The definition of junk food according to the Hyderabadbased National Institute of Nutrition is "food rich in salt, sugar, fats and energy but poor in vitamins, proteins and minerals". One of the primary reasons we fall sick so often is our poor eating habits. We become susceptible to the barrage of food ads we see on television, believe they serve us natural food and end up buying unhealthy products. Consumption of processed foods with artificial flavours and preservatives has weakened our immune system, making us prone to allergies. Food writer Michael Pollan aptly puts it, "Eat food, but not too much. If it came
from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't".
H N RAMAKRISHNA
Warning bells toll
The editorial "Green clearance test for NDA" (September 1-15, 2014) and the comprehensive cover story "Mining at deep sea" in the same issue have not come a day too soon. The attempts to drill methane in the rice fields of the Cauvery Delta in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu points to a dangerous possibility—mining for methane which is available in plenty under the permafrost regions of the planet. India's demand for increased food
TARIQUE AZIZ / CSE production in the past 20 years has been achieved mostly at the cost of environmental degradation. Forest land is being increasingly diverted for production of bio-fuel and non-food crops, housing and industrial development.
Committee of fools
It is not prudent on the part of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change ( MoEFCC) to appoint non-experts in expert appraisal committees ("Experts without expertise", August 16-31, 2014). Most of them are political appointees and lack both experience and expertise in the field of environment. Same is the case with appointments to the state expert appraisal committees. Since the members do not have expertise, they raise absurd questions in meetings and propose equally unreasonable answers. This leads to delays and defeats the purpose of timely delivery of environmental clearances. The National Green Tribunal is right in its verdict and this has to be followed by MoEFCC in letter and spirit if we are to see the right people occupying seats of importance.
S B KATOLEY
Not ready for a disaster
This is with reference to the editorial, "India's double challenge" (September 16-30, 2014). In our country, the regulatory safeguards have certainly been given a skip and the approval mechanism for projects has worked through a collusion
SORIT / CSE