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Friday, November 15, 2019

Ayodhya ripened ~ bananas !!

The Battle of the Hydaspes was fought in 326 BC between Alexander the Great and King Porus of the Paurava kingdom on the banks of the Jhelum River (known to the Greeks as Hydaspes) in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent (modern-day Punjab, Pakistan).

Ayodhya Sri Ramajanmabhoomi verdict is hailed by everyone. ~ it has changed lives – just as for this 87 year old woman from Madhya Pradesh, who had been surviving on a diet of just bananas and tea for 27 years – as part of a vow she had made for the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, heaved a sigh of relief on Saturday when the Supreme Court passed the historic verdict and paved way for the construction of Ram temple in the city.

Urmila Chaturvedi, a resident of Vijaya Nagar in Jabalpur, around 250-km from state capital Bhopal, told News 18 that her only desire in life was that lord Ram be moved to his temple in Ayodhya. And with the SC verdict favouring the temple construction, her dream is set to materialise. The octogenarian had vowed not to take food in the year 1992 .. … ..She was glued to the television on November 9 when the SC delivered the verdict on the issue and her happiness knew no bounds when the court pronounced the verdict in favour of Ram Lalla. She headed straight to Ram’s idol and performed a sastang pranam before it.

Robusta, Dwarf Cavendish, Rasthali, Poovan, Nendran, Karpooravalli, Monthan, Virupakshi, Sirumalai, Manoranjitham , Kathali ……. – simple – varieties of banana, that delicious fruit.   Then there is the ‘green banana’ – in one way green is unripe …having starchy texture and inedible – but green banana is a variety – generally big in size …… modern technology is supplying that yellow banana in green (confusing !) –  Banana, that delicious fruit is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa ~ interestingly, bananas do not grow from a seed but from a bulb or rizhome.  Once the alluvial belt alongside the river Kaveri in Thanjavur, Trichy, Thiruvaiyaru flourished with banana plantation – now with water not fully flowing – understand that the cultivation too has suffered.  Down south in India, eating in a banana leaf is fulfilling and traditionally food is served on big banana leaf on ceremonial occasions.

Not sure of its historic correctness – in RS Manohar’s drama on Alexander –  Porus the valiant King when he meets Alexander would offer him many choicest delicacies of which ‘bananas’ from South will attract Alexander !

.. .. .. a ripened fruit is delicious to eat .. .. more than 10 tonne of bananas that were ripened using ethylene solutions were seized by food safety officials from six shops at the Koyambedu Wholesale Fruit Market  in the early hours of Wednesday. Food safety officials said vendors were diluting ethylene with water. The solution was then sprayed over the fruit and kept inside airtight rooms to speed up ripening process.

Designated food safety official A Ramakrishnan said several boxes of chemical packed in 100ml bottles were seized from the shops. “The use of ethylene in gas form is allowed. But direct contact with the fruit leads to harmful chemical contamination,” he said.  Media reports added  that the seized fruits would be destroyed in the biomechanisation plant at Koyambedu.

Ethylene – a hormone produced naturally – is permitted for artificial ripening provided the concentration does not exceed 100 ppm (parts per million). In the gas from, under controlled concentration, ethylene, being a natural hormone, does not pose any health hazards to consumers, the guidance note points out. Experts say these chemicals tend to stay in the body for longer periods and cause health issues such as skin rashes, digestive issues, cardiac and kidney ailments and cancer.

Nearly 40 vehicles, each carrying around eight tonne of raw bananas, come into the market every day, according to S Srinivasan, president of Chennai Fruits Commission Agents Association. “Raw bananas are transported to prevent damage during transport,” he said.  It usually takes three-four days for the fruit to ripen naturally but when you spray this, it will take just anywhere between 12-24 hours to become fully ripe. But this also reduces the shelf life of the fruit,”  it was claimed.

The early morning raids were conducted by 10 food safety officers at 34 shops after watching these establishments for 10 days. Samples of artificially ripened bananas were sent to the Food Analytical Lab for further analysis, he said. Though awareness programmes were being conducted among traders in the market, of late some were found to violate rules. “We started getting information regarding artificial ripening, which is why we conducted the raids,” Dr. Ramakrishnan said. Meanwhile, fruit shops running without valid Food Safety and Standards Authority of India Licence/Registration were served notices.

~  in markets and on streets – bananas are sold on vehicle carts – people buy and eat bananas almost daily.  They are offered to Gods also.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
15th Nov 2019.

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