#46 — Mumbai’s Masalawaalis, Mushroom Papads, Savoury Desserts, and More

Hello there,

We at Edible Issues are on a mission to meet as many food geeks as possible (anyone who geeks out on the entire systemic aspect of food).

Our second attempt for an offline meetup recently went great. We discussed Food Biodiversity at Champaca Bookstore and Cafe, this Saturday. Thanks to all of you who showed up and made the conversations more enriching!

Pranoy Thipaiah partner at Kerehaklu led the conversation by taking us through the entire coffee-making process from the lens of biodiversity, sharing examples from his estate to the roastery, to the city and finally to the cup.

Here are some quick highlights of what we discussed:

  • The coffee taster market in India is said to boom in the coming years as different types are cultivated.
  • There is great scope to understand and give higher value to Indian coffee beans.
  • There’s a long way to go for the Indian Coffee industry in terms of experimenting with growing with local fauna and flora.
  • The future of coffee farming is in micro-lots, where coffee is cultivated along with intercropping of other crops (In Kerehaklu’s case, this is avocados and pomelos).
  • The Third Wave of Coffee doesn’t mean that coffee is grown sustainably or in an eco-friendly way. And doesn’t mean that the farmer necessarily makes higher margins.
  • We need to diversify coffee and choose consciously as consumers.

These are some quick takeaways, but do write to us if you’d like to know more about what we discussed!

Stay Curious,
Anusha and Elizabeth

Photo by Miguel Andrade on Unsplash

How a Group Shapes Food Policy
Telegraph India

“To have a covert food lobby group deciding public health policy is wrong and a blatant conflict of interest,” says Amit Srivastava, coordinator of the advocacy group India Resource Center. Who shapes our food policy and who has a say in it? Read on to get an insight into the world of food policy.

Murky Policy

Photo by Irene Kredenets on Unsplash

The Ugly Underbelly of Veganism in India
The Goya Journal

There’s a nuance to being vegan in India and an inevitable impact of our food choices. The authors discuss the social and political aspects of being vegan in India and also urge people to understand the facts before turning vegan.

P.S. Do read the comments section to see varying perspectives on this topic.

Vegan, Vegone

Vanishing forests drive lion-tailed macaques to search for food in people’s homes.
‘Food forest’ tackles two problems facing India and the world.

Science & Tech Spotlight🔬

🌾Why companies are lobbying to push for hybrid paddy seeds in India
Most of India still cultivates rice from pure-bred seeds, which prevents companies from expanding their market. “We work for small farmers but these companies are pressurising us to push for hybrid,” said a senior agriculture officer from Punjab who participated in a closed-door meeting organised by the Federation of Seed Industry of India (FSII).

Where does blockchain fit in agriculture?
How can blockchain help solve some issues around agriculture and what are its practical applications? Read this 101 version of agriculture and blockchain.

🥛How technology is transforming the Dairy Industry
From Cattle Monitoring Drones to Robot Milking Machines, a revolution is brewing in the Dairy industry, thanks to technology.

👩🏼‍🌾AgroStar is helping small farmers in India with timely guidance
AgroStar has reached over a million farmers through its Android app called “the AgroStar Agri-Doctor”. Through this farmers can also follow local and national market trends that help forecast crop prices.

🍚Study paves the way for a new approach to boost rice yield 
Scientists at the National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR) in New Delhi have identified a gene that is involved in regulating the size of rice grain. The new development represents a new approach towards developing rice varieties that produce bigger and consequently heavier grains.

Bottle Masala is impossible to find in stores. Crafted from 20 to more than 30 ingredients, the one-of-a-kind mix is synonymous with the East Indian community and is known so for the colourful bottles they’re stored in. They’re hand-pounded by a group od Maharashtrian Masalawaalis and according to the author’s mom, is the only spice you need! Read Further.

Food trends and in-between

Going Mushrooms
In an effort to popularise mushrooms, Directorate of Mushroom Research plans to push mushroom papads, jams, and, cakes for production.
Dessert Market Gets Savoury
“The dessert industry is limited and one can’t work too much around products, so we plan to have savoury items like pizza as well,” says Shah founder of 99 Pancakes.
Goyna Bori — The Edible Art
The ‘goyna bori’ of West Bengal, which takes food to an artistic level, is languishing for want of makers and marketing
Sustainable Cities with Permaculture
As the climate crisis worsens, and natural cycles become more unpredictable, companies are working to bring permaculture to urban living spaces in Indian cities.
Japanese Curry in India
CoCo Ichibanya, a Japanese chain known for its curry rice is all set to make its debut in India.

Ditch the Recipe!

Olivia from IDEO discusses 6 ways to use Design Thinking to make a mind-blowing meal and have fun in the kitchen. Ditch The Recipe >

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