#69 – Biodiversity, Meat Matters, & #OilYouNeed


In October, we found ourselves deep into the world of bananas. We explored our banana markets and spoke to experts about some of the most pressing issues for the industry and its stakeholders.

While we worked our way into this topic, we also found another that became a hot topic of discussion. It was Edible Oils. Why are we so curious about this subject? Well, we headed down the road of palm trees — spotted research and realized the world, and India, have more complexities than we realized when it comes to oils for consumption.

India has gone from having levels of self-sufficiency in oils, to becoming the biggest importer in the world. All of these factors also tie in very closely to culture, nutrition, livelihoods, and our agricultural landscape. 

So what’s the tale behind our favorite तेल?

Follow us through November as we dig deeper into the world of Edible Oils. Meanwhile, below are some of the articles we recommend reading to kickstart the month of #OilYouNeed

Stay Safe, 
Takshama, Anusha and Elizabeth

The World’s Most Consumed Edible Oil is facing a Supply Crunch

How India Was Stripped of its Atmanirbharta in the Edible Oil Industry
The Wire

Nithin Gadkari Seeks Disclosure of Palm Oil Mix in the Other Edible Oils Industry
Times of India

Can Marico’s ‘Centre-of-Plate’ pitch for Saffola work?
Fortune India

18 States to Impose Stock Limits on Edible Oils ahead of Diwali Festivities
Business Standard

Illustration by Sophi Gullbrants for MOLD Magazine.

From The Micro to the Macro: Biodiversity as Social Structure

MOLD Magazine

“However, if biodiversity is a social system, then humans are one of the most antisocial species, disrupting forms, behaviours, and structures of the wider natural world with interventions like intensive, capitalist-driven agriculture.”

What roles do humans play in preserving biodiversity?
Have you wondered about the true value of this concept?
How can you support biodiversity through your actions?

Dive(rsity) In

Design | Divya Ribeiro

Your Gourmet Dinner is Eating Up the Superfood of the Poor


Prawn and shrimp, like many other foods, come with strings attached.
Shamsheer Yousaf and Monica Jha illustrate the problems that occur as small fish are diverted to fishmeal plants, affecting the incomes as well as the nutritional needs of local communities.

Fishy Tales

Meat Matters
Beyond skin and bones.

Lab-Grown Meat Is Supposed To Be Inevitable. The Science Tells A Different Story.
The Sustainability of Cultured Meat
Everyone is talking about it, and the conversation is unlikely to die down soon. So how sustainable is this industry, truly?

What Makes Mutton Taste Like Mutton? Indian Researchers Are Trying to Find Out.
Is Technology The Way To Our Stomachs?
“You know, when you are in an Indian [apartment] complex and you can smell what your neighbour is cooking?” said Rao. “Those are the cells we need to examine.”

Licious Becomes India’s First Meat Deliver Unicorn
Another Unicorn Strikes
Meanwhile, this Bengaluru-based fresh seafood and meat start-up just raised Rs. 388 crore.

🌾Ordeal Of The Organic 

As demand rises and organic farming garners support, what are the lessons we must build on to move forward in a way that is beneficial for both the planet and the people?
Here’s some food for thought 🍛

(Image: Fao.org)

Sri Lanka’s Organic Farming Crisis: Learning From Failures An bold haul that shook the island nation. 

(Image: A tea plantation in Sri Lanka’s Haputale. | Photo: Commons)

How Sri Lanka’s Overnight Flip to Total Organic Farming has Led to an Economic Disaster Currency devaluation, food inflation, and chaos. What does the future of organic farming look like?

(Image: Bizztro.Tumblr)

Emerging Organic Food Industry in Post-Pandemic India After the pandemic struck, the Indian organic food market touched $820 million in 2020.

(Image: Nature.com)

Green to EverGreen Revolution The balance between productivity and ecology, and the future of green agriculture.

🔦Policy Spotlight

👩‍🌾How Punjab Can Shine Again with
Nutritional Security & Climate-Friendly Agriculture.
Indian Express

🌽 India Needs A Carbon Policy For Agriculture
Indian Express

🥗 Let’s Talk Nutrition

(Image: An Indian army officer checks the height of a potential recruit. | Danish Ismail/Reuters)

Around the world, people are getting taller –
so why are Indian heights on the decline?

Shorter in a Decade: The Rise of a Public Health Problem.

(Image: Jeff Siepman/Unsplash)

How Big Companies Target Middle-Income Countries
To Sell Ultra-Processed Foods

Middle-income countries face a looming threat of ultra-processed foods that create “highly rewarding eating experience that may facilitate overconsumption”

Wheels of Innovation

A Cashew Tree. (Image: Thrivenews.com)

👩🏽‍💻 Centre to Support Incubation of New Method Developed by Kerala-based Farmer to Control Pests in Cashew Gardens
The Economic Times

🍞 How Bakers Circle is Revolutionising Food Tech Without Limiting to Internet Algorithms
Your Story

🏞️ Himachal’s Women Farmers Expand their Horizons, Without Hurting the Nature
The Hindu

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Food and Culture

Vivek Menezes writes about the cultural and political significance of pao, or bread, to the state of Goa and its heritage.

Goa’s Daily Bread | Vittles
Illustration of Goan Breads by Shilpa Mayenkar Naik for Soul Pao by Vivek Menezes

Kesang Choden Bhutia, Shruti Menon and Arunima Sikder write about the traditional local brewing culture followed by most rural households in Sikkim.

Of nature, culture and alcohol: A glimpse into Sikkim’s age-old brewing traditions | FirstPost
Rhododendron flower. Picture by Kesang Choden

From the 56 Foods at the Jagannath Temple in Puri to the langar at Punjab’s Golden Temple, explore the world of Temple Foods in this piece by Rakesh Kumar.

Massive kitchens, unique tastes: India’s ancient temple cuisine sits in a class of its own
Image: Puttu, a traditional South Indian dish, is among the foods served at Tamil Nadu’s Meenakshi Temple. EyesWideOpen/Getty Images

📚 Resources & Reads

📃Policy Toolkit
Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition

🖌️The Big Food Redesign
Ellen Macarthur Foundation

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