小小一粒,大有可为:印度政府大力推广吃小米

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英音:

It’s the World’s Hot New Superfood. The Snag: It ‘Has No Taste.’

Narendra Modi’s government declared 2023 the Year of Millets, saying the grain could help alleviate world hunger, boost health and help small farmers.

Restaurants are serving up creative recipes, and Bollywood starlets and celebrity chefs are popping up on social media to talk about the health benefits of eating millet. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates even tried his hand at making a millet porridge during a visit in March. Government schools added millet dishes to free lunches served to students, and the grain is featured in the cafeterias at the Parliament of India.

There’s just one problem: “It still has no taste.”

B. Rajesh Kumar Singh, executive sous chef at the swanky Taj Mahal hotel in New Delhi, said reactions from diners who order from the hotel’s millet-only menus break down along generational lines. People over 40 enjoy millet because it reminds them of eating in villages with their grandparents, Singh said. Twenty- and 30-somethings, he said, are bewildered and put off.

Interest in millet has come back as climate change and political conflicts stress global food systems. Millet is a hardy crop that can survive even in areas blighted by drought and poor soil. Millet evangelists such as Dr. Tara Satyavathi, director of the Indian Institute of Millets Research, said that people just need to be educated on the value of millet—and how to cook the varieties properly.

讲解:

小小一粒,大有可为:印度政府大力推广吃小米

课程导读

2023年被联合国定为“国际小米年”,以促进小米的可持续种植和消费。作为提议国,印度今年大力推广小米这种谷物,总理莫迪不仅亲自参与《小米之丰》宣传曲的创作,还将“小米料理”端上了G20峰会的晚宴餐桌。小米种植主要分布于亚洲和非洲,中国栽培小米的历史达八千年之久,在小麦和水稻被培育之前,小米一直肩负着养活中国人的重要使命。小米这种谷物有什么优点和不足?为何在当下要提高人们对小米价值的认识?一起来听今天的讲解。

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本篇课程首发于2023年11月1日

英文原文

It’s the World’s Hot New Superfood. The Snag: It ‘Has No Taste.’

这是世界上最热门、最新潮的超级食物。但问题是:它“毫无滋味”。

By Shan Li and Rajesh Roy

Narendra Modi’s government declared 2023 the Year of Millets, saying the grain could help alleviate world hunger, boost health and help small farmers.

印度的纳伦德拉·莫迪政府表示2023年是“国际小米年”,指出小米这种谷物能够缓解全球饥饿问题、促进民众健康、并帮助到小农户群体。

Restaurants are serving up creative recipes, and Bollywood starlets and celebrity chefs are popping up on social media to talk about the health benefits of eating millet. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates even tried his hand at making a millet porridge during a visit in March. Government schools added millet dishes to free lunches served to students, and the grain is featured in the cafeterias at the Parliament of India.

现在,各家餐厅纷纷推出创意菜谱,宝莱坞小明星和各大名厨也在社交媒体上就小米对健康的益处大谈特谈。今年3月,微软联合创始人比尔·盖茨在自己的印度之行中,还尝试亲自动手做小米粥。印度各所公立学校在给学生的免费午餐中增加了小米粥,并且,印度议会的餐厅也以这种谷物为一大特色。

There’s just one problem: “It still has no taste.”

但是,问题是:“这种谷物毫无滋味可言。”

B. Rajesh Kumar Singh, executive sous chef at the swanky Taj Mahal hotel in New Delhi, said reactions from diners who order from the hotel’s millet-only menus break down along generational lines. People over 40 enjoy millet because it reminds them of eating in villages with their grandparents, Singh said. Twenty- and 30-somethings, he said, are bewildered and put off.

B. 拉杰什·库马尔·辛格(B. Rajesh Kumar Singh)就职于新德里市豪华的泰姬陵酒店(Taj Mahal hotel),是一名执行副主厨。他说,在酒店“小米专供”菜单上点餐的食客,会因为代际分化而有不同的反应。辛格补充道,40岁以上的人喜欢吃小米,因为这让他们想起曾在村里和祖父母一起吃饭的场景。20、30多岁的人则会感到不理解而拒绝食用。

Interest in millet has come back as climate change and political conflicts stress global food systems. Millet is a hardy crop that can survive even in areas blighted by drought and poor soil. Millet evangelists such as Dr. Tara Satyavathi, director of the Indian Institute of Millets Research, said that people just need to be educated on the value of millet—and how to cook the varieties properly.

随着气候变化和政治冲突给全球粮食系统带来压力,人们对小米的兴趣又回来了。小米是一种耐寒作物,即使在干旱和土壤贫瘠的地区也能生存。印度小米研究所所长塔拉·萨蒂亚瓦蒂博士 (Dr. Tara Satyavathi)等支持食用小米的人认为,人们所需要的就是了解小米自身的营养价值,以及如何正确烹饪不同种类的小米。

【内容拓展】

  1. 《小米之丰》:由两位格莱美奖获奖歌手 Falu Shah(女)和 Gaurav Shah(男)共同与印度总理纳伦德拉·莫迪(Narendra Modi)合作完成,以颂扬小米在消除饥饿方面的积极作用。

  2. 联合国粮食及农业组织发布的“国际小米年”宣传视频

  3. “马尔萨斯陷阱”理论:由18世纪英国著名经济学家马尔萨斯提出。该理论指出,人口是按照几何级数增长,而生活资源是按照算术级数增加的,生活资源的增加赶不上人口的增长是自然的、永恒的规律,所以,人口的增长不能超出相应的农业发展水平。

生词好句

1.hot new something

新近出现且非常受欢迎的事物;爆款;网红产品

拓展:

The hot new innovation in tech is augmented reality, which will change the way we interact with the world.

科技领域的热门新创新是增强现实 (AR),它将改变我们与世界的交互方式。

近义表达:Something is red hot. / Something is trendy.

2.snag

英 [snæɡ] 美 [snæɡ]

n. 困难,问题(侧重指那种计划外的状况)

拓展:

The only snag in making a delicious oxtail soup was the lack of essential seasoning.

制作美味的牛尾汤唯一的问题是缺少重要的调料。

3.have no taste

(食物)味道平平

拓展:

Tofu can easily have no taste if not cooked with the right spices and sauces.

如果不用合适的香料和酱料烹制,豆腐很容易味道寡淡。

4.grain

英 [ɡreɪn] 美 [ɡreɪn]

n. 谷物

拓展:

词义辨析:grain vs. cereal

cereal侧重指能直接吃的谷物,grain多指硬的,单个的谷粒儿。

breakfast cereal 早餐谷物

grainy adj. 有纹理的

wood grain 木纹

The phone features a grainy leather back cover that provides a comfortable grip.

这部手机配备了一个带粗糙纹理的皮革背壳,提供了舒适的握感。

5.alleviate

英 [əˈliːvieɪt] 美 [əˈliːvieɪt]

v. 减轻(精神上或者身体上的痛苦、不适感)

拓展:

Eating dumplings can somehow alleviate the homesickness of overseas wanderers missing Chinese cuisine.

吃饺子多少可以缓解一点海外游子对中国菜的思念。

6.boost

英 [buːst] 美 [buːst]

v. 提升;增加

7.serve up

(本文)准备、提供食物;提供某种功能、服务

拓展:

The company served up a host of new features in its latest software update.

该公司在最新的软件更新中提供了许多新功能。

8.creative recipe

(本文)创新的食谱;(抽象表达)创新的方法/方案

拓展:

The CEO attributed the company’s success to a creative recipe of latest technology and responsive customer service.

CEO将公司的成功归因于把最新的技术和响应迅速的客户服务创造性地结合在一起。

9.starlet

英 [ˈstɑːlət] 美 [ˈstɑːrlət]

n. 年轻女明星(常指资源不多的,刚刚出道的的女演员)

10.celebrity chefs

名厨

拓展:

restaurateur n. 餐厅老板

11.try one’s hand at something

(初次)尝试做某事

拓展:

She decided to try her hand at making millet crisps.

她决定尝试制作小米锅巴。

12.be featured in

被特别呈现、突出展示

拓展:

The artist’s new tracks are featured in her latest album.

这个艺术家的新曲目在她的最新专辑中得到了特别呈现。

13.cafeteria

英 [ˌkæfəˈtɪəriə] 美 [ˌkæfəˈtɪriə]

n. 自助餐厅

14.break down along

根据某些特定类别分析、解释某个现象

拓展:

The attitudes toward fast food break down along generational lines among Chinese individuals.

中国人对快餐的态度按照不同的代际呈现出不同的倾向。

15.remind someone of something

某件事让某人想起了…

拓展:

The old song reminds him of his challenging yet passionately vibrant years.

这首老歌让他想起了他艰苦但激情燃烧的岁月。

16.bewildered

英 [bɪˈwɪldəd] 美 [bɪˈwɪldərd]

adj. 困惑的,不解的

拓展:

bewilder v. 使感到困惑、不解

Employees were bewildered when they found out there were no holidays for important festivals.

员工们得知重要节日不放假时感到很困惑。

17.put off

(本文)被放下,被丢下;推迟(delay)

拓展:

She was put off by the restaurant’s rude service.

餐厅的的粗鲁服务让她感到很不爽。

18.hardy

英 [ˈhɑːdi] 美 [ˈhɑːrdi]

adj. (作物、策略、方法等)适应性强的

拓展:

A hardy strategy is necessary for a business to thrive in fluctuating market conditions.

在波动的市场条件下,一个稳健的,适应性强的策略对企业的发展至关重要。

19.blight

英 [blaɪt] 美 [blaɪt]

(本文)v. 破坏;n. 破坏、毁灭的力量

20.millet evangelist

(本文)热衷于推广小米及其好处的人

拓展:

evangelist n. 传道士(来源于宗教,但在非宗教背景下,可以用来指任何热衷于推广某种思想或产品的人)

The evangelists of sweet and savory zongzi (or sticky rice dumpling) will promote their favorite types during the Dragon Boat Festival.

甜粽子和咸粽子的推崇者在端午节期间总是热衷于推广他们喜欢的粽子类型。

外刊原文

It’s the World’s Hot New Superfood. The Snag: It ‘Has No Taste.’

By Shan Li and Rajesh Roy

Narendra Modi came up with a pop song to get India to consume millet; diners consider—if bathed in butter

Updated Oct. 20, 2023 12:00 am

NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi spent the first half of 2023 working on a secret project: a song about millet.

The pop-rock tune—performed by a Grammy Award winning singer with a section featuring Modi speaking about the prosperity and radiance of millet—extols the virtues of an ancient grain that has been cultivated in Asia and Africa for thousands of years. Modi’s government declared 2023 the Year of Millets, saying the grain could help alleviate world hunger, boost health and help small farmers.

Restaurants are serving up creative recipes, and Bollywood starlets and celebrity chefs are popping up on social media to talk about the health benefits of eating millet. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates even tried his hand at making a millet porridge during a visit in March. Government schools added millet dishes to free lunches served to students, and the grain is featured in the cafeterias at the Parliament of India.

There’s just one problem: “It still has no taste,” said Mohdiq Ram, a self-described foodie.

Ram said he grew up hating his mother’s spin on millet rotis, a flatbread common in Indian cuisine. After seeing this year’s advertising blitz, the 25-year-old private tutor tried a few dishes at a New Delhi restaurant. He was disappointed.

Aanchal Sharma, 20, said she found millet rotis palatable only when bathed in clarified butter. “You gain weight unless you work out,” the college student said. “People eat them and need to nap right away.”

Despite the endorsement from India’s top leader, some restaurateurs and chefs say they are struggling to persuade Indians who dismiss the grain as something eaten by the rural poor.

B. Rajesh Kumar Singh, executive sous chef at the swanky Taj Mahal hotel in New Delhi, said reactions from diners who order from the hotel’s millet-only menus break down along generational lines.

People over 40 enjoy millet because it reminds them of eating in villages with their grandparents, Singh said. Twenty- and 30-somethings, he said, are bewildered and put off.

“Things which are healthy are always less in terms of taste,” he said. “But in the new culture, we always want things to be tasty, sweet, like eating a pizza.”

Millet—there are multiple varieties—was a staple food for over half a billion people across Asia and Africa for centuries, according to India’s Department of Science and Technology. India is the world’s top grower of millet, accounting for 42% of global production, followed by Niger, China and Nigeria, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

But in recent decades, millet—a chewy grain with a slightly nutty flavor—has disappeared from diets in India as the government encouraged farmers to grow high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice.

Interest in millet has come back as climate change and political conflicts stress global food systems. Millet is a hardy crop that can survive even in areas blighted by drought and poor soil. The grain is rich in nutrients like calcium, iron and protein.

Falguni Shah, the musician who collaborated on Modi’s song, said the 73-year-old leader suggested penning a song on the virtues of millet in December when they met following her Grammy award win for best children’s album.

“I didn’t even know he was a songwriter,” said the singer, who is known as Falu. “It was just a big surprise.”

The song “transcends from one soul to another, without even speaking,” she said.

The White House served the grain in June as part of a plant-based state dinner thrown for Modi, who is vegetarian. (Marinated millet and grilled corn kernel salad, and crisped millet cakes, according to the White House menu.)

Millet was on heavy rotation at the G-20 summit in New Delhi in September at official and private dinners. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his wife sampled millet pasta, millet mango tart and millet fudge brownies during their stay at the Lalit hotel during the summit, said Ravi Kant, the hotel’s executive chef.

“The face said ‘Wow!’” said Kant, who was told of the enthusiastic response by hotel butlers serving the prime minister. “They loved it.”

Kishida’s office didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Millet evangelists such as Dr. Tara Satyavathi, director of the Indian Institute of Millets Research, said that people just need to be educated on the value of millet—and how to cook the varieties properly. Millet has no gluten and requires a good soak in water before cooking, she said.

The institute is working with startups to innovate products such as millet pastas and millet tortillas, she said. Big food companies such as Hindustan Unilever are peddling millet cookies and drinks.

Satyavathi said she has looked at quinoa’s trajectory from humble farming food into global health superstar as a road map for her favorite grain. “Millet will be more popular than quinoa,” she said.

Ram, the foodie in New Delhi, said he would stick to rice. “I like spices, I like salt, I like good cuisine,” he said. “Millet tastes healthy, but not good.”

Reprinted by permission of The Wall Street Journal, Copyright 2023 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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