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The current health crisis due to Covid-19 is a stark reminder to us that we need to change our food habits. Pixabay

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has sent letters accompanied by informative brochures detailing the health dangers of meat, egg, and dairy consumption to all state and union territory education ministries across the nation.

PETA, on behalf of a consortium of 15 doctors and nutritionists, has urged that midday meal programmes in schools should consist of only healthy, humane, plant-based foods.


The health advocacy group Sanctuary for Health and Reconnection to Animals and Nature also sent a similar appeal.

In the brochure, the consortium points to modern research linking numerous health concerns including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and certain cancers to the consumption of animal-derived foods.


PETA, on behalf of a consortium of 15 doctors and nutritionists, has urged that midday meal programmes in schools should consist of only healthy, humane, plant-based foods. Pixabay

It explains that eggs and cow milk are among the biggest allergens for children. Antibiotic residue can be found in such foods, and meat, eggs, and cow milk are common causes of food-borne illnesses.

PETA points out that fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and pulses, on the other hand, are packed with fibre, are rich in vitamins and minerals, free of cholesterol, and low in saturated fat.

The brochure also provides a chart showing that readily available and affordable vegan foods often contain more protein or calcium than eggs or cow milk.

“Wholly plant-powered lunches would keep kids well-fed and energised and also prevent countless sensitive animals from suffering and being easier on the environment,” says PETA India Vegan Outreach Coordinator Dr Kiran Ahuja.

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The brochure also cites the World Health Organization’s statement that half of all cases of malnutrition are linked to diarrhoea and intestinal parasites, often stemming from unsanitary conditions, and that the key to addressing malnutrition lies in ensuring hygienic conditions – not in giving kids foods like eggs and cow milk, which can make them even sicker. (IANS)


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Killer Smog in Delhi.

Developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, a Decision Support System (DSS) that extends the ability of the existing air quality early warning system (AQEWS) to have decision-making capability for air quality management in Delhi-NCR was launched on Tuesday.

The website for the DSS (https://ews.tropmet.res.in/dss/) is designed to help the Commission for Air Quality Management for NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) by delivering quantitative information about the contribution of emissions from Delhi and its 19 surrounding districts; the contribution of emissions from eight different sectors in Delhi; and the contribution from biomass-burning activities in the neighbouring states.

These information would assist in managing the air quality in a timely manner, a release from the Ministry of Earth Sciences said.

The need was stated by the CAQM, which was formed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, during a meeting held in January 2021.

Recently, the Commission reviewed the progress made by IITM and had in principle approved the current version of DSS for air quality management in the Delhi-NCR. The IITM has also developed a new website for DSS with the entire system made operational, the release said.

Union Minister of State for Earth Sciences, Jitendra Singh, while launching the website for AQEWS on the occasion of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' week organised by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said, "DSS is a significant contribution to 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' on behalf of MoES and IITM and suggestions are invited on this issue."

The website also has a feature whereby the users can create their own emission reduction scenarios (from 20 different districts, including Delhi) so as to examine the possible projected improvement in air quality in Delhi for the next five days.

"This information would explicitly highlight the most important emission sources responsible for the degradation of air quality in Delhi and suggest possible solutions to ameliorate the same. With a plethora of quantitative data, the AQEWS integrated with DSS could become a user-friendly tool for air-quality management in and around Delhi," the release said. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Delhi, India, Pollution, IITM, Ministry of Earth Sciences