By Our Reporter
Shillong: Green peas which are a good source of phyto-nutrients, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants have gone out of the menu of most households today. At Rs 240 a kilogram in the Laitumkhrah market only the rich can afford to buy this legume.
Yet peas have a very high nutritional value and are relatively low in calories when compared to beans, and cowpeas. 100 gram of green peas provide only 81 calories, and no cholesterol.
Green peas are a good source of proteins, and soluble as well as insoluble fiber. Peas also contain Vitamin B Complex, Vitamin C and K. The last has a potential role in bone mass building function by promoting osteo-trophic activity in the bone. But who can afford this vegetable today? Even in Iewduh where vegetables are comparatively cheap green peas are selling at Rs 200/kg.
Carrots cost Rs 60/kg while cauliflower is also becoming a highbrow vegetable selling @ Rs 80/kg. Onions too cost Rs 80/kg in Laitumkhrah. Most vegetable shoppers are now tending towards leafy vegetables which are more affordable. Mustard leaves, pumpkin leaves, squash tendrils and other greens being sold on the footpaths are selling faster than the conventional vegetables such as ladies finger, tomato or beans.
“There is no culture to fight the inflationary trends in the market here. NGOs will raise issues over every other issues especially political issues but no one stands with the common person over price rise,” said a harassed shopper at Laitumkhrah market adding that if she raises questions about the price she is shouted down and told to go shop elsewhere.
Indeed the absence of a citizen’s consumer movement has allowed the market to run riot observed a daily wage earner. In this price war gone berserk it is the poor who lose out on nutrition said a medical doctor who lamented that the nutritional status of most children in the villages and urban slums is extremely poor.
“There is large scale Vitamin A deficiency which leads to night blindness and other complications,” she observed, adding that Vitamin A is an essential nutrient needed for the visual system, growth, development, and a healthy immune system.