outsourcing from stone age


Today outsourcing mean 'Call Centres' in Colombo, Chennai, Pune or Mumbai. It came to our part of the word first as data entry operations for overseas companies, then for medical transcriptions, accounting, payrolls, even sales and stores management, and a few months ago a Bangalore based company contracted to monitor the carbon emissions and credit for a European company.

It was all good business, until the world economy fell into a crisis. Till then, there was employment for our young people, dollars and euros pouring into enterprising business organizations, and lower costs for the companies in the 'developed' countries. Today the easy jobs for our youth are under threat, there is increasing agitation in the countries which have been using outsourcing to find employment for their own youth and also there is less and less business all-round to justify the modern day outsourcing.

Yet outsourcing has always been a necessary evil from perhaps the stone age. Like most things we find as essential today for our lives, it too is an evil we have got to live with.

When our ancestral hunter found it easier to get another man to make his weapons, his stone tools, and then pay him with a share of the meat, that was outsourcing. When one man got another to gather food for him, or later on cultivate it for him, that was outsourcing. Still later, making of the clay pots, furniture, weapons had to be outsourced. even war became an outsourced business with the arrival of mercenary soldiers which we find very often happened even in our own country. We pay others to kill or die for us and we reap the benefits of victory.

One of the worst evils we face today from outsourcing is the food business.  When it all began in pre-historic times it would have been considered a great new development. But it became a curse in more ways than one.

Prehistoric hunter gatherer probably had the freedom of choice to decide what to eat and when to eat, as long as food was available. With the evolution of man and the 'progress' of his civilization, this freedom was lost gradually till man became a slave of the multinational food merchants.

The freedom man had enjoyed to pluck or pick or dig whatever food he felt like eating, would have continued for some time even after he had begun to grow some of this food. As a few men took on the task of growing all the food needs of his tribe was when man began to lose his freedom. From then on man had to eat what the farmer decided to grow, and later on what the trader decided that the farmer should grow.

Then inequality raised its evil head. To grow the food a few men began to lay claim to little bits of the earth, which in turn increased their greed to grab more and more land and to grow more and more food. Those who did not own any land and could not afford to pay for the food had to go hungry while those who owned the land had a surplus, which they would rather destroy than give away to the hungry and the needy. Even the men and women who worked in the farms did not get enough food, because they did not own the land, and the food that was grown was claimed by the few who claimed ownership. Today even though 1/3rd of the land mass is under cultivation, more than half the people on earth are starving or malnourished.

Man could obtain food only from what he earned and what he could afford, and not what he needed to feed his family and children. This situation became worse as the landowner began to outsource the distribution of his produce. The next class of exploiters were born. The traders gradually began to dictate terms even for the land owner, or bought over the land themselves and grew into huge blood sucking octopuses engulfing the entire earth.

Today outsourcing of the food needs had reached the highest point (which is really the lowest depths it could go down) with the big businessmen having enslaved not only the consumer, but also the retail trader, the producer of processed food, the farmer and the land owner. Today these food cartels decide not only what all human beings should eat, but also how much they should pay for it and our nutrition depends on what each of us could afford to pay for them.

Today man does not have the freedom to have a simple meal of boiled grain of his liking, or a roti made of a powdered grain, grown by himself, or purchased directly from a farmer. Today he can only have the processed items available in the market. Here the people with money and power gets the highly processed food at the highest prices where the essential natural ingredients have been taken out to make other products and only artificial nutrients and flavours have been added. The get to eat such food will all the poisons and carcinogens that had been added during the plant growth, during harvest and during processing and packing. Those who do not have money or power have to eat only what is left over trash from processing the high priced food items.

The 'progress' of the modern civilization means that both the mother and the father has to go out to earn a living to feed and care for the family. The children do not get the care and attention of the parents during their young days and the parents do not have the time to prepare a nourishing meal for the children. What they have to feed the children are precooked instant meals, because she doesn't have the time to cook or because she has been brain-washed to think the instant food is better, more nourishing and also the in-thing to do. The mother does not realize that when she buys a packet of processed cereal, for Rs. 100, she could have bought the same raw cereal for just about Rs. 7.00, taken it home, washed and boiled and fed to the child, and she would not have to go out and work to earn that extra Rs. 93.

We have all become the slaves of the 'instant' syndrome, not only in food, but even in medicine. Instead of boiling a little coriander or a 'paspanguwa' at home, we want to drink an instant packet of 'herbal' medicine, not knowing what is in it or how it has been prepared, not realizing that 'herbal' is neither a proven home remedy nor an ayurvedic treatment.

Another reason why we do not get all the grain and vegetables we wish to eat is because most of the food is grown to feed animals and the food cartel is force feeding us the flesh of these animal, once again with all the drugs and hormones which have been fed to these animals. Today we are talking about bio-fuels to save the earth, but unless we stop eating animal flesh, we would have to starve to death to save the earth, because all the land used to grow feed grain would not be enough to cultivate bio-fuel to generate the energy needs of our society.

All the processed and instant food only help the rich food cartel to get richer. Today no one worries about the real nutritive values of the food they produce and sell. Fruit and vegetables varieties are developed so they could grow faster, could be transported long distances by road, by sea or by air and then stay fresh on the shelf for a long time. It is of no concern of the farmer or the trader if the agrochemicals and the preservatives added cause slow and painful death of the consumer.

There is another cartel, the drug makers and drug pushers who thrive on all the diseases resulting from eating all this food.

It is the same story with the meat products. A few decades ago it would have taken about 10 weeks for a chicken to grow fat enough to be killed. Today in the USA it would take only about 6 weeks and this can only be achieved in an animal factory and not in an animal farm. The feed is prepared and fed like raw material in a factory, the feed mix containing anything and everything that would ensure rapid growth without diseases at the lowest cost. In the United States, a factory to run successfully it has to kill and process at least 2 million birds a week. Two thousand pigs an hour. And all this meat is force fed to the gullible Americans, to keep the business going.

Another example of how we have become the slaves of the food cartel is the way people all over the world have been made to become coffee addicts by one enterprising multinational. When Brazil could not sell her coffee harvest and had to burn it, these people stepped in and today they have made us drink 300 million cups a day, not because our body needs it, but because they want to make a quick profit.

Our children were made to prefer powdered milk over fresh cow milk by first giving away free milk to school children several decades ago. That is why today our village folk sell the fresh pure milk and take home a processed powder in the name of milk, which would only whiten the cup of tea for her children and make them believe that it contains all the ingredients for the growth of the brain and the muscles and the bones.  The Chinese children today have got used to drinking processed milk for the same reason, ad in their case even with melamine added.

Those who still shout the slogan 'kolambata kiri gamat kekiri' should realize that the village child who survives on pumpkins are more fortunate than the kids in Colombo who are fed on artificial milk, that is, unless all the pumpkins are brought to the supermarkets and the village child is left to eat the leaves only.

All this could be traced back to outsourcing. By allowing other people to do even the simple day to day chores. It is the belief that if we earn enough money, we can buy everything we want, that we do not have to do anything on our own, for ourselves and our children. This allows us more time to earn more money, so we could pay more for simple things that we could have easily done ourselves, and be our own masters.

Today our lives are controlled not by the Gods, not by the Governments, but by the different cartels, we have allowed to flourish by allowing outsourcing to enslave us.

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