KOCHI: Students of Chavara Darsan Public School, Koonammavu, prepared a different feast recently — a carbon-neutral one — to promote a healthy lifestyle. Instead of the usual dishes, they prepared raw dishes made using sprouts, fruit juices and ragi balls and served them on plantain leaves. Carbon-neutral cooking collects food directly from nature and consumes it without processing it. This method is said to preserve nutrition, reduce carbon footprint and give better health.
The students prepared the food in their school kitchen with the help of Moozhikulam Sala Prakriti School director T R Premkumar. The special preparation avoids chemicals and promotes homestead farming. It also avoids the use of electronic objects that harm the ozone layer. The school conducted the special feast with the support of Kottulli grama panchayat Krishi Bhavan.
“Instead of processed salt, we used rock salt. Sugar was replaced with jaggery. Raw vegetables were served instead of cooked food. These are simple ways of enriching our daily meals and reducing lifestyle diseases. Centuries ago, India had a self-sufficient food culture and our meals were prepared around our homes. This lead to fewer lifestyle diseases. The processed food we consume nowadays is the root of many diseases,” said K S Shinu, agriculture assistant, and one of the organisers.
The sadya was prepared as part of an awareness campaign led by Paravur block panchayat titled ‘Prakriti School’, which exposes children to healthy foods and promotes them in households. The panchayat aims to convert the area into a carbon-neutral zone in one to one-and-a-half years. Earlier, a ‘Chitrolsavam’ was conducted with a similar aim, involving more than 14,000 schoolchildren from the area.
The guests were welcomed with sugarcane juice and were later served salads, amla and payasam made of robusta. The school is striving to become the first carbon-neutral school in the state. The feast was attended by block panchayat vice-president K S Saneesh, district panchayat member A S Anilkumar, block panchayat member Antony Kottakkal, Kottuvally agriculture officer K C Raihan, school principal Fr Tomy Kochilanjikkal, vice-principal Anila Alexander and teachers.