Why Rujuta Diwekar says Kareena Kapoor’s diet is ecologically viable

What Rujuta Diwekar means when she says Kareena's diet is ecologically viable

If you’ve read the article Samyukta Iyer wrote for Mumbai Mirror that went viral a couple of days ago, you’ll know that Rujuta Diwekar said that her client and friend, Kareena Kapoor, is now a better dietician than she is herself. You’ll be full of praise for the already popular mom-to-be. There’s no doubt that the diet Kareena seems to have built up for herself is commendable. But how many of us actually know what it means to follow an ecologically and economically viable lifestyle? Sounds like a fancy phrase designed to make us feel stupid for the interesting, fat-filled food that we like to eat, doesn’t it? But no - that’s not what it’s trying to do at all. Eating food that’s environmentally friendly goes beyond eating healthy. Is that confusing? Don’t worry. We did our research, and we’ll tell you exactly what it means.

First, though, let’s take a look at what Rujuta, Kareena’s dietician, actually had to say about the actress’s food habits. "’She has evolved incredibly over the years,’” Mumbai Mirror quotes Rujuta as saying. “‘Her approach to eating healthy has moved forward from weight loss to a lifestyle choice that impacts ecology and economy. Her view has expanded to promoting local fruits and sustaining India's traditional farming culture. She's also a UN ambassador and will be speaking up against gender biases that creep into healthy living.’"

We’re all aware that Rujuta is one of India’s best-known nutritionists, and we do set store by some great diet advice she’s given before. If we take a look at the implications behind the statement she’s now made about Kareena, it won’t be hard to understand that, in order to live an ecologically and economically-friendly lifestyle, eating local foods is a must. Why? In some ways, the less money we spend on a certain food, the closer we are to sustainable living. How? If we live in Andhra Pradesh and decide to buy the Banganapalli variety of mangoes instead of the more exotic Alphonso, we will find them cheaper. This is because fewer storage and transportation costs are involved as they haven’t had to travel long distances, therefore, stored for long. Environmentally, this means we’ve saved both fuel in transportation and electricity in storage. Remember, we’re still talking about only one variety of mangoes that we’ve bought on one day. Imagine what it means if we do this for all three (or five) meals that we eat in a day for every single day of the month, and hence, all year round. Think of how much of our individual carbon footprint is lowered.

“‘Kareena...is happier eating a homegrown banana, dal chawal or roti sabzi when in Mumbai and will opt for kachori when shooting in Rajasthan and pasta when in London. Kareena's food is simple and right,’" says the celebrity nutritionist in the Mumbai Mirror article.

Now, remember, the idea is to eat healthy and locally. Just because our butter is produced locally, it doesn’t mean that we get to eat it three times a day. That’s just bad for the heart and the flab in the abdomen, if you care about weight loss. Also, eating locally isn’t the only way by which to save the world from dying prematurely. Here are some more things we could do for it:

1. Eat it raw:

Cooking food consumes either gas or electricity, depending on whether we use a gas stove, induction heater, microwave or oven. Of course, we can’t eat everything raw - we’ll fall ill if we try eating uncooked daal. Where we can, though, it’ll be a good idea to try it - with salads and with half-cooked sabjis that leave the veggies crisper and better textured than fully cooked, softened food that’s more suitable for our toothless grandfathers.

2. Eat in season:

This saves fruits and vegetables from being in cold storage for months together, and we’ve already seen how cutting down on that helps.

3. Pickle/jam it:

We might decide to buy fruits only when they’re in season, but that doesn’t mean we can’t eat mango in winter. How do we do that? Make them into a pickle or a jam in a big earthen pot, like our grandmothers used to keep when we were young. If we still think it’ll spoil, freezing the pickle or jam isn’t a bad idea either, as long as we know we’ll eat it several months later.

4. Grow it:

Okay, we know that most of us don’t have very large houses with gardens or terrace gardens. Even if we did, it would be impossible for us to grow every single thing we eat. But it is possible to grow greens - palak, pudina, colocasia, chaurai and methi are very easy to cultivate and harvest on low, wide pots on our little balconies. With what we grow ourselves, at least, we can make sure that we're going all natural.

5. Minimal packaging:

Some stores are known for being organic, like Namdhari. So, yes, it’s a good idea to shop in them, but we’ll have to make sure we buy only the loose vegetables, not the ones that are packaged in plastic. Otherwise, it kind of negates the entire purpose of going organic, doesn’t it?

6. Reusing bags:

And, finally, we come back to the most basic concept of ecological living - reusing shopping bags. The municipal corporation in Bangalore, at least, has banned plastic recently, which means that all stores provide cloth (or partially cloth) bags. It won’t make any sense, though, if we ask for a new cloth bag every time we go to the supermarket, so let’s remember to take the same one each time we go, even the smaller covers that we use to put individual vegetables in, so that we don’t waste the paper covers that the store keeps.