Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I couldn’t make up my mind to write anything because the passing away of my beloved mother. If you don’t mind reading my blog post "වැරදි දවසක අප හැර ගිය අපේ අම්මා" about that in Sinhala this is the link

These three isolated incidents took place in two countries. 

Today, two of us were walking home after school when we saw the grocery store we used to buy things on our way home showed OPEN sign. We stepped in. These are self-service stores and only the cashier is on duty. While Deepa was buying some commodities like sausages and teabags, I went to the fruit stalls. I snatched a plastic bag and started to select red apples when I saw the fly who was fallen just near the  stack of apples with its feet in the air and convulsing. This is a fully air conditioned store just like most of the ones of this type. So generally free of flying insects. Well, they could enter through the door that was constantly being opened and closed each time a customer walked in or out. Somehow this dying fly told me another story.
I turned to the cashier and asked him. “A fly is dying here. Did you use any insecticide spray right now?” The dude was a bit hesitant and gave me a sheepish smile. He said guiltily, “Only a little.” I dropped the apple and returned the bag. We bought only things that came in plastic packs we had originally selected and came home, discussing the stupidity of a shopkeeper who sprayed fresh fruit and vegetables with insecticide while in the store.

That time we were in the capital city of the same country. There was a bakery where two Sri Lankans worked, one as a manager and the other as a baker. As the bread was salty more than sweet to the satisfaction of our Sri Lankan tongues, I used to visit them very often to buy fresh bread, and also cakes and buns without the plastic wraps. When I entered the shop that day, I found the atmosphere a little tense. The elderly shop assistant was arguing with the Sri Lankan manager.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“This idiot sir”, he said in Sinhala, “is a total moron”

“Why, what did he do this time?”

“This buffoon keeps spraying the shelves and the showcases with this insecticide just to get rid of these ants. Then he stores bread and buns just on those shelves. And today he sprayed over the bread.”

“Noooo” I was stunned.

“Oh yes. when two of us objected that we are poisoning our customers, he keeps on arguing with us. We can’t press too hard because he is a close relative of the owner. Already he’s threatening us and I just asked him to go to hell”

“Thank you for telling me dude.”

“Sir, today you don’t buy bread from us. Go to another bakery.”

I thanked him and walked out.

I was reading the Sinhala weekend paper happily. I used to prefer the real paper rather than the online flipping book version that I read now. I liked the smell and feel of the newsprint rather than the computer screen. Maybe I’m too old fashioned. Someone had said that ‘The television will never totally replace the newspaper as you can’t swat a fly with it!’ In this case the word television must be replaced by the word computer.

Then I found this article about the sufferings of our farmers. They are always in trouble and a constant struggle. Compared with the American farmers our farmers’ standard of life is pathetic. I always sympathized them. And, suddenly I saw this line which made me just wonder if they sympathize us in return. 

The writer was interviewing a farmer and his family. And, when asked about the crucial issue of the misuse of insecticide, the wife said, “We know it is wrong to use these lethal doses of chemicals on foodstuff. But if we don’t we can’t protect our crop and make an income. We will be in serious debt. We owe to the bank. So, we can’t help it. So we have a separate plot cultivated for our family’s consumption free of any chemicals.”

I suppressed the stream of abuse that screamed inside me for the sake of decency. 

What these morons who poison us wouldn’t consider was even though they protect themselves from their own produce, they have to buy the rest of the food with lethal doses of chemicals from the market and are poisoned as much as the innocent rest of us!



Cooling it off!

I took this photograph the same day and the same place I took the beautiful photos above. This is how they keep the veggies packed into poly sack bags cool in this road side gutter. 

The reality bites!


  1. Well,.. We are so careful when it comes to buying food stuff, Not because we are chemists and know the after effects of all the chemicals we swallow in, the little guy is allergic to many things; so we have to be careful. I grow many things in the Summer, but not enough. Mostly we buy things from the farmers market or the processed food comes from the Organic store "Trader Joe's".
    We are not Calorie freaks, but we watch what we eat,..after all,.. අපි කන දෙයින් විඳවන්නෙ අපිමනෙ....


    ප.ලි. කාර්ය බහුල වීම නිසා අන්තර්ජාලය පැත්තෙ පැමිණියෙ නැහැ... මවගෙ අභාවය ගැන දැන ගත්තෙ දැන්... කණගාටුයි...
    ආවොතින් නොගොසින් බැරිය... ඇය සුගතියක ඉපදේවා !

    1. You can’t be too careful. Oops, it must be a real problem the little one being allergic to most of the things. You know, still, organic food is an alien concept here. We are waiting until it’s too late, as in most of the other things.

      And thanks Ariyananda.

  2. While the developed countries are walking away from use if insecticide the multi national companies who produce them are busy promoting them in poor under developed countries. Whoever practices this has a very convincing argument to justify it. As you rightly say here we are all busy poisoning ourselves..mutually !!

    1. However much we try to avoid it we swallow a certain amount of toxins daily. And you should have seen some TV commercial! One of them shows how a mother sprays a perfumed mosquito/fly killer and she and the toddler both breathe it in with a WOW!

      Thanks Sarath.

  3. කොච්චර කාර්යබහුල උනත් අපි දැන ගන්ඩ ඔන කන බොන ඒවා හරියට තොරා ගන්ඩ...කොහොමත් ඔය බහුජාතික සමාගම් ටෙස්කොරන්ට ගන්නේ අපේ වගේ රටවල් නොවැ...

    1. රාජ් අපි කොච්චර උත්සාහ කලත් විකල්පයක් නැති වෙලාවල් තියෙනවා. ඇත්තෙන්ම අපිට වස විස නැතුව කන්න ඉතුරුවෙන්නෙ කොස්, දෙල් පොල් ඇරුනම වෙන මොනවද? එතකොට සමබල ආහාර සංකල්පය එතනින්ම ඉවරයි නේ?

      ස්තුතියි රාජ්!

  4. First of all may achchi be happy where she is!

    and about the insecides, it is unbelievable! these people's stupidity seems to have no bounds....

    and about this:

    I used to prefer the real paper rather than the online flipping book version that I read now. I liked the smell and feel of the newsprint rather than the computer screen.

    i think it is a family trait as i also find it hard to study lectures on the computer rather than the printed note in my hands...

    1. Yes I believe she is.
      And I can’t understand why people are so selfish,
      Yes! Some habits run in the family. :)

      Thanks very much.

  5. when you addicted to the art of reading a newspaper you can't get away from it.what if all the blog posts came as a printed material??? it'll be no fun at all.... i don't think that as old fashioned thing.

    that last picture looks like a garbage pit.are you sure those veggies for sale?? it's nasty.i can remember a comment that you posted In මාරයාගේ හෝරාව.i'm pretty sure your idea was correct.

    those chemicals must affect our human bodies.those chemicals using for pests but how can anyone tell at least 0.1% go thorough those vessels.

    and i must say what i heard from my girl friend.she always saying to me don't eat cabbage,leeks too often.so i asked why are you saying that...

    then she said "those veggies have some kind of leaves that can absorb water.after we using insecticide we can see dead insects inside.so those are really bad to eat."

    i asked then why you keep doing it.then she said "we have no choice that's the only option we have.but we don't eat those cabbages no matter how delicious they are"

    then i had to accept.i don't know about the scientific side of that but how much we search the results may tell us not to worry about that.i think you remember the "arsenic" problem.

    and also i must mention this.as i find out more than 75% people who drinking milk powder facing various kind of diseases in bone structure.but who drinking fresh milk don't have those kind of disease at all.and they are powerful....

    i wonder how many western people are drinking milk powder other than fresh milk....

    i had to put so much effort to comment here... i think that because of the minimum usage of English... hmmm i expected so much errors

    1. Thanks Gamiya for your wonderful ideas.

      Believe me that is in Nuwaraeliya, a little closer to the Haggala Botanical Gardens. You know they have roadside vegetable stalls where they supposedly sell farm fresh vegetables at wholesale prices. Actually it’s the same price you buy them at your own Sunday fair of Supermarket. While the others were buying fresh vegetables, I walked towards the small footbridge with my camera and discovered their underwater storage under the bridge. Did you notice the beetroots are still dripping water?

      What you say about leafy vegetables could be true. You can experiment by putting these in a glass of colored water and check how fast they absorption is. I didn’t do it. And these veggies have this curled up parts where insecticide sprays can be accumulated without being washed away even by rain like other vegetables, We never slice cabbage as it is. We unwrap it, I mean separate all the leaves and wash them thoroughly before slicing them for cooking.

      Yeah, I remember the arsenic problem.

  6. Tradition of wrapping fish & chips in newspaper...... in 70s in England, To keep prices down, portions were wrapped in old newspaper, a practice that survived until the 1980s when it was ruled unsafe for food to come into contact with newspaper ink without greaseproof paper in between. Here I have seen often food wrapped in news paper...........

    1. I think even in Sri Lanka it was banned to use newspapers to wrap lunch packets. And not only the ink. We don’t’ know whether the people who read the newspaper coughed over it, sneezed over or had washed their hands. So many people pick their noses as they read. Yuck!!

    2. You think that's bad ?
      My Brother always read his newspaper inside the toilet....
      Hikz.... :D

    3. Dude, I don't always read the paper only in the toilet. But I never go to the toilet without some reading material like a newspaper. :)
      Thanks for the comment Tiraj.

  7. Nice, Post Dude, Reading

  8. In the late 80s I used to work for a bank in a rural area in Kandy district known for vegetable farming. You won't believe, nearly 40% of the loans given to farmers were spent on chemicals. Shocking! I hardly bought vegetables from farmers in that area. Sometimes the farmers would tell what to eat and what not to. My experience is that the use of chemicals on cabbage is much higher compared to other vegetable crops.

    1. Actually they get the loan mostly for fertilizer and chemicals. For our bad luck, farming has become totally dependent on chemicals.



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