#58 — Who Feeds our Cities and is this Food for us all?

Hello there,

We had an insightful weekend at the Science Gallery Bengaluru’s exhibition PHYTOPIA (all things plants) where we kicked off a project called Who Feeds Bengaluru, an exploratory research project that shapes the way Bengaluru city eats.

ICYMI: Watch our 2-day workshop series of talks and events

Who Feeds Bengaluru is inspired by MOLD magazine’s resource Who Feeds Your City, a project that is gathering insights on practices of food production and care that strengthen hyperlocal food ecologies.

We are excited to keep exploring and learning about our food systems collectively. Are there any topics or conversations you feel we should be having more of? Tell us!

Until next time.

Stay Curious,
Anusha & Elizabeth


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Photo by Gyan Shahane on Unsplash

Resilience during the pandemic — lessons from the family farms of Yadgir: The News Minute

A balanced diet crucial during the viral pandemic was accessible only to those who raised food crops, mostly smallholders — Seema Purushothaman and Sheetal Patil question the call for scaling up farming with irrigation and mono-cropping as they explore food and agro-ecology oriented integrated systems of family farms.

Resilient Family Farms


Roasted Winged Termites Are My Favourite Monsoon Snack, Even If Others Might Not Find it ‘Appropriate’

“My thaatha (grandfather), Mallaiah, quickly laid a mat on which he placed a kerosene lantern. In just a few minutes, I could see insects swarming around the light. I remember my thaatha telling me these insects taste delicious. As they gradually fell on the mat, he carefully picked them up, washed them in a bowl of water, drained the excess water, and let them air dry for some time. After an hour or so, he lit our katella poyyi (an earthen or stone-lined fireplace, used for cooking), placed a small earthen pot on it, and roasted these termites. Though we had hardly a fistful of termites, it was fascinating as a kid to look at him prepare them with such interest.”

Jahnavi Uppuleti for VICE writes about the popular delicacy savoured by scores of Dalits, Bahujans and Tribal across India.

Read the article here
Image Source: Vice.com

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The Case of the Conscious Consumer

No doubt the last few months have put us all in quite the tizzy about food and our health. From Real orange juice advertising its immunity-boosting superpowers during the PM’s address to hearing stories of companies feeding their employees a tbsp of Dabur Chyawanprash every morning.

Good-food-bad-food news and advertising are not new (clearly remembering those articles of how red wine and chocolate are very healthy — what does healthy mean anyway). But there’s a lot of noise around this lately and we are seeing the conscious consumer(turmeric latte in hand), slip slowly into unconscious oblivion.

🤺 But first, Saumya Tyagi, Marketing Director, Tetra Pak South Asia, talks about the emerging trends in the beverage industry and the use of technology to keep pace with a post-COVID world.

🍧While GCMMF launches ‘Haldi ice cream’ (because ice cream is the best cold medicine, duh!), doctors are seeing an increasing trend of side-effects in patients that are being caused by taking high doses of self-prescribed natural herbs or medical supplements to boost immunity.

🤼 Coconut oil production is a danger to vulnerable species reads the title of this article. (Clickbait!) but as you read further the author is trying to bring to light the need for more information about all consumer purchasing decisions.


¿What? ¿Why?

A lot of the time we get confused about current events and what they mean for the food system. Here are some explainer articles that give a good understanding of what is happening and what it means.

India’s Retail Inflation
Why are wholesale prices falling when retail inflation is climbing to alarming levels?

The Indian Express | The Financial Express

Pesticide Ban
How the imminent ban on 27 pesticides will affect Punjab, and what alternatives do farmers have? How effective will the alternatives be?
The Indian Express


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The Preserve Journal is an independent print magazine dedicated to the exploration of a more sustainable, responsible, resilient and transparent food culture. We shared some thoughts with them for their “perspective series” which is an exploration of the inherent connections between all the work, visions, and perspectives existing within this field.⁠

Go here to read what we are thinking


Is this food really for all?

The pandemic is having a visible strain on the most vulnerable in our communities. Why is this question of access important? This time, right now, gives us the opportunity to work together to build a food system that is inclusive, resilient, and reconnects us with each other and the earth — from crops to cultures. 💪

🛑Worsened Hunger
The pandemic disrupted local, regional and national supply chains, adding to the impacts of the country’s food waste problem.
The Print

⏩Arming India’s poor against the pandemic
Opportunities for better nutrition in lower-income communities.
The Hindu

🛑Less than one third migrants benefited from free food scheme
8 lakh metric tonnes of food grains were allocated under the scheme, out of which over 6.38 lakh metric tonnes of food grains were lifted by various state governments.
LiveMint

⏩Pandemic Forces Revamp of World’s Biggest Food Stamps Program
The coronavirus outbreak is accelerating a push to digitize India’s food-rationing system. The “One Nation One Ration Card” system will include about 800 million people.
Bloomberg


Khatta-Meetha

🏷 Kashmiri saffron gets the GI tag. Is this the boost that the spice badly needed? LiveMint

🏷 OPINION: Norman Borlaug saved millions of lives, would his critics prefer he hadn’t? Alliance for Science, Cornell

🏷 Nestle India to support 10,000 street food vendors. The Hindu Business Line

🏷 Amul Dairy has become the first milk union in the country which has digitalized artificial insemination (AI) services. Times of India

🏷 Thambili: the king of all coconuts, by Zinara Rathnayake Vittles


Food In, Food Out

India supplies more food to the world amid a pandemic

The exports of agricultural commodities from March to June 2020 shot up by 23.24 per cent on-year to Rs 25,552.7 crores.

🇮🇹 India looking for Italian involvement in food parks
A two-day virtual event on food processing, organized by the Embassy of Italy and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) has taken place.

🇦🇪 India asks UAE to invest more in logistics, food parks


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With the tensions between India & China we thought we would offer some food for thought.

🏾 Ragini Kashyap’s story on the “Gobi Manchurian & the Indian Hakka” finds that the food of the Tibetan and Indian-Chinese communities in India tell unique stories of their diaspora and that their influence on Indian food culture runs deeper than our geo-political fissures.

🏾 Charukesi Ramadurai write about why Chinese cuisine is a comfort food in India — and on how ‘Chindian’ remains popular despite fatal border clashes with China.

🏾 China launches ‘Clean Your Plate Campaign’ sparked speculation by some media over whether China is in a food crisis.


Reports & Resources 🤓

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Check out this new resource on Agrobiodiveristy and don’t forget to read the “Ten Principles for Agrobiodiversity” by M S Swaminathan, Erik Oberholtzer, Ann Thrupp, Alberto Miti and the FACT Roundtable

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The Leap has launched the latest phase of The People’s Bailout: Food.
Visit the website

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The Future of Indian Agriculture and Food Systems: Vision 2030
Omnivore Partners

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State of the Indian Restaurant Industry (Mid COVID-19; Aug ‘20)
Zomato

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State of Organic and Natural Farming in India: Challenges and Possibilities
Centre for Science & Environment


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