#41 — Union Budget, Netflix of Food and More


The world is full of contradictions. This issue is full of contradictions.

“Zero budget natural farming can help save farmers from the debt trap” vs”Zero budgeting of agricultural production is not quite possible, everything has an opportunity cost”


“Clean meat is the way forward for a sustainable food future” vs “No, it’s not! It’s strengthening the industrial food system”

We all have values and beliefs. As soon as we have more than one, the brain processes these such that they don’t seem to contradict each other based on the context of the situation.

A great food system is layered with multiple values — sustainable, affordable, organic, efficient, healthy — and contradictions.

But these contradictions are necessary for us to be creative. Having these conversations about our food system and culture wouldn’t be possible without contradictions and our deep need to rationalize them.

And like Keynes said, “If the facts change, I change my mind, what do you do?”

Stay Curious,
Elizabeth & Anusha

Source: Unsplash

Reviving Indigenous Seeds: A Silent Revolution India’s Rice Growing States

The News Minute

The Save our Rice Campaign, launched in India in 2004, has been able to revive 1,500 indigenous seeds in various regions in India.

Rice is Life

Source: The Better India

50K+ Assam Kids Grow Organic Veggies In School Backyards

The Better India

This low-cost farming model introduces students to environment-friendly practices and changes their perception of farming, nutrition and food.

Karela & Kids


🔬Scientists develop curd-based wound healing gel 
“From ancient times, curd has been used for skin and hair care. Drainage water from curd, which is usually discarded, contains a good amount of bioactive peptides which we have utilized for this therapeutic application,”

👨‍💻Delivery firms use Artificial Intelligence to scale at faster clip
According to a report by market research firm Ken Research, the hyperlocal delivery market in India is expected to grow to₹2,306 crore by 2020. With AI helping these companies, the projections may just be realistic.

🤝Gates Foundation, Tata Trusts Set Up Agritech Incubator At IIT Kanpur, Will Focus On Smart Tech, IoT
The objective would be to empower small and marginal farmers towards increasing productivity and profitability. The Quest is looking for innovators and entrepreneurs with transformative technologies that address a curated set of challenges faced by smallholder farmers.

🦑Demystifying the Future of Food Tech in India and Why it Will be Digital Food Videos?
Monica Narula, founder at dash.menu writes on how this new category of food tech start-ups seems to have found the right solution to tackle these challenges while successfully enhancing the experience of diners.

How Millets Can Make India’s Food Basket More Climate-Resilient
In addition, increasing production of alternative grains helps save water, reduces energy demand and greenhouse emissions from agriculture. This study shows that diversifying crops that a country grows can be an effective way to adapt its food production systems to the growing influence of climate change.

The Plasticene

Complex Cutlery

Getting food delivered is quick, convenient and cheap. But will the environment pay the ultimate price?

I’d like my beer without any plastics, please.

Salt, beer, shellfish — what do they have in common? Plastic. Plastic has leaked into our environment and food chain so much that people worldwide are consuming about 2,000 tiny pieces of plastic on average every week — the equivalent weight of a credit card, according to a study.

Vandana Shiva’s Beef with “new” Meats

Their sudden awakening to “plant-based diets”, including GMO soy, is an ontological violation of food as a living system that connects us to the ecosystem and other beings and indicates ignorance of the diversity of cultures that have used a diversity of plants in their diets. says Ms Shiva

Image: YouStory

India’s 89th Union Budget mentioned the word ‘agriculture’ only three times and did dig up some controversy. The government’s allocation for the distressed farm sector in the FY20 budget was the same as in the interim budget. There was also disappointment from investors as there was not much strategy for crop diversification. Excess production of food grains drives prices down and reduces farmer income. Read more on the budget here.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a focus on Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) could help farmers out of their debt trap. This piece by Varun Kumar Das of Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai questions how seriously do we take the concept: Zero budget or zero costs?

“Food is the single most important habit that we have as human beings. What we’re doing is bigger than tech, it’s bigger than food, it’s bigger than I think any of the things that I’ve worked in my career. We’re fundamentally changing how people think about the single most important habit of their lives.”

Mani Gopalakrishnan, VP of Digital Innovation for Kraft-Heinz

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