#59 – Farmer Protests, Forgotten Holocaust, Recovering India, and more

Hello there,

Thousands of Indian farmers from different parts of the country march to Delhi, continuing to protest against the farm bills. Some resources below break down the issue in detail and shine more light on the issues.

The food that reaches our plates is rife with struggles, blood, and sweat. We don’t ever want to forget that.

Meanwhile, we want to keep doing what we do best: Educate, Support, and Amplify.

Stay Curious,
Anusha & Elizabeth

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Illustration by Carmen Deñó For Gastro Obscura

A ‘Forgotten Holocaust’ Is Missing From Indian Food Stories

Atlas Obscura

Without rice during the Bengal famine, other foods emerged. But these foods that emerged during one of Bengal’s greatest tragedies are missing from cookbooks and food writing. Sharanya Deepak investigates these long-buried moments of hunger.

Foods Of The Famine

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Photo by S. Padulosi/Flickr.

Revival and absence of Bengaluru’s traditional crop varieties


Millets were widely consumed in Bengaluru along with other traditional vegetables but were slowly replaced by European varieties. What did Bengaluru eat 200 years ago and how did Bengaluru start eating differently?

The Revival Of Ragi

Deep Dive: Understanding the Farm Bill

The recent farm bills passed namely Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020; the Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 aka raised protests from the opposition and the farming community.

What exactly does the Farm Bill address? Why are farmers protesting laws that politicians claim will liberate them? What are the economic arguments being made?

Take a deep dive to understand these different perspectives.

If you prefer watching and listening to reading, watch this entire video (from Sep 2020) where Faye D’Souza talks to P Sainath about the farm bills and the protests.

🐂What you need to know about the chaos in the Rajya Sabha over the farm bills: 
The Political Fix

💰What unites protesting farmers and critics of RBI’s corporate banks proposal?: 
The Political Fix

👩🏼‍🌾The new farm bills — Agriculture’s watershed moment: 
Times of India

🚫Protesting Punjab Farmers say centre’s farm bill will lead to corporate monopoly: 
The Caravan, India

🌾Harvest of Distrust — Farm bills are seen by farmers to deliver freedom — not to them, but to private capital: 
Indian Express

These resources might not be the be all and end all of the information. Watch closely as talks are in progress to stay updated. Follow us on Instagram for more recent updates.


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Check out designer and researcher Neeraja Dhorde’s work Shifting Food Cultures. It is a design response to the questions about the way humans will live a life in the near future and how they will survive amidst the crisis of suboptimal food resources on the planet.

Explore Neeraja’s Work


As the world goes through and recovers from COVID-19, the impact on the food industry has been enormous. The onus for recovery however is not merely on restaurants. It requires cooperation from customers and help from the Government.

Take a look at some of the models of recovery that promise hope.


To prepare street food vendors to return to business, Ranveer Brar has tied up with NASVI (National Association of Street Vendors of India) to launch a fundraiser to prepare vendors to return to business.
CN Traveller

How to Save Restaurants
Rebuilding the restaurant business can’t be just about diversifying revenue streams. It requires rethinking how employers and patrons value labour, which means shifting the restaurant model to one that’s centred on workers.
NY Times

Govt, Swiggy to take businesses of street food vendors online

MoHUA and Swiggy will run a pilot program by on-boarding 250 vendors in five cities — Ahmedabad, Chennai, Delhi, Indore, and Varanasi.

The Week

Small towns leading recovery in food delivery

Pan-India deliveries are now nearing 85% of pre-Covid GMV, higher than the 75% recorded in August. People aren’t just ordering more often, they’re ordering more at a time.

Financial Express

Growing food and prices

🔢Data collection could help India tackle its food inflation problem: Livemint

📈Stubborn Food Costs Too Hard to Ignore for India Policy Makers: Bloomberg Quint

🌾Why scientists are trying to cultivate asafoetida or heeng in the Indian Himalayas: Indian Express

🧅I, onion: An authorised biography of the humble vegetable: Down to Earth

Protein in India

🛑The peculiar rise of protein inflation

Protein inflation has been steadily rising in the country over the last few months.


⏩What’s the score?

This collective is trying to debunk nutritional myths and educate India about Protein

Right to Protein

Food, Culture, & History

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“A recipe is a story that can’t be plagiarized.”

Priya Basil on the Living Histories of Regional Cuisine.

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Who doesn’t put ghee in their khichuri?

On food and representation, online and offline. 

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The real story of how qorma became the king of Indian curries

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Sauces, Spices and immigration.

The genesis of Kolkata’s Chinese Cuisine 

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Custard Powder

From an English chemist to YouTube cooks via refugees from Rawalpindi, how custard changed India’s sweet tooth.

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Fermentation as a metaphor

An Interview with Sandor Katz

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A Portrait of Market in India run solely by women
NY Times

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