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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 December 2007, 10:59 GMT
India: What's in your fridge?

As part of the BBC's season looking at sustainable food, we take a peek in the fridges of people in cities around the world and ask what motivates their food choices.

Pinky Bhatia is a teacher at The Banyan Tree School in New Delhi, India.

Contents: Fruit and vegetables: spring onions, radishes, leafy greens, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes, green peppers, grapes, oranges, apples, local berries, guavas, grated gourd, cut fresh ginger in vinegar. Frozen mixed vegetables and sweetcorn.

Milk, eggs, fresh curd, homemade chutneys, tomato ketchup, fresh coriander paste, ground mint, Indian sweetmeats, cheese spreads, salsa, pastes, cheese slices, butter.


Leftover cooked food - pulao rice, turnip, spinach. Walnuts, tomato juice, carbonated drinks, frozen meat (lamb and chicken), shish kebabs and frozen paneer. Dried apricots, blackcurrant jam, mango juice. Schnapps, salad dressings, chocolate sauce, bottles of herbs - thyme, garlic salt, basil and rosemary, sour cream, sundae syrup, chocolates.

Origin: All fruit and vegetables from local markets or neighbourhood street vendors. Much of the produce is grown on farms on the outskirts of Delhi.

All other produce from India except jam, from Denmark, dried apricots from Turkey, schnapps from the UK, mango juice from Malaysia; salad dressings, chocolate sauce, dried herbs, sour cream, syrup from US; chocolates from India, US, Switzerland.

I would love to be able to buy more organic produce. We have relatives with an organic farm near Delhi and they sometimes give us fresh vegetables. It's wonderful.

But mostly we buy our fruit and vegetables from local vendors who sell on carts in our neighbourhoods or the local supermarkets.

They aren't packaged at all and come loose. Unfortunately, organic vegetables are more expensive as well.

Pinky and her fridge
Pinky says she likes the way supermarkets are clean and hygenic

I do think I get a lot of information about safety of our food and the chemicals that are being used. I'm very conscious of the use of pesticides.

But the information we get in the press and the government is conflicting.

I know that the local farmers around here are using all these harmful products.

But we don't have a choice but to buy from them and make sure that we thoroughly wash and cook everything.

We've even stopped eating raw vegetables because of this.

I think the government should do more to help farmers become more environmentally friendly and be able to stop using these bad chemicals on the produce.

There are wealthier farmers who can afford the advanced technology and grow organically, but we can't buy their products so easily.

The trend here in India is moving more towards the American way with big chain supermarkets coming up everywhere.

I like these supermarkets because everything is laid out nicely and kept clean. Unlike the street vendors who sell their goods in the dust, with flies and open drains.

But, as a working woman, by the time I can get to the supermarket in the evening, all the best products are gone.

What worries me most is that there are no safety checks or norms for food.

The government needs to take more responsibility on this front to ensure that our food is safer.

We recycle as much as we can, but again we are seeing a trend here of more packaging being used for food like in the Western countries.

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