Food: An entity till eternity

A highly peer-rated biochemist, known among circles with close contact with him because of his erudition in keeping himself informed about researches in the vast field of life sciences published in prestigious science journals both in India and several other countries had the conviction that food was a difficult area for pursuing research. However, he had words of both praise and critical remarks about the research carried out over years at the Mysuru-based Central Food Technological Research Institute, which is now in its 70th year of impressive scientific work resulting in a multitude of processes and products, many of which have seen the birth of rewarding enterprises in the country as well as in some other countries. Thanks to the unstoppable innovative spirit of the land’s people, the numbers and variety of food products that have emerged during several centuries past make a fascinating study for anyone with a keen and abiding interest in all aspects of food ranging from its stage of raw material to that of the dishes savoured by people in their widely diverse socio-economic-ethnic profiles.

Food-related literature in a multitude of languages of the world is truly a mine of inexhaustible information, its volume being mind-boggling to the extent of getting amazed at the traditional grannies of the land, who toyed effortlessly with countless recipes for the enjoyment of their kin.

Excelling with academic pursuit in the field of food and preparing dishes with consummate ease that conquer the taste buds of the gourmet are different kettles of fish. Even as food figures in any country’s economy as the highest provider of jobs for a livelihood, as is clearly evident in Mysuru city, given its thousands of eateries satisfying the palate of its residents 365 days a year, many questions of what to eat and how to eat to get maximum mileage out of food continue to be parried in circles of those who are knowledgeable about the nutritional and health benefits of food, focussing on the specific components of food consumed by different sections of the population.

The idiom, One man’s food is another’s poison, attributed to a Roman poet of first century BC, sets the debates on food in an endless trail. While the mankind owes a debt of gratitude to those who raise food, carry out research, produce dishes for savouring, food remains an entity till eternity as it were.

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