Won’t Foot Food Bill: States

Food minister K V Thomas said, “States have their opinion and we have ours. We will resolve the issue.” He said a committee has been formed to address concerns. He added about 50% states including BJP-ruled ones will launch the scheme by this year-end. Earlier, leading the attack, Uttar Pradesh food minister Rajendra Chaudhary charged the government with bringing the law “hurriedly” for political gain and “hosting the notification on the web” without putting in place a system to ensure that the poor got foodgrain and there was no diversion of subsidized grains to the open market. “Include states’ concerns in your list of concerns,” he added. Chaudhary asked the Centre to bear 100% additional expenses on all accounts including transportation, handling, commission to ration shop owners and setting up of consumer redressal mechanism. He also sought funds in advance for implementation of the law. UP is the biggest gainer of the central law. Another state government official said that when the Centre is using the scheme for political dividend and can spend huge on food subsidy why can’t it pay little more for other expenses. UPA’s new-found friend JD(U) did not leave the opportunity to put forward its list of demands. Bihar food minister Shyam Rajak said the Centre should bear the entire expenditure on end-to-end computerization of the distribution system. Congress-ruled Andhra Pradesh demanded that the Centre should allocate 1.6 lakh tonnes of additional rice per month to meet its demand.

Q&A: Journalist Michael Pollan talks food, Tempe visit

Theres a shortage worldwide. At the same time, were eating less wheat because were panicked about gluten. We have a history in this country that at any given moment there are savior foods and sinful foods. We veer back and forth trying to get as many of the good ones as we can and avoid the bad ones. It leads to a really spasmodic way of eating. Its a sign that we (Americans) dont have a stabilizing food culture. This isnt happening in Italy or in France. They have their own problems, I dont mean to idolize them, but they dont jump on bandwagons every six months. The reason is that weve never had a food culture that embraced the whole country and gave us guidance on what to eat. So we read articles and we hear about scientific studies saying theres a problem with this food or that this one is a super food, and we go crazy. Q: Do you eat bad food? A: I dont know what bad food means. There are some foods that have very little redeeming value. There arent too many of them.