#57 — Pandemic Food, PDS System, Politics of Eating, and More

Hello there,

At Edible Issues, we’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting. We had the chance to be a part of multiple online events over the past few weeks.

As local hosts for India at the Global Food Shapers Bootcamp by the Future Food Institute, we had the incredible opportunity to interact with a smart bunch of people, passionate about working towards an improved food system. Check out some of the local food discoveries by the students. Also, shout out to all the graduating Food and Climate Shapers.

We also spoke at the Future Food Circle Event, about Emerging Foodscapes from India. Designing for India, especially in food, can never be done in isolation. We shared our favourite innovations and some examples of innovations that sprung up from necessity in India during COVID-19. Head here for the video and presentation notes.

We’re shaping Edible Issues to be a collective which collaborates with multiple people in their own fields to work towards a larger change.

On that note, we have an exciting project in the wraps, watch out for more news! Let’s dive right into the latest issue. 

Stay curious,
Anusha and Elizabeth

Source: The Indian Express

Policymakers still talk of ‘food security’, it’s time to plan for ‘nutritional self-reliance’

Indian Express

The question is not about food security anymore, it needs to shift to understanding how can we empower our farmers so we are more nutritionally self-reliant. Ajay Vir Jakhar, chairman of Bharat Krishak Samaj lays out an 8-step process towards nutritional self-reliance.

Stairway to Self-Reliance

The Pandemic, the PDS System, the Pastoralists

How Kachchh’s Nomadic Pastoralists Are Dealing With COVID-19’s Challenges

The case for free rations for all:
🍚In times of pandemic, PDS shops should provide rations to all: Indian Express
🍚But sometimes rations depend on your name being on a list: Scroll

What’s the deal with the locusts?

We’ve spoken about the locusts in our previous issues but in case you had forgotten about them, they’re back -little locust babies, hatched in full glory.

Why aren’t we just eating them?
Tansha Vohra traces how we eat critters across cultures and asks the burning questions.
Delhi faces a Swarmageddon
“As heavy rains nourish the soil and the locusts begin to breed”.. the worst is yet to come with the locusts.

Eating is a Political Act

An array of forces shape how we eat in India and bans and taxes are not new to us. The lines between food fascism and food bans sure seem to be blurring.

Is Banning Dog meat a form of food fascism?
Talilula explores the role of dog meat in Naga culture, and the latent hypocrisy of the ban
Goya JournalFlatbread furore:
Parottas aren’t rotis: Southern flatbreads taxed higher than Northern ones and the country’s GST system rules.

What is India eating during the pandemic?

(Rich) India’s food habits during the pandemic have been an interesting departure from the freshly-cooked-food only in some areas, here’s a quick look at some of what India’s pandemic food has been.

These 5 Made-in-India food brands are eating into a market dominated by Lay’s, Cadbury, and others as the clamour around Vocal for Local grows.

India’s biscuit barons see sales surge as lockdown boosts demand for comfort foods

– COVID takes fizz out of Cola sales

– A surge in ready-to-cook food + some ready-to-eat food brands in India

  • Finding healthy and nutritious food amidst the outbreak: Sourced from farmers practicing climate-smart agriculture, a local program packs healthy food and delivers them to families with pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.

Food is about so much more than cooking and eating. And careers in the food industry span that as well.

Shivani Unakar has been exploring and mapping careers in the food industry (a much-needed resource, at these times) by speaking to experts in their own fields- check out her Instagram handle (@shivaniunakar) for the live series or follow along on her Tumblr site: The Food Web Series

Policy Spotlight

👩‍🌾Revisiting a Crisis: Food Security

Takshama writes on how the pandemic highlighted the faults in our food system.

🚜Green Revolution and a Dark Punjab
Punjab has paid a price for food security. The use of pesticides and fertilizers has resulted in a number of health issues for the state’s population. 

🌽Towards Zero Hunger in a Diverse Food System
In the newly release Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition report, researchers have mapped opportunities for India to reduce hunger and improve overall nutrition.

We’ve curated a whole set of talks and conversations for Science Gallery Bengaluru’s Phytopia — here’s a sneak peek of what’s in store and more information to follow through soon! Register here.

The State of Food Delivery

♦️Food delivery startups in India have been struggling to make financial sense for years. They have each lost as much as $50 million a month to win and sustain customers by offering heavy discounts. But Zomato offers a new sign of hope — Read more

♦️ITC is the latest luxury hotel chain to partner up with Zomato for food delivery — Read more

♦️Google is the latest tech giant to start food delivery services in India. Read more

Food Culture & Sustainability

Binge-read this publication by Joanna and Krutika — two journalists
writing about food culture, history, and more.

Vermont just banned food waste in the trash. Here’s how it works.

Beyond axone: a look at the fermented foods of Northeast India
The Hindu

To truly understand its heritage food, India doesn’t just need cooks and writers. It needs historians.

Your kitchen is about to change forever. Here’s what it could look like.

The Konkan culinary kaleidoscope — A look at some cookbooks that document the cuisines of the Konkan
Hindustan Times

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