Quality versus survival - hard choices

@vandana7 (67680)
India
November 26, 2011 12:57am CST
This is an inspired discussion. Just wanted to share what I mentioned elsewhere this morning. We hanker for quality everywhere, and for that, we give it a higher price tag - the contributor being additional workforce needed to ensure that quality or other technical procedures that we have followed. Now, I am not saying we should not have quality products. But beyond a certain stage, quality ceases to have value, at least that is what I feel. One of my friends was mentioning the other day - we've got so accustomed to filtered water that we get sick even when we drink the holy water in the temple. It was not so just a couple of decades ago. Our bodies had formed ample antibodies so we could fight those infections - at least most of them. Now, we are safe from a host of infections that we would never come across in our lives anyway, but are vulnerable to the most common infection. So this mylotter mentioned about food quality, and I felt that in my country there are so many people who do not get enough food. The choice is between survival today, and dying due to bad quality some 20 odd years later. I felt that in that span of 20 years there could always be some discovery that would cure or prevent the ailment that I get from contaminated food. But if I starve me to death rather than eat contaminated food...you all can come to my funeral and shed a few tears. (hopefully). In any event, our genetic composition varies and so does our diet. This means that the contamination is not likely to harm all of us alike. And we've known for ages that nicotine is harmful for everybody, but we've not stopped using that. And also the fact contamination cannot be really controlled. We could get contamination from other countries as well - like the air that blew across Chernobyl contaminated the air in surrounding countries. There might be many forms of contamination we are not yet aware of. Perhaps there will be study in future that will rubbish the present studies. More seriously, we do have children joining the militant groups sent there by parents primarily because it is hard to make the two ends meet. They grow up to create a havoc, killing private citizens and then we send armed forces to quell them, so they get chances to kill our armed forces personnel as well. We dont have any software as yet to compare the possible number deaths due to militancy versus possible number of deaths due to the contaminated food we ate. Wouldnt ensuring that these children and their family get their bellyful meal be a better way to stop militancy? Would like to know your thoughts on this...(if you tell me I am wrong...I wont neg you..promise)
4 people like this
9 responses
@thesids (22358)
• Bhubaneswar, India
26 Nov 11
Dear Vandanaji In one phrase - Banes of Modernization. Not sure about the time frame but the scientists will get us something out from the movie The Matrix. Seriously, it is too late and there are remote chances of getting rid of the contamination... the only solace... we become contaminated in our thoughts sooner and that keeps us away from thinking so much about almost everything you mention and even the ugly sides that went unmentioned.
@vandana7 (67680)
• India
26 Nov 11
I wonder what I left unmentioned.. But yes..somewhere...we are associating modernization with quality....but there has to be a balance..I dont say quality is not important..it is ..but not at the cost of survial.
2 people like this
@thesids (22358)
• Bhubaneswar, India
26 Nov 11
Darwins Theory - Survival of Fittest?
2 people like this
@thesids (22358)
• Bhubaneswar, India
26 Nov 11
... sorry missed out some more.... During his time the modernization wasnt "in"
1 person likes this
@allknowing (69470)
• India
26 Nov 11
First things first vandana. I have skipped a few lines here and there and still hope have grasped what you want to say which is that we should not make a fuss and should go on eating junk food. Actually I like junk food but those who have joined the militant groups cannot afford junk food!
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (67680)
• India
26 Nov 11
Actually - it was not junk food that the person commented about it was some toxic substances in food, and GMO (genetically modified organism). I felt that there are people who would be happy enough to consume that food knowing fully well the implications basing their decisions on what I have mentioned. So ..quality is right to an extent...but survival is more important.
1 person likes this
@allknowing (69470)
• India
26 Nov 11
The genetically modified food if allowed to be licensed will be the staple food of the rich and poor alike and so where is the concern about taking care of the poor alone vandana. It will be a problem of the whole world. I hope I am not missing your point here.
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (67680)
• India
26 Nov 11
I think you are..sorry.. You see EU bans foodstuff with GMOs in it. Now, GMOs are not as harmful as some of the toxic insecticides. Nevertheless, they are harmful. But when it comes to the US, it cannot export such produce to EU. What I wanted to say is, there are ample hungry mouths to feed elsewhere in the world, instead of wasting that food, or putting in place more stringent quality control procedures that will bring down production. And that people who are hungry can take a decision if informed about content..whether they should be eating it or avoiding it, and whether they are willing to compromise for a while till they are better off and can shift to more quality product..that way, food remains affordable to one and all..
1 person likes this
@Cutie18f (9563)
• Philippines
26 Nov 11
Because of poverty many people cannot afford to be choosy. Even if the water is of poor quality, but since it is needed to survive, people drink even the murkiest water available in their area. We want good and quality food but that too needs money and poor people are only very happy to have any food on their table.
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (67680)
• India
26 Nov 11
Yes..they wouldnt be as concerned about the quality ...even if it has side effects, they would be happy to survive the starvation for the day. In any event, the packaging of such food can give the required information - state that consuming it regularly can lead to such and such problem so pick only if you really need it.
1 person likes this
@vijayanths (7878)
• India
26 Nov 11
hi, vannie, as you rightly pointed out survival is more important than quality.First we should be able to survive, then think of the quality. Quality has no value when there is a threat to your survival. Bottom line: quality is important, survival is more important. I somehow managed to survive responding to your high quality discussion.
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (67680)
• India
26 Nov 11
"high quality discussion", or is it lengthy narrative.. Wish I could've put it as briefly as you did. :)
1 person likes this
@topffer (36115)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
26 Nov 11
We have a problem in EU actually. With our high precautions standards, the less dangerous bacteria make us sick, and we will soon have no more immune system. A food reaching an expiration sale date can be eaten during the following days without no risks, but due to our laws, this food can't be donate to people needing it, and it is like this that supermarkets are destroying -- they crushed it -- tons of eatable food daily. In fact 40% of the food produced in EU is wasted. There is a gastronomic festival this weekend in my town, and I always found this festival immoral : even if nobody is starving here -- social services are distributing food to people asking for it --, we should look elsewhere in the world before stuffing ourselves with costly food that we don't need. I don't know what would happened if we had to be someday in "survival mode" : bacterias would certainly do a slaughter...
@vandana7 (67680)
• India
26 Nov 11
And ..the cost of that 40 percent of the food that is destroyed is added to the cost of existing product effectively, you all pay almost 40 percent more for what you all get. :) I am fine with people eating at festivals. Everybody should get some time to be happy. Who knows when something really bad happens. At least we would have enjoyed our lives. But I am most certainly not happy with those crushing of tins. Selling at somewhat reasonable price to nearby poor nations would be a better solution and bring down over all cost of food across the world. The good effect will be experienced everywhere. Anybody criticising this move should be made to select between suvival and quality and voice his or her opinion in public. I am sure most people would say survival takes precedence over quality - especially if the label specifies that long term usage can cause some harm. Manufacturer would not have to absorb entire loss, and as ripple effect, cost of food within the country can also come down. That will bring down inflation. In general it is a good thing for everybody. Topffer, we are one of the most populous nations in the world. If indeed quality was such a serious consideration, we would not be, isn't it? No babies will be harmed, we are not diseased, we dont have high standards. My maid still drinks water that is not filtered, and almost half the country does not get purified water other than the "substandard" treatment that government does. All those studies are fine..but done with an ulterior motive. To promote some products. In the process costs everywhere go up. Human body develops resistance if it is allowed to. The process is slow, but it is better to let it happen naturally as the information is passed down genetically to the next generation. It is natural for all biotic creatures to keep modifying themselves based on the harm they perceive. Influenza viruses undergo changes, and malarial parasite has undergone several changes. So why should be presume that we will not. We do ourselves more harm than good when we over-protect ourselves. I dont say we dont treat ourselves. I dont say we dont shield ourselves from cold, or be hygienic. But beyond that I think we are carrying things a bit too far.
2 people like this
@topffer (36115)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
26 Nov 11
Yes we are certainly paying for the wasted food. In another point of view, good wills made to help poor countries are not enough. Here is an example : a few years ago, EU decided to reduce the production of sugar made with sugar beets to help some poor countries to sell their cane sugar in Europe. The production quotas allowed for each EEC country were reduced, and some factories had to close : this good will created first unemployment. It created also a rise on the price of sugar : this summer we read in our newspapers that we were lacking of sugar because the foreign countries which should provide us sugar were not able to provide enough. The result is that at the beginning of September the price of a kg of sugar in the supermarket up my street raises from 0.69 Euro to 0.89 Euro... Production quotas have not been created to decrease prices but to maintain and sustain them : a farmer producing milk can't sell more than a fixed number of cubic meters each year ; if there is a surplus it is dropped in the gutter. Sometimes the producers themselves decide of their quotas : fruit producers are often burning a part of their fruits to maintain prices when there is an abundance of fruits, etc. I know it seems absurd, but economy works like this here. I am not sure that we are evolving as fast as viruses, but I also think that we have too high quality standards.
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (67680)
• India
26 Nov 11
Sweetie ..we are evolving quite fast. Just that we dont realize it. An australian study showed that in three generations of rats. So if it is happening in rats, we are not chosen ones. I was down with 102 a couple of days ago. My friend sent a list of antibiotics on SMS with dosage. I didnt take any. And believe it, I am perfectly alright - without medication! Not even a paracetamol.
1 person likes this
27 Nov 11
Hi vandana long time no see .This is barney rubble havent seen you on triond for a while. When it comes to quality product I think its often down to how the seller presents the product.Like you say byond a certain stage its almost all the same.Detergents for washing up for example are all made from the same basic ingredents yet they vary enormously in price and apparent quality depending on how they're presented . Drinking water on the other hand is more dependant on your knowing where its been and how well its been filtered . I suppose its true that your digestive system can adapt to dodgie stuff so you end up with the constitution of a camel but I think real quality of what you drink is down to the time and effort you put into ensuring that water is filtered properly even if you have to construct the filter system yourself so the quality of the quality is in your hands .
@vandana7 (67680)
• India
28 Nov 11
Barney ..mylot is my first love. :) I mean..I rarely visit other sites. Once I arrive here, I am here almost throughout the day. I am kind of addicted to it. So, I'd managed to create a lot of personal works backlog. I am not finished as yet. But I am not very far from the finishing line. One of the reasons I didnt create plenty of friends out there on Triond. A thought that comes to mind, I go ahead and present it. When I have more time on my hand, I can go there and have a look. myLot is not like that for me. Here, these people drive me nuts..and I cant live without knowing what they think. lol. Sorry about not being there. And I agree with you. But strangely there are ample octogenerarians out here still completely healthy and with their wits intact who have never seen a filter in their life, and not followed any food pyramid. In comparison, I do find my memory fading.
@Hatley (164485)
• Garden Grove, California
26 Nov 11
hi vandy wow You said several mou thfuls. Yes if we want a peaceful world the first things are the basics, good food, clean air, work for all , and universal health care.If we could ever for a while 'manage all of these what a wonderful serene world this would' be. odd that our modern times have produced electronic marvels'and still and yet we have people starving, wars galore, ,illness going untreated due to expensive health care, because we did not start at the bottom with the basics, g ood food, clean air, unpolluted waterways and unplluted air we must breath.
@vandana7 (67680)
• India
26 Nov 11
How are you my dear lady? Did anything good happen to you and your son around the period I mentioned? I have unfortunately lost one of those dice.. I mean, if I do a little bit of spring cleaning I might find it. Hope I did not give you wrong hopes.
@bingskee (5237)
• Philippines
26 Nov 11
at present, the quality of almost everything deteriorates because of many factors. the desire, and lately, the need, to get or acquire things faster or easier make the quality not the priority concern of many. also, producers desire mass production taking for granted the quality of the produce. is it because of the demand, or the growing number of population, or only the desire to gain profit?
@vandana7 (67680)
• India
26 Nov 11
You bring an excellent point to table bingskee - yes producers manufacture in mass scale to increase their presence and capture larger market share. In the process they corner more produce and sell many units to supermarkets. On expiry date they destroy the stuff as they wish to keep their reputation intact. That cant be human way of doing things. Demand and supply should be matched not this way ..
@jennyze (7048)
• Indonesia
28 Nov 11
Well, I certainly agree with you. It is good to have quality things in life but we should not make it our aim as there are many who would eat our leftover food from yesterday... It is true if a country is open to this kind of investigation... You are right, we may be now even contaminated by something that will be found in 20 years later or that maybe what we eat now is much better than what would be offered 20 years later... No one knows....