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Food for thought

Food was in sharp focus, this month, for a different reason, when we conducted a two-day seminar on food-safety issues from storage and handling perspectives

| | May 30, 2011 | 9:21 am
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I recently had the opportunity to listen to Robert Swan, the first human in history to travel to the South Pole and the North Pole on foot. He spoke of how, on both occasions, he experienced firsthand the impact of environmental damage. In Antarctica, the colour of his eyes changed and the skin peeled off his face after several weeks spent walking under, what he later realised, the hole in the ozone layer, which mercifully, has begun to stabilise in recent times. And in the Arctic, his team and he almost drowned due to melting ice, a result of global warming.

He didn’t have a picture to show of that ‘chilling’ experience, but he shared the poignant image of a polar bear on a sea-ice floe. Although a polar bear can swim a 100 miles, or more, there is a measure of vulnerability as the ice floes keep drifting farther and farther away from the land mass.

Swan’s speech put things in perspective. Oftentimes, talk of global warming at conferences and seminars smack of smugness. There is a worrying disconnect between what is said and what is truly felt. And thereafter, words get lost in the clatter of cuttlery on moutabel- or broccoli-salad-laden plates. And therein lies a tale.

Food was in sharp focus, this month, for a different reason, when we conducted a two-day seminar on food-safety issues from storage and handling perspectives (story inside). The event was an occasion to launch our ‘I care about food safety’ campaign. We distributed badges, like the one on this page, and the discussions on topics like refrigerated transportation and compressors were heartfelt and with a sense of purpose. It was not a mere refrigeration seminar with schematics and pictures of equipment but one that brought to light in glaring detail the impact that reliability, good installation practices and maintenance have on the food we consume.

The distribution of badges is just the beginning. We hope to take the message and sustain its impact to a larger audience, comprising not just regulatory authorities but also consumers. This tale needs to be told with as much vigour and verve as Swan’s speech.

B Surendar


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