Monday, Apr 23, 2018 | Last Update : 01:46 AM IST

Set the goal to go local

THE ASIAN AGE
Published : Jan 14, 2018, 12:41 am IST
Updated : Jan 14, 2018, 12:41 am IST

Local farms grow crop varieties that are otherwise overlooked by the mass producers thereby preserving our food heritage.

Arun Velekkat
 Arun Velekkat

Hope you are having a great start to 2018! Do you make New Year resolutions and stick to the plan? If it’s a yes I urge you to add not one, but two important commitments to your list for 2018. Don’t worry. They are not difficult goals to achieve. It’s about small incremental changes that’ll make a huge difference to the world we live in. Those two commitments are to consume more local organic produce, and if possible to grow some food on your own!

Average household incomes in India have seen a steady rise in the last two decades. With this change has come a shift in our consumer behaviours and spending patterns. With international vacations becoming popular, we have increased exposure to global cuisines. One of the areas where this is evident is our eating habits. If you grew up in the 80s or 90s you’ll remember how rarely you got to eat out at a restaurant! You’ll also remember the limited choice of branded foods you could pick from.

All that changed a long time back! Now we eat out often, we cook less at home, and we consume a lot of processed food. Even when we cook, we rely a lot on expensive, imported ingredients. While many of these signs could be indicators of increased purchasing capacity, there are a lot of reasons why you should promote local, organic produce.

To start, whether they are vegetables, fish or even poultry, organic produce are as natural and fresh as they can get. There are fewer stages involved from the time it leaves the farm and reaches your table. And to top it up, they are organically grown, natural produce not contaminated by chemicals. Organic farming methods don’t damage the ecosystem as they don’t contaminate soil and water like the large-scale commercial operations.

You should also keep in mind that buying local helps to support local farming communities and collectives. Most of the cooperative societies depend on local customers for their farmers’ livelihoods.

Local farms grow crop varieties that are otherwise overlooked by the mass producers thereby preserving our food heritage.

If you are concerned about reducing your carbon footprint, imagine the amount of fossil fuels that have to be burned to fly your favourite gourmet products from Europe or the US to your supermarket.  

If you agree that these reasons are enough to choose local, organic food then make a commitment to promote it more. This year, let’s also commit to growing more organic produce on our own. There is nothing more joyful than growing your own vegetables and greens.

Let’s cook with more fresh, local and seasonal produce! Together, let’s make this world a better place to live!

(Arun Velekkat is a food blogger. His blog, www.thetakeiteasychef.com, is all about simple, honest food usinglocal, organic produce.)

Tags: status gourmet, organic produce