The Price of Basmati / India
The Price of Basmati
The basmati rice in the supermarket comes in packaging that advertises pristine farmland and flowing Himalayan rivers. However, where the rice is grown in Punjab, India, the people and the land are suffering. Pesticide use in the town of Mari Mustafa has contaminated the water causing a plague of cancer. Relying on an abundant yield to make a living, the farmers and their fields are reliant on pesticides to produce their most important crops: cotton, wheat, and rice. Eighty percent of the basmati rice that is grown in the Punjab region is for export.
As the nutrients in the ground become more depleted, and the addiction to the chemicals increases, further contaminating the water supply. The farming community has little choice but to continue to bathe, clean their food, and wash their animals in the toxic water. It is difficult to find a family in Mari Mastafa that has not lost a family member to cancer.