#37 — Indian elections and the agrarian distress, responsible food heroes, and more.
What a wild election season this has been!
As India continues to vote in the world’s largest democratic exercise, farm distress is one of the key issues that holds immense power to shape the poll narrative this year.
Fair MSPs (or the lack of thereof), improper supply chains and volatility in production are just some of the issues that contribute to this agrarian distress.
Lurking in the neighbourhood is climate change which seems to be an unusual suspect in this year’s election (more on that inside).
While we wait for the results, dive into this week’s issue.
Anusha and Elizabeth
The rediscovery of wild food plants
Down To Earth
Wild food plants form a special category of plants in India,as we’re slowly discovering them. For the tribal communities, the forest and the plants are not just a source of food but also a part of their identity. And they’re the rightful and respectful guardians of this rich diversity.
Food memories of migrant women
Mumbai Mobile Creches
Stop what you’re doing and read through this beautiful collection of nostalgic recipes from (immigrant) construction workers in Mumbai.
(Update: PepsiCo withdrew the lawsuit as of publishing this newsletter)
️Climate change, its impact and election results
- IIT-M is set to study climate change’s impacts communities in coastal regions.
- Climate change although seldom mentioned in manifestos or election speeches, might drive the elections this year.
India’s food imports
India might soon become a big importer of food. Especially if agri-policies fail to benefit the farmers.
🥗Freshokartz expands with recent funding
Freshokartz offers an e-commerce platform that allows consumers to purchase produce from farmers.
Eating well without wrecking the planet
The five cuisines that are easier on the planet. Indian is (obviously) one of them.
🇮🇳India’s alt. protein revolution & her plant-rich bounty
The Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), in collaboration with the National Research Centre on Meat (NRCM) has announced research for cell-based meat in India with initial funding of 4.6 crores.
India is the fastest growing egg producer in the world. It’s no surprise that Just Egg (the plant-based egg alternative) is eyeing the Indian market. Take a look at Indian consumer’s reactions to the product in this 11 min documentary.
India gets its first fresh soy milk extract tofu. Invigorate foods, a Japanese company is planning to invest 600 million in producing this tofu in India, thereby employing up to 1000 people.
Andhra Pradesh is reviving chickpeas, thanks to research efforts of agri-scientists. Unlike the green revolution, this silent chickpea revolution took some time for the rest of India to take note of. But other states are soon set to follow suit.
Jalpai or Indian olives make delicious chutneys. The sweet and sour taste is unique to it and isn’t quite popular as its Italian counterpart.
Spotlight: Responsible food-heroes
- India has never been as excited about local food before (well in the recent past) and urban farmers are helping further this trend. Meet these urban farmers
- Chefs in India are moving towards zero-waste cooking and kitchen trash cans are now breeding ground for experimentation. Meet these chefs.
🥘Many Indian dishes can be traced back, indirectly, to a 16th-century, food-obsessed ruler Babur. In this story, the author traces Babur’s food obsession from his writings.
🥘The Mughlai origin biryani is getting a makeover in India with its cloud kitchen revival.
Aasalabs is proud to present ‘VyavaSahaaya’ — India’s first agri-food open innovation platform to build a healthier ecosystem for the next billion. VyvaSahaaya in association with BayerCrop Science is announcing a Technology Challenge for the benefits of Corn farmers. The challenge is seeking digital tools and approaches that offer timely, context-specific information that enables small and large holder farmers to track, spot and treat the incidence of Fall Army Worm in a cornfield. Please visit https://vyavasahaaya.com for more info.
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