Food lovers are always a source of fun. In the kingdom of Dhanyakataka, all the food lovers were given special respect. Lots of competitions were held in the state. Eating lots of food was one such fun activity. The competitions were first held at the village level. Winners then competed at the district level. Finally the king presided over the National level competitions.
Seetayya and Ramayya won the food contest at the district level. They now had to compete at the national level. So a contest was organised to decide upon the winner. The person who ate the maximum amount of food would be declared the winner.
A variety of tasty food was prepared to tempt the participants. Two equal portions of the variety of food preparations were laid out. The king, the ministers, the officials and many commoners gathered to witness the competition with great interest. The foodies started eating the items on the menu one at a time.
The competition began and in just ten minutes, Seetayya spat out the porridge and accepted defeat.
Seetayya was known for eating for hours at a stretch. In fact people were always surprised at his immense capacity to eat. ‘What made him lose?’ the minister thought. ‘There has to be a good reason.’ The minister called Seetayya and asked him, ‘Why did you give up so soon and accept defeat?’
Seetaya, the foodie replied, ‘Sir, I will tell you the reason but please pardon me.’ The minister asked him to speak the truth and not worry about the consequences.
Seetaya explained, ‘Sir’, the quality of the grain depends on the quality of the soil that it’s grown in. The grains used to cook food for the competition were grown in the land used for cremation. That’s the reason why I did not like to eat the food.’
The king was surprised to hear this and asked his officers to find out the truth. The grain merchant was called to the court. The merchant was asked to look for the farmer who sold him the grain. Enquiries were made about the location of the field. They found out that the field was next to a cremation ground. Over a period of time, the farmer had slowly extended his farm and started sowing in the cremation ground also.
Guess why Seetaya was declared the best foodie! He could even judge the quality of the land where the crops were grown. The king graciously rewarded Seetaya and put him in charge of the state granary.

This story is the true image of the present situation. Use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers is rising day by day to increase crop production. Due to this, food grains and vegetables have a lot of residues. Additionally, in large towns and cities, vegetables and other crops are irrigated with sewage water which has a large quantity of chemical effluents. Moreover, fish is caught in ponds which have a high quantity of chemical effluents in the water. It affects the health of the people consuming the fish.
Like Seetaya, do we ever try to find where our food comes from?
This story explains to us the concept of ‘geographical indications’.
The ‘basmati’ variety of rice is not grown in Andhra Pradesh. Do you know why?
Crops are dependent on the soil, water temperature and the natural environment. Some crops acquire certain qualities because of the area in which they are grown. That’s why they are so specific and special to a region.
In order to nurture and save specific varieties of plants or crops, we need to grow them in particular areas which are compatible in terms of soil and climate.
Similarly, insects found in a specific geographical area become food for birds belonging to that area. Few animals cannot survive in a different habitat and as a result the larger animals which prey on them also suffer. Therefore it is imperative that people belonging to a particular geographical area should take special care to conservetrees, animals and birds of that area.