What if you had an app map on food that can scan the bar code and get the roadmap to your produce? You could have details about the farm, the farmer, soil and pesticides. Considering the pandemonium that unorganised food chains are creating, this may become a necessity.
Centuries ago, everything grown was organic. Plants, crops, trees and vegetables were grown without using pesticides or chemicals. Everything people consumed was fresh and local.
What is organic?
Organic does not mean natural. There is no right description on what comprises natural food. However, the food industry uses the term natural to point that a food has been negligibly treated and is preservative-free. Natural foods can encompass organic foods, but it is not necessary that all-natural foods are organic.
Only foods identified as “organic” have been licenced as meeting the government riders for organic produce. The concept of how food is grown and its journey to our plate should be an intrinsic part of everyone’s childhood experience.
Chef Vikram Ganpule, former executive chef, Andaz, New Delhi, says the organic food movement is an inherent part of the vocal for local crusade. “It is about supporting farming groups and advocating the usage of natural fertilisers. By boosting the awareness of using chemical-free
fertilizers, we deliberately choose an improved lifestyle and so, contribute to the organic food movement. AnnaMaya, our European food hall, has been at the forefront of its vocal for local drive since its commencement with an emphasis on green food that resonances the vivacious flavours of India,” he says.
It is extremely important to appreciate your food providers and be connected with the soil and ensure we connect with farmers. With the constant warnings that the veggies and fruits have more chemicals than nutrients, we should know where and how they are grown. The need and demand for organic food is snowballing despite its premium pricing.
You are what you cook and eat
Anuradha Verma of Everything Organik has been using only organic ingredients for the past 10 years. “The proof is always in the pudding – when it tastes fresher, one can almost always tell,” says Verma.
Sneh Yadav, owner of Tijara Farm, Rajasthan, says it’s not an easy task to sow and reap. “We at Tijara Farm, which was once a barren land, learnt the soil type and now grow exotic and Indian vegetables, various kinds of leafy vegetables and herbs and sell them at the farmer’s market,” says Yadav.
Some like Nivida Kohli, design manager, Numero Uno, prefer growing their own greens and herbs to ensure they are eating healthy. “During the pandemic, I started to grow my own greens, primarily herbs and vegetables. I pluck them fresh out of my kitchen garden and they go straight to the cooking pan. The fragrance, freshness and taste make a big difference. Rich in antioxidants and chemical-free, the veggies are tastier and healthier,” says Kohli.
People appreciate food more when they are told about the history, sourcing and how it has been produced. “Reasonably, it’s not that you can continuously palate the disparity between food that’s been grown organically or not. Yes, frequently there is a visible change in the characteristic of an ingredient, but it’s not easy to recognise on a full plate of cooked food. As a chef, I think it’s vital that we cook with accountability and pay that onward where we can. The resolve of cooking with sustainable food is to craft a general change,” says Prateek Sadhu, chef owner Masque, Mumbai.