WED 2013: Megawasted Opportunity?

WED 2013 - Raxa Collective

On June 5, we’ll celebrate World Environment Day. This year UNEP focuses on the theme Food waste/Food Loss. At Raxa Collective we’ll be carrying out actions and sharing experience and ideas. Come and join us with your ideas and tips to preserve foods, preserve resources and preserve our planet.

When I tell people that it’s possible to grow highly nutritional food on agricultural waste products with almost zero technology, I usually get a blank look. On a good day, someone will demand an explanation. Why would such a process, if existent, be so obscure if it could help solve malnutrition in underdeveloped communities? While I’m sure there is a logical explanation for this, it remains a mystery to me at present.

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Profile: Varghese & Resource Management

A few days ago I spoke with Varghese, the restaurant manager and head of the food and beverage department here at Cardamom County, who prides himself in running a tight ship and making sure that guests are at their happiest. Varghese is another long-time member of the Cardamom County family, originally arriving here eleven years ago, in 2000. Having taken a two-year hospitality course in Ravipuram in Ernakulam (the same district housing Cochi), at a school that has now shifted to become the Fort Munnar Catering College in the misty mountains of nearby Munnar, and training with Taj Group of Hotels, he arrived to fill the role of a restaurant supervisor.


Varghese told me about his Uncle Phillip who was one of the many well-educated people from Kerala who went over to a Gulf country, in this case being Bahrain. We talked about this brain drain, which Varghese mentioned had been going on since as early as the 1970s. The highly educated people and professionals of Kerala go in search of new opportunities, higher living standards, and money to send back home. Varghese also talked about Arabic being a language that is not too difficult to pick up, especially because of the difficulty and speed with which the native tongue of Malayalam is spoken. However, what is interesting to note is the stark contrast of climate between the Gulf countries and Kerala, the former being very dry, arid, and hot with the latter being humid and comfortably cooler especially at higher altitudes near the Western Ghats such as here in Kumily, Idukki. Continue reading

Cars for Children

Full disclosure: I feel sort of awkward drawing attention to this story. It describes one of the most unsettling and simply bizarre state initiatives I’ve heard of in a while, and I’m not entirely sure the matter merits space on this site. Alas, my provocative side gets the best of me sometimes and I am compelled to link to it, if only because it’s consistent with the problems I promised to raise yesterday, not to mention it’s pertinent to India and that it points to some of the truly hard questions we as a global population will have to ask ourselves in the coming century. These questions bear spiritual, physical, cultural, and ethical import, and how we answer them…well, that’s just more than I can deal with in this format.  Continue reading