Things are very simple for most people if we follow the Doctor’s advice ~ eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetable, especially the green leafy varieties, cut down on red meat and go for fish, drink lots of water, exercise, sleep for at least seven to eight hours and avoid alcohol and smoking and all other forms of tobacco. And avoid stress and tension. There is no arguing the Doctor’s advice and most people do follow it religiously ~ some swear by it but some have fallen prey to grave ailments despite following it rigourously. So then we blame the genes ~ sometimes even Doctors do, especially when members of the same family inexplicably fall prey to same illnesses. But it looks like we haven’t cast our sight too far ~ or near enough ~ to uncover what probably are the main culprits and causes. With all things not being equal ~ after so many revelations emerging regarding the food we buy and eat ~ the main culprits and causes could possibly be exactly what the Doctor said we must eat to be healthy. The fruits, the vegetables, the meat and the fish that the Doctor said to eat appear to be the main causes of our health’s decline ~ leading to inevitable demise. For decades, we have been ingesting fruits, vegetables, meat and fish that are infused with chemicals, which are proven to be harmful for both human beings and animals ~ yet our agriculture and other food-related activities can thrive only with a healthy dose of chemicals for increased produce and to get rid of insects, etc. How do we reconcile the need to feed more people and to eat healthy? Income and health are such intractable issues that today there are few options but to ignore the Doctor’s advice as far as food is concerned. This of course substantiates the need for organic agricultural practices. But how do we know and judge how organic is our food ~ especially because our state Government has paid lip-service to organic food but have done little or nothing to make Nagaland a fully organic state? The very fact of the large volume of food imports into the state speaks for itself. In this situation, what can the Doctor also do? In fact, s/he too will be ingesting the same non-organic food, the fish that has been treated with Formalin to keep it fresh-looking and the fruit that has been artificially ripened. Indubitably our people’s penchant for self-medication is another factor that leads to all kinds of health complications ~ even death sometimes ~ so imagine how much at risk we are with the lethal combination of chemically-treated food and self-medication. Hopefully, someday soon, our state Government will wake up to the health disaster already happening and act on its constitutional promise to safeguard the lives of the people, every which way. While a plus point about our food habits is the consumption of our abundant local vegetables and herbs, it is a pity that our people have forgotten the unrivaled health benefits in our local fruits, which probably have all the cures to our ailments. In fact, it is high time our state Government think of encouraging and providing all necessary wherewithal for large-scale plantation of our indigenous fruits, which can be dried and consumed even during off-season ~ thereby create employment and incomes and simultaneously encourage healthy food habits. Such dried indigenous fruits full of health benefits could well become one of our main exports. See, it is not for nothing that Nagaland along with the entire Northeast is declared to be one of the world’s largest bio-diversity hot-spots, on which any pharmaceutical firm would love to lay its hands on ~ which is why we ought to be ever vigilant about all kinds of people coming into our region with all kinds of very promising business proposals to make the Northeast and Nagaland an industrial and commercial development epicenter. This is crucial, especially because we are still very illiterate about Intellectual Property Rights. Meanwhile, the concerned authorities waking up to the perils and health hazards of chemically-infused fish, fruits and vegetables, etc. augurs well for our health. Hopefully, it will not be just another one-off exercise but a daily vigilance. Then none will hesitate to follow the Doctor’s advice ~ not even the Doctor.