The food mix
The relatively smaller increase over the last 25 years in the price of fine
cereals like rice and wheat, compared to those both of coarse cereals like jowar
and bajra and of pulses, has adversely affected the nutrition of the poor. Even
at a 1,500-calorie-per-day level, the data show a willingness to buy more costly
foods, and at 1,800 calories, a shift to purchase non-food items is noticeable.
Thus simply the provision of a larger income may not bring about better
nutrition, and one may have to consider other measures to correct this tendency,
either through the agency of the ration system or by payment of wages in kind.
In drawing up health cards for use in the CARE project in Kerala, red has
been shown as the zone of danger. Yet in the Poshak study in Madhya Pradesh, red
was perceived by local mothers as a sign of health and