#72 – Ten Minute Issues, Mind Games, Business of Food, and More


Disclaimer: This delivery of fresh news will take you more than 10-mins to read. Please savor, enjoy, and hit us up for FREE!

ICYMI: Recently Zomato announced its 10-minute delivery plan for hot food.

What’s the idea behind 10 minutes? Who is this for? Why do we demand such convenience in food? And what precedence does this set for other urban consumer brands? What kind of pressure does this put on people who participate in making our food and making sure we have it in our homes and offices?

It takes two-three months (2 months = 86400 minutes) for vegetables (and chickens — scary!) to grow — seed to fruit. (There are tons of binge-worthy time-lapse videos of food growing — but this is a favorite). 

We often think about food innovation today and if it’s really meeting people’s needs. In today’s chaotic world as convenience grows to be more convenient who is it really inconveniencing? And as food parasites living in our little bubbles would we ever know the effort, and hardship to grow the things that take us 1/8640th of the time to consume?

Stay hungry & curious,

Elizabeth & Anusha

Food & Crises

The world isn’t looking too good just now. It feels like we’re hopping from the frying pan into the fire. While Maharashtra is mask free, airports are business as usual, all is definitely not okay. The current war in Ukraine, Sri Lanka’s devastating economic crisis, effects of climate change on communities and their livelihoods and especially closer to home we’re reading stories of how food is being used as a tool for hate and violence.

Here are some reads on food in today’s times of crises:

India’s inflation surges to 8-month high on soaring food prices
Al Jazeera

As Ukraine war puts stress on sunflower oil export pipeline, experts see a big opportunity for Punjab
The Indian Express

Ukraine-Russia conflict: Indian, Chinese food firms should seek alternative veg oil supplies — Analyst
Food Navigator — Asia

War creates an opportunity for Indian wheat growers
Al Jazeera

Risks to global supply chains rising as climate change worsens, IPCC warns
The Financial Times

Budgeting for a well-fed, self-reliant India
The Indian Express

Biodiesel will strike hard at food security
The Hans India

‘Biriyani causes infertility’: The casteist, communal strategy of the right wing in TN
The News Minute

Halal food is ‘economic jehad’: BJP gen secy C T Ravi
The Indian Express

Whetstone editor, Vidya Balachander shares a link to a few places where you can contribute funds to provide cooked food and dry rations to those in Sri Lanka, especially in need during this time.

🧠Mind Games🍅

Will we ever get a clear idea about what we should eat? | aeon
Nutritionism and essentialism provide comfortingly clear perspectives about what makes food healthful. But an open-minded look at the evidence suggests that many of the most hotly debated questions about nutrition are impossible to answer with the information we have, maybe with the information we will ever have in the foreseeable future. If we isolate nutrients and eat them in different forms than they naturally come in, how will they affect us? Can processed foods be made in ways to approach or even surpass the healthfulness of natural whole foods?

Zomato is betting on “Eating Now & Paying Later” | Finshots
But it doesn’t end there. Zomato knows that if they build out their own BNPL alternative, they could probably get more people to eat now and pay later. This is in Zomato’s best interest. Because when people pay later, they also tend to order more. In fact, many years ago when McDonald’s started allowing people to pay using credit cards, their order value went up from $4.50 to $7. That’s a 55% increase!!!

Current system of food labelling in India makes it tough to decipher facts | Financial Express
A global checklist for developing new front-of-pack labelling system includes interpretive systems such as the multiple traffic light labelling system (United Kingdom), nutri-score system (France) and warning system (Chile); non-interpretive systems such as percentage reference intakes (European Union); and hybrid systems such as the Health Star Rating (Australia and New Zealand).

🐽How we lost our sensory connection with food — and how to restore it

Let’s take a minute out of our intense food system reading to look at some cooked rice. Try this with us — Look at that bowl of fluffy rice. Now, close your eyes, take a big inhale.

Did you smell it? What memories came to mind? 

Bee Wilson writes in The Guardian on how eating in the modern world is often eating in a state of profound sensory disengagement and why it shouldn’t have to be this way. Read On

Stuffed and Starved

How the average Indian’s emotional dependence on food is fueling widespread obesity

In ‘Generation XL’, one of India’s leading bariatric surgeons, Dr Sanjay Borude explains how India’s passion for food leads to a generational predisposition to obesity.

The Print

Persistence of Food Insecurity and Malnutrition

Hunger and malnutrition have worsened in India with the onset of the pandemic, but the information we have points to a deterioration even before Covid-19.

The India Forum

🤑The Business of Food 🤑

The growth opportunities and challenges for India’s frozen food market
India Retailing

Ready or Not, OneRare’s Supreet Raju Wants to Welcome You to the Foodverse
The Spoon

Is the pizza tax absurd?

Zomato is breaking the Domino’s Barrier

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Food, Culture, and History

How commensality for some could mean alienation to others.

Eating from the Bohra thaal
Himal Southasian

The cultural production of mango pickle.

Amba: A Tale of Four Cities

A dramatic rise in consumption of Korean food in India after the 2020 lockdown saw Korean noodles alone enjoy sales growth of 178 per cent in 2021

How Indians’ love of K-pop and K-dramas gives them appetite for Korean food, from kimchi and barbecues to bibimbap and bulgogi
South China Morning Post

Urraca is the first distillate of the cashew harvest, bottled un-aged, and released annually in the first week of March, available only for a short 15 weeks in Goa.

Hurrah! It’s Uracca Season in Goa
Goya Journal

Art, poetry and theatre take the equality question to food: what we eat and what it means

Two artists are starting conversations about Dalit food

Packing and wrapping what we eat is deeply tied with our souls and leaves have a way of keeping that fragrance alive.

Leafy Rhapsodies and Culinary Landscapes in Northeast India


📝 WRITE for a new food publication Dhoop, a space for conversations around food, nature, culture, sustainability & design. Submit a pitch for Issue 1 here. 

🧪FERMENT with Mountain Bee Kombucha | Bangalore
MBK is looking for a candidate who is interested in food & beverages, FMCG products, eager to learn and work in a start-up. Must be able to follow instructions carefully. Able to work in a dynamic F&B environment. Should be able to handle production work independently or with minimal assistance. Should be good at coordinating and communicating clearly. Qualifications: 12th pass with basic English reading and writing skills. Freshers can apply. No prior knowledge about kombucha, fermentation or brewing needed.
For details and applying for this job, call/Whatsapp 8792743820. Alternatively, send resumé to we@mountainbeekombucha.in

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