#43 — Brewing Troubles for Coffee, Uber for Farmers, NRAI’s #LOGOUT, and more

Edible Issues
Aug 19 · 5 min read


The National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI) made a bold move towards freedom on Independence Day (15th August).

Through the #LOGOUT movement, they aim to protest against aggregators who have distorted a vibrant restaurant marketplace with aggressive discounting and predatory pricing.

According to these aggregators, they have done nothing wrong. They are just building convenience based platforms that benefit consumers.

Like someone pointed out, what these tech companies are doing to restaurants isn’t any different from what agribusinesses did to farmers — leaving them with extremely low margins hence scrambling to make ends meet.

As eaters, how could this affect us? Tighter budgets could mean lower quality ingredients (no one’s making enough for that organic stuff). We’ve heard enough scary stories about how used cooking oil is peddled and resold to street food vendors at lower costs.
The NRAI says that customers need a detox from this discount addiction, ASAP.

As consumers of food, (in a utopian world) we need to think about the value of food as a whole. Who’s growing and how are they growing it? Who’s cooking and how? Are we being responsible eaters, to help those businesses who feed us now, sustainably feed us in the future?

Stay Curious,
Anusha & Elizabeth

Source: DW

India’s ghost villages: Food and water scarcity forcing many to leave — DW

But the villagers of Hatkarwadi are adamant their problems lie solely with decreasing rainfall and not with poor state policies. The fields surrounding the village contain only millet, they say, a staple food crop. “We cannot afford to risk planting cash crops,” explained one resident.

Source: Katya Austin on Unsplash

Karnataka floods, landslides brew fresh troubles for coffee for 2nd year straight — Business Today

As the state battles floods and landslides in the coffee-growing districts on Kodagu and Chikamagaluru, India’s coffee production could take a hit for the second straight year.

The Bombay Canteen’s 5th Independence Day Daawat is in aid of farmers! Donate on Ketto.

Take it to the Farmer

The government in an effort to give farmers affordable access to cutting-edge technology at their doorstep has set up 38K hiring centres for farm equipment.

We’ve seen the Uber model being used in different ways to help support the farmer. For a little more reading here’s our interview with Rikin Gandhi founder of Loop — an uber pool for farmers.

Focus on rice cultivation deepens water crisis across the Northern States. For decades the Centre used Punjab and Haryana for food security. Now that these states are in trouble due to falling water table, the Centre refuses to help them and they have been left to cope up with their problems. says, Siraj Hussain, Former Agriculture Secretary.

Gramophone is an Agri-Tech startup that aims to bridge the last mile delivery of agronomically driven solutions and products in a form which is actionable for the farmer.

Chennai based start-up, WayCool, is doubling farmer’s income from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 7.5 Lakh and reducing food wastage from 25–40% to 2–5%. Here’s how.

Culture & Society

Earthquakes and rebels haven’t stopped high-altitude yak cheese artisans. Here’s how the ‘Swiss Milkman’ Brought Cheese Production to Nepal

India’s vanishing dishes are not adequately researched or codified either. Anoothi Vishal talks us through a road map to revive classical Indian cuisines

“Can looking towards the villages save us?”, asks Shonali Muthalaly. “It may sound naïve but it is a seductive idea.”

‘The Mosquito’ author Timothy C. Winegard chronicles the history of ingestible repellents, from coffee to gin & tonics

Health & Nutrition

In the rush, few noticed that these fibre bowls came with a hearty side of unintended consequences.
Testing by The New Food Economy reveals an industry secret: All fibre bowls contain PFAS, a troubling class of chemicals with no known half-life, even when they’re certified compostable. It gets worse from there.

Retail & FMCG

Anything which is ready-⁠⁠⁠to-⁠⁠⁠eat, there is some kind of guilt factor in our culture, but in ready-⁠⁠⁠to-⁠⁠⁠cook, it is slowly fading, says founder, PC Mustafa.

Idli-dosa batter. Malabar parottas. Vada batter. Filter coffee decoction. iD Fresh, which has taken a definitive lead in south India’s ready-to-cook market, is now looking north. This comes with its own set of challenges, even as the ready-to-cook market grows.

“We are living in a cluttered world where the consumer is flooded with choices. Our customers, in this case, brands want packaging that can help them to differentiate from the competition and that’s what we provide,” says Saumya Tyagi, director marketing, Tetra Pak South Asia.

With time, the focus for mylks has shifted from hero ingredients to functionality. We now know it’s possible to get a milk-like mylk, and the barrier for consumer entry has become low. Explains Abhay Rangan, founder, GoodMylk

Rabobank, a global leader in food and agri banking, is organizing the “SustainableAg Asia Challenge”. Agtech companies with innovative solutions that promote the integrity in agri-food supply chains in Asia are invited to apply. Learn more here

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Edible Issues

Curated news from the Indian food system, dispatched weekly. More on edibleissues.in

Edible Issues

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Weekly updates on the Indian food system curated by @anushamurthy and @elizabethyorke

Edible Issues

Curated news from the Indian food system, dispatched weekly. More on edibleissues.in

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