The poisoned mangoes turn into forbidden fruits
Mango trees have always been inevitable components of the homesteads of the state of Kerala. The hot and humid climatic conditions and ample rainfall in Kerala are well suited for mango cultivation. Mango trees laden with ripe fruits in the months of April and May have always been the biggest summer vacation attraction for the kids who come down to their native places from their city homes.However with the loss of sprawling homesteads, which are being replaced by multi storied flats and commercial apartments, the mango trees face the axe every other day.
Mango, popularly called the The king of the fruits”, is a nutritionally rich tropical fruit with delicious flavour and taste. Apart from being rich in pre-biotic dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and poly-phenolic flavonoid antioxidant compounds, mango has been found to protect against colon and prostrate cancer. However, in what could be termed as an ironical twist, the artificially ripened mangoes using calcium carbide sticks that you buy these days from the city fruit stalls in itself can cause many deadly diseases like cancer.
Last week, in a major sweep in Cochin, the city shadow police seized more than one tonne of mangoes stored for artificial ripening, which were to be later supplied to different parts of the city. The rampant destruction of farmlands and cultivable land has forced Keralites to depend on other sources for their food, which are often poisonous and adulterated. If you thought it is just mangoes that are poisoned for the lure of profits, you could be in for a surprise. The red and juicy watermelons that tempts every passer-by acquire this attractive red allure from the artificial red dye that is injected into the fruit. Many fruits like apples are also injected with saccharine to make them artificially sweet. Gone are the days when an apple a day used to keep the doctor way, now it could well mean an immediate distress call to your doctor!
If this the price that you and me have to pay for industrialization, don’t you think that it is high time that we rework our priorities and go back to our agrarian lifestyles?