Wednesday February 20, 2019
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Onions prices likely to go up further yet again

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Onion prices have always been under the radar. They keep going up and then get stable only to go up further. The common man has to suffer endlessly. Now again, the onion prices are all set to rise. Prices have already crossed Rs 70 per kg mark at many places. These prices are likely to remain on the higher side till September-end as per the reports of National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF).

In Delhi, onions were selling at Rs 65 per kg in retail. In the past one month, the prices rose by Rs 25 per kg. This inflation has forced people to think of onion as a distant entity.

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This problem is nationwide as onion is a very common vegetable in every household. In fact, dhabas are incomplete without them. However, now even the dhabas have decided to charge extra penny for serving onions in salad.
In Kerala, Onam festival is round the corner. The onion prices are a cause of major worry as now they would either have to compromise with the taste or spend some extra money.

“Today, I am selling it at Rs.65 a kg, whereas a week back it was Rs 40. With the festival season of Onam round the corner the price could cross Rs 70,” vegetable vendor Ramesh in Thiruvananthapuram said.

Reshmi Nair, a housewife in the Kerala capital, said that for the time being, she is saved as last week she purchased around five kg of onions at Rs.39 per kg and this would last through the Onam week.

Some housewives are now beginning to cut down on onion usage in their homes.

“I use onions in every vegetable, but the steep hike in the prices has now forced me to do without onions in my kitchen. For me it is no more affordable at Rs.70 a kg,” Archana Bharti, a housewife in Shimla expressed.

“The common man feels cheated by the continuous price rise of essential commodities,” she added, blaming the Modi government for not doing enough to check onion prices.

The price hike is a serious burden for the common man who has to either quit eating the vegetable or compromise in some way or the other. The family budgets too will have to be revised in order to fit in this extra costly vegetable.

Should we expect a time when onions will start getting displayed in shops with jewellery items or is the Modi government listening to the public plea anytime soon?

(With inputs from IANS)

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Gourmet Grubs Squirm Onto American Plate

Culinary director, Jeremy Kittelson, says Linger is committed to changing the American palate. “As much as we love beef,” he says, “there’s no scientist who will tell you cattle farming is a sustainable practice. We should eat more insects."

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Food
Andrew takes a tentative taste of baked, salted mealworm at Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch. VOA

A huge shipping container in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado, is the home of some of the nation’s smallest livestock. Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch is Colorado’s first and only edible insect farm, and one of fewer than three dozen companies in the U.S. growing insects as human food or animal feed.

Wendy Lu McGill started her company in 2015, and today grows nearly 275 kilos of crickets and mealworms every month. “I want to be part of trying to figure out how to feed ourselves better as we have less land and water and a hotter planet and more people to feed,” she explains.

Wendy Lu McGill raises mealworms and crickets to sell to restaurants and food manufacturers.
Wendy Lu McGill raises mealworms and crickets to sell to restaurants and food manufacturers.

Feeding the world’s appetite for protein through beef and even chicken is unsustainable, according to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization. Protein from bugs is more doable.

On the global menu

Edible insects are a great source of high quality protein and essential minerals such as calcium and iron. Edible grubs — insect larvae — offer all that, plus high quality fat, which is good for brain development.

Insects are part of the diet in many parts of the world. Analysts say the global edible insects market is poised to surpass $710 million by 2024, with some estimates as high as $1.2 billion. And while American consumers comprise a small percentage of that market today, there is growing demand for a variety of insect-infused products.

Thinking small

Amy Franklin is the founder of a non-profit called Farms for Orphans, which is working in the Democratic Republic of Congo. “What we do is farm bugs for food because in other countries where we work, they’re a really, really popular food,” she notes.

In Kinshasa’s markets, vendors sell platters of live wild-caught crickets plus big bowls of pulsating African Palm weevil larvae. These wild insects are only plentiful in certain seasons.

Farms for Orphans works with Congo Relief Mission, FAO in Kinshasa and the University of Kinshasa to set up small-scale palm weevil larvae farms to bring sustainable nutrition and economic empowerment to orphanages. (Courtesy: Farms for Orphans)
Farms for Orphans works with Congo Relief Mission, FAO in Kinshasa and the University of Kinshasa to set up small-scale palm weevil larvae farms to bring sustainable nutrition and economic empowerment to orphanages. (Courtesy: Farms for Orphans). VOA

Franklin’s group helps orphanages grow African Palm weevil larvae year round, in shipping containers. “Most of the orphanages don’t own any land. There really is no opportunity for them to grow a garden or to raise chickens. Insects are a protein source that they can grow in a very small space.”

Changing the American palate

It’s estimated that more than 2 billion people worldwide eat insects every day. And even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has confirmed that consumption of crickets and mealworms is safe and that they are a natural protein source, many Americans, like Denver grandfather Terry Koelling, remain skeptical. As he and his grandchildren take a tour of Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch, he admits, “I don’t think they are very appealing, as something to put in your mouth. You see them around dead things, and it just does not appeal to me to eat something that wild.”

Koelling gets adventurous at Linger, a Denver restaurant that has had an insect entree on its menu for three years.

Culinary director, Jeremy Kittelson, says Linger is committed to changing the American palate. “As much as we love beef,” he says, “there’s no scientist who will tell you cattle farming is a sustainable practice. We should eat more insects.”

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And so Koelling takes a forkful of the Cricket Soba Noodle dish, with black ants, sesame seeds and crickets mixed in with green tea soba noodles, and garnished with Chapuline Crickets.

“The seasoning’s great!” he says with surprise, adding, “Seems to me there weren’t enough crickets in it!” (VOA)