The history of France would have to be written anew had the Consort of the French King Louis XVl, Marie Antoinette, known about jak and croton leaves. Instead of Cake she would have uttered “Let them eat jak and croton leaves,” when she was told that the French populace had no bread to eat. Her words wouldn’t have provoked the people to stage an uprising which ended in a massive bloodbath.
The peasants and the urban poor would have happily agreed to accept her recommendations and satisfied their hunger pangs with the delicious jak and croton leaves and would have decided to take them as their staple food. Hence they would have forgotten about bread and cakes and the historic French Revolution wouldn’t have happened.
Although the unique discovery had created controversial but light-hearted banter around our political and societal circles, we should show our heartfelt appreciation to the learned doctor who has introduced these “mouth-watering” food items to the public.
Next we must ask the political authorities who have been experiencing a disturbing backlash from the frustrated public, to appoint a special seven-member commission headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge, comprising a NGO member, a foreign judicial personality and four qualified but politically unbiased nutritionists to assess the real food value of the jak and croton leaves and forward a report in a week.
If it was found to be the “Miracle Food” that everyone had been searching for ever since humans started roaming the Earth, then we must request grand chefs in prominent five-star hotels to prepare various tasty dishes using these leaves and introduce them to the foreign tourists staying at their hotels as a trial.
If all goes well we may also request the tourist authorities, who up to now have been concentrating on concrete pathways and village playgrounds, and also Finance Ministry officials, to publicise the value of jak and croton leaves abroad to attract more tourists and also foreign investors itching to invest in Sri Lanka, to start farms to grow jak and croton plants. If that happens just imagine the number of locals getting jobs in these farms and also the valuable foreign exchange that would help to economically Regain Sri Lanka.
And in addition, if the foreign investors can start factories to process these leaves, packet them and export them to Europe, Britain, America and India, the Human Rights cartels in those countries will, while gulping down these tasty food items completely forget their prejudices towards Sri Lanka and would start praising the Human Rights situation in our country.
While thanking again the learned doctor for this unique discovery, we can rest assured that now it is time to forget about the unfavourable situation to which our tea, rubber and coconut had fallen at present and start concentrating on promoting a campaign to Grow More Jak and Croton Plants around the island.
What relief will our local Marie Antoinettes and Louis XVls experience when seeing jak and croton leaves fluttering in the breeze, in remote areas where foreign investors have started farms using their valuable foreign exchange.
Thanks again Dear Doctor!
By Vijaya Ariyarathne