ajwain for acidity or indigestion, Bitter gourd to maintain blood sugar levels, she has an over-the-kitchen medicine for every ailment.

It is sad that our google generation no longer trusts a mother’s advice. And our next-gen mothers are no longer aware of their power. Or simply they don’t have the time to realize they were powerful all this time. And the greedy men wanted extra income trading off the wellness of their children. Now the world is full of people vulnerable to a virus.

We could have done better.




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Richy Great

Richy Great

Father, Software Architect and a Story teller

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