#38 – Glorious Guts, Bira’s Boom, Macaroni Scandals, and More


Where do you get inspiration from? I recently watched Google i/o 2019 and it got me thinking as to how some of the features on there could help the chef community. I wrote some thoughts down here.

This week’s issue is quite agriculture-heavy. But as you read through some of the stories and innovations that could inspire us — from using tech to combat climate change, fungus solving our plastic problem, women empowerment, and grassroots innovations.

Maybe we can draw inspiration from this and use the ideas at our workspaces in food or out.

Dive into this weeks issue.

Stay Curious,
Anusha and Elizabeth

Credit: Inc42

“Our core goal is to help a million corner stores lead better lives,” says CEO Sachin Chhabra


Kirana stores are deeply embedded into the Indian community building a relationship between customers and shopkeepers through food. With the rise of on-demand retail, Unilever ventures backed ‘Peel-Works’ wants to empower these small shop owners and bring a million kirana stores under the digital umbrella.

Future of Groceries

When all of Indian food is obsessed with digestion, why are only Bengalis the butt of jokes?


Over centuries, domestic kitchens across the nation have evolved to follow one Ayurvedic stipulation — food must not only be delicious but also digestible.

Good Guts

Take it to the Farmer

🍚Rice is Life
Recently scientists have developed high-resolution seasonal maps for Northeast India and Bangladesh to study cloud-prone rice paddy cultivation regions in South Asia.

“The knowledge of the spatial extent and rice cropping intensity is an asset to the government and other agencies for efficient land and water resources management along with environmentally sustainable growth to ensure food security for all the people in the world,” said Dr Mrinal Singha

🥔Hot Potato
The fallout between US major PepsiCo and Gujarat’s potato growers underlines the looming threat to farmers’ rights in India over ownership of seeds. Interestingly, PepsiCo’s two varieties come under the category of “Varieties of Common Knowledge (VCK).

Although Pepsico has dropped the case against the farmers this event tells us that we need judicial intervention to protect the future of Indian agriculture.

🚺 Who Run The World
Dr Mahesh Chander, Principal Scientist & Head of the Division of Extension Education at ICAR, talks about the importance of skilling women farmers and how his organization is achieving this. Skilled women have the potential to contribute more meaningfully to the agricultural sector to bring about much needed rural transformation in India.

💻Two for Tech
“It’s time to double down on smart technology, so we can finally double the incomes of farmers — and be doubly ready for climate challenges,” writes Farah Ahmed. Read on to find out how it’s being done.

🌲Munching on Waste
Indian scientists have found that fungi in the mangroves may be the answer to one of the biggest environmental problems — plastic pollution. They have identified fungi which can potentially help degrade polythene — yum!

👩‍🌾The Commercialization of Farmers’ Innovation
Peermade Development Society, an NGO based in Idukki, Kerala, India, has been working in the field of rural innovation. Farmers have taken it upon themselves to experiment and develop new technologies for addressing their needs which were often neglected by the government, or private sector, in high-risk areas.

These stories on Bira’s new mass market product and the Millennial Wine Culture are by The Ken. (Paywall).

If you have a subscription, that great! If you don’t, we’ve got five gift credits and would love to share them with you. Write to us!

Sign Up!

E-conference: The Latest Evidence on Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture

Soul Kadhi

The rising steam from earthen cups of tea intermingles with the sweet fragrance of onion and banana blossom chops, as conversations escalate in exhilarated shrieks, arguments and laughter. 
How Tagore’s Love For Strange Food Paved The Path For the Modern-Day Adda!

South Africa is one of the leading vegan trendsetters in Africa: Whether it’s burgers, Shiro wat, or pap and chakalaka, South Africans are returning to their vegan roots and leading the trend with plant-based comfort food.
Veganism isn’t new for Africans — it’s a return to our roots, say these chefs and entrepreneurs

Working swiftly, she takes pinches of rice flour and draws geometric patterns: curved lines, labyrinthine loops around red or white dots, hexagonal fractals, or floral patterns resembling the lotus, a symbol of the goddess of prosperity, Lakshmi, for whom the kōlam is drawn as a prayer in illustration.
How an Ancient Indian Art Utilizes Mathematics, Mythology, and Rice

“Only the upper-class people of our larger cities are likely to have tasted macaroni, the popular Italian food. It is made from wheat flour and looks like bits of onion leaves, reedy, hollow, but white in colour.” 23 August 1959 issue of the government of India’s Yojana magazine.
The great macaroni scandal

“I usually stop by after work and get dal chawal, roti sabzi or mixed rice for dinner made by this lady who lives in the next block,” she said. “It’s like what I would cook at home.”
Step aside, Swiggy and Zomato. WhatsApp is the new way to buy and sell food in Bengaluru

Listen: Madhur Jaffrey and Priya Krishna on Indian Cookbooks in America

The Sporkful | WNYC | New York Public Radio, Podcasts, Live Streaming Radio, News
The Sporkful is a James Beard Award-nominated podcast and blog where we discuss, debate and obsess over ridiculous food…www.wnyc.org


Journey to Pavitramenthe (8 min.) tells the story of the farming communities in Bareilly, India that supply the organic mint oil used in Dr Bronner’s iconic peppermint soap.

Discovered this via the internet and like what you read? Join our newsletter! Subscribe