Agriculture Minister Mullakkara Ratnakaran on Friday distributed certificates to 150 students who completed a training programme in mushroom farming offered by Oleena, a women's organisation, in association with the State Horticulture Mission at the Rotary Club Auditorium here.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ratnakaran said eating habits of the people in Kerala had undergone a serious change for the worse over the last several years. “We seem to have become a generation with little understanding of what to eat and what not to for a healthy living,” he said.

The Minister, who said that such “pathetic ignorance” about a “basic thing” such as the eating habit have taken a toll on the general health of the people in Kerala, said that nearly 20 per cent of all the medicines and drugs produced in the country was consumed by the people of Kerala, which only amounts up to 3.5 per cent of the country's population.

Mr. Ratnakaran, who flayed the craving of the new generation for “synthetic and un-natural” food items that come with a lot of “toxic content,” said that it was time to re-explore and return to the rich resources of our own natural food varieties such as mushroom, which was healthier than many other synthetic foods and rich in protein and vitamins.

Mr. Ratnakaran called upon all candidates who received training in mushroom cultivation from Oleena, to apply their knowledge in the field and not to let it remain in their mind.

Oleena chairperson T. Sujatha and coordinator Beena Siryl spoke on the occasion.

Keywords: Call for change

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