Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fresh meat

Weekend mornings normally see large queues in front of the highly fragmented meat shops like this one, where one can pick up as little as 100 g of meat, literally fresh off the block. There are obviously several hundreds of such shops in Chennai, some of them opening only on select days - and each of them manages to get by with its niche clientele. The weekends are busy days for obvious reasons; with almost no school allowing students to bring in non-vegetarian food, children can only enjoy that at home - and in many households, that means during lunch time.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has prescribed minimum standards for intake of food varieties based on the Recommended Daily Allowance for different minerals and essential nutirents. The debate on the correlation between consumption and the extent of RDA met rages on, but in the absence of any other standard measure, consumption figures are used for determining nutritional standards across the country.

The ICMR has recommended that per-capita consumption of meat should be 0.75 kg / month; no state in India is anywhere close to that figure. At 0.35 kg / month, however, the consumption of meat in urban areas of Tamil Nadu is the second highest in the country, behind Jammu & Kashmir (way behind - J&K comes in at 0.56 kg/m). The figure in rural areas is much less, and the ranking drops sharply: stretching that a little bit, it might be true that Chennai has the highest consumption of meat in any city in the country!


chorinchath said...

The other day I read an article by an eminent Cardiologist in which ke wrote how people now-a-days eat meat/chicken. Earlier the consumption was low as social stigma prevented many from taking alcohol.The present scenario is different. People drink to celebrate or to forget, so they say. Meat goes with it. Earlier 1 chicken would suffice the entire family, now one child would finish it ! Where does all these point?

Shantaram said...

@ Narayanan: The chickens are getting smaller? Children have started drinking? Social stigmas have disappeared? :D