I AM BOYCOTTING MCDONALDS FOR 10 YEARS.
A small, personal anniversary to celebrate.
Food, water and environment are critically important elements in our lives. Yet, most of us are either indifferent or ignorant about them. I’m talking about the two countries I’ve known all my life: USA and India. I’ve lived half of my life in each country. I’ve seen it all.
It is true that many activists in both countries are trying their best to create awareness, and challenging the Goliath corporations and media that are pushing junk food, plastic-bottled water, toxic drinks like Coke and Pepsi, and destroying the environment like crazy, by felling trees for newsprint, tissue paper and napkins, and also usurping massive amounts of public land. But these people fighting back against the giant and powerful status-quo are few and far between.
Slowly but surely, a new generation is growing up — in both India and USA — who neither know nor care to know about the slow-poisoning of our men, women, children, plants and animals to death. This is true. There is practically no awareness. These are not election issues.
Ten years ago, I quit eating at McDonalds, and I’m silently celebrating an important anniversary in my life. Since boycotting McDonalds (inspired by Super Size Me, a documentary Hollywood purposefully did not award for political reasons), I stopped eating at other chain food places such as Pizza Hut, KFC, and Taco Bell. I rarely drink plastic-bottled water, Coke or Pepsi, although I have not been able to completely stop it, mainly because in certain places and times, there is absolutely no alternative, particularly here in America. Otherwise, I would completely stop drinking them.
I decided to post a cover photo on my Facebook today — a photo my wife Mukti Banerjee (chef and instructor at Mukti’s Kitchen here in Brooklyn) took yesterday of my cooking an Indian vegetable curry from scratch — to symbolize the significance of this honest and sincere return to healthy food and drinks.
Not eating at the junk food places has drastically improved my health, and my family members, friends and colleagues noticed the happy change. I even smile these days, which almost disappeared over the past few years :-)
Jokes aside, it is an uphill battle, mainly because in both countries — the two biggest “democracies” (also known as open markets monopolized by corporations actively endorsed by political powers of major political parties) — there is a tyrannical, terrorist onslaught on healthy food, drinks and lifestyle, and corporate media in both countries are actively promoting this unhealthy, often deadly, lifestyle.
If the Holy Ganges is the most polluted river on earth, here in USA, nearly 70% of food is GMO pushed by Monsanto and such corporations. If the sky is absolutely, horrendously polluted in India because of the rampant, out-of-control, concrete jungle construction (also known as promoter companies), fast food, toxic drinks and over-dependence of drugs in life are sure recipe for death here in America. Ironically, for those young, enlightened people in America who are now challenging this corporate status-quo by practicing yoga, meditation, and eating healthy, home-cooked food (sometimes Indian food, fruits and vegetables), they should know that the new, young generation in India is doing just the opposite: they’re now digging more at McDonalds and KFC and gulping down more Coke, Pepsi, and plastic-bottled water.
When the enlightened West is looking toward the sage-old East for health and environment advice, the East is slowly sinking down to the abyss of a hopeless devastation.
Again, I do not believe that a lonely fight against anything can bring about anything significantly positive, but taking advantage of the social media, blogs and also word of mouth, we can perhaps join hands together, and bring about some collective, healthy change in our lives and environment.
Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing.
Brooklyn, New York