Opponents of GM food cook up a delicious 'baigan ka bharta'

A massive, 350-kg 'baigan ka bharta' was dished out by some Delhi chefs at a public gathering in the national capital, protesting against the likely tabling of the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) bill by the government.

Organised by international environment organisation, Greenpeace, the protestors also took a portion of the dish to the prime minister's residence, along with a petition signed by 100,000 people, opposing the introduction of genetically-modified (GM) food in India.

''The draft that is to be tabled is draconian and undemocratic,'' remarked Kapil Mishra, of Greenpeace India. ''It not only violates the Right to Information Act, but will also lead to a substantial increase in the use and commercialisation of GM crops.''

According to Mishra, the government should not present and pass the bill in a hurry. ''We are just asking them to conduct proper studies and research before introducing crops that can have a long-term effect on consumers,'' he added.

The record-breaking delicacy, cooked from organic brinjals and other vegetables, at the Dilli Haat, also made its way into the Limca Book of Records. Led by Davinder Kumar, executive chef at Le Meridien, 40 other cooks joined him in preparing the mouth-watering dish in about 90 minutes.

''As a chef I find a huge difference in the taste of a GM vegetable and one which comes from an organic crop,'' remarked Kumar. ''Even though a GM product might look beautiful it cannot match the nutritional value and taste of an organic vegetable.''