Buildaburger Conference – National Curry Week Day 4 – 16th October 2014 – Thali Thursday


Excellent thali at The Bhaji Shop & Thali Café, Chesterfield Road, Sheffield, UK.

Just look at that! I genuinely feel sorry for anyone who does not appreciate, or has not had the experience of the diversity of food that we now enjoy in the UK. I remember the 1970s and it’s not a world I want to go back to. All the clichés are true: bad food, bad air, bad housing, polluted rivers, universal grimness.

According to Wikipedia “Thali (Hindi: थाली, Nepali: थाली; meaning “plate”) is an Indian and Nepalese meal made up of a selection of various dishes. Thali dishes vary from region to region in South Asia and are usually served in small bowls, called katori, which are placed on a round tray, the actual thali; often a steel tray made with multiple compartments is used.”

If you read the last sentence, apparently this is how they do cafeteria food in India.

Although it is easy to complain about the world going down the toilet (although it is), there are many things that have improved in this country over the past forty years (see above). However, according to a study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the human race has destroyed 52% of all animals on the planet in that same period.

It’s no good blaming the Tories for this particular disaster, not even Margaret Thatcher, because we are all complicit in the destruction of the environment, and have been since the Industrial Revolution.

Although I am not an activist, I was introduced to ideas of sustainability, alternative energy and organic farming by my parents after a visit to the Alternative Energy Centre in Machynlleth, North Wales on a family holiday in the 1970s. It was very hippie and right-on, compared with the world I normally inhabited, and it seems strange that, although the term “peak oil” had not bee coined at that time, everyone knew even then that dependence on hydrocarbons was not sustainable.

I revisited Machynlleth in the late 90s to find it was overgrown and almost a ghost town. The website still looks pretty up to date so maybe it has been rejuvenated or maybe the dirty fucking hippies have moved on.

Plenty has happened in the meantime, and renewable energy technologies have improved remarkably, but our fundamentally corrupted system of government still fails to grasp the thorny solutions of reduced consumption and population control.

Over the last 30 years, the main television news bulletins report the current value of the pound against the dollar in every bulletin, but never the percentage of natural habitat has been lost, or how much fishing yields have fallen, or the percentage increase in the use of pesticides and growth hormones.

As James Lovelock (originator of the Gaia theory) put it in this interview with The Guardian “enjoy life while you can: in 20 years global warming will hit the fan”.

We live in Heeley, Sheffield, at the top of a hill, but Heeley Botttom is prone to flooding. So, while it is still above water, you could do worse than visit the nearby Bhaji Shop & Thali Café, 53 Chesterfield Road, Sheffield, UK S8 0RL 0114 2584177, and enjoy it while it lasts.


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