Monday, April 6, 2009

King of Vegetables honoured in a Brinjal Festival in Bangalore -5th April 2009

The first-ever Brinjal Festival in Bangalore was organised brilliantly by a spirited team - Association for India's Development (AID)- Bangalore, Sahaja Samrudha
Samvada, Jaivika Krishi Society (JKS) and Maysore Horticulture Society (MHS).

A splendid biodiversity of brinjals displayed was a sheer disbelief to many consumers that they were not for real. That traditional varieties cannot look healthy, large or colourful. The recipes of brinjals were a delight to taste. The objective of the festival - should we not raise our voices against the entry of Bt Brinjal, and stop the government from taking this devastating step, it would destroy what is left of natures abundance!

Kudos to all efforts of the event so memorable, Great going.

please read the reviews below...

Sangita Sharma
GM food not on the menu here

BANGALORE: Lalbagh Botanical Gardens was abuzz with activity on Sunday. As part of a unique brinjal festival, participants were busy testing recipies even as kids got a chance to take part in a painting competition. For others, there were lectures, discussions, screening of a film and even an exhibition.

The activities were aimed to showcase the diversity the king of vegetables possesses. More than 100 varieties of organically grown brinjal from different states were on display, besides many mouth-watering dishes.

"Say no to GM foods. Bt Brinjal, India's first genetically modified food, is likely to be on your plate soon." This was the message at the event. An organizer said: "When there are so many natural varieties of the vegetable, is there a need for Bt Brinjal?" A number of organizations - Association for India's Development (AID), Sahaja Samruddha, Samvada, Javika Krushik Society - held the event in association with brinjal-growing farmers.

For young visitors, it was a learning experience combined with fun. Around 120 schoolchildren came up with novel ideas and expressed them on canvass. An animated movie `The story of Uday and Balu' was screened, focussing on the perils of GM food.

Many enthusiastic cooks - some professional, others beginners - prepared ennegaayi, sambar, palya, vangi bath, chutney, etc, using the vegetable. The exhibition was educative and informed the visitors about varieties of brinjal, its preparations, nutritional and medicinal value. One of the posters read: "GM foods can cause precancerous cell growth, liver, pancreas and kidney failure, infertility... GM foods are injurious to health." The screening of noted film-maker Mahesh Bhatt's `Poison on the platter' drew a good crowd.

Ayurvedic doctors and nutritional experts too spoke to the audience. Krishna Prasad of Sahaja Samrudha said: "Health and food safety is a fundamental right for a citizen. We expect the health minister to take a proactive stand against GM food. The Supreme Court appointee in the GEAC (regulatory body) Pushpa Bhargava has called for a moratorium on all GMO releases until they are proven to be safe."

The idea of this festival was to create awareness that demanding safe food is not just a right but also a basic responsibility. "Biotech companies producing GM foods will not like an informed debate on the issue as they are governed by the motto of profit at any cost," said Sejal of AID.

Speakers highlighted recent studies in Australia and Italy that show GM food causes various health problems. Manjunath of Samvada said the decision-making with regard to Bt Brinjal has so far happened without any independent long-term research.

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