Food is trending. The world talks about it all the time. The culture of growing locally and eating fresh is one of the simplest ways of improving nutrition in our diet. The crowd captivates towards bolder terms like “Organic” and “Sustainable”, which is good. The only concern of growing our food is the distance. Where is the food grown?, is the major key account. Wisdom is growing nearby, so that the costing could be minimised, else it is worthless. In India, where at least half of the country’s 1.25 billion population rely on farming as a primary source of income, and more than 15% of inhabitants are undernourished, according to the global hunger index, experiments with organic farming could come at a huge human cost.
The word ‘local’ varies geographically. That’s where the Indian conglomeration comes into action. Because of this people around the country have seen an opportunity for good business in going local when it comes to food. Local food systems use several means for distribution of the produce and farmer’s markets play an important role in this.
Eating local is to support the local nutrient. The money spent stays close to home and is reinvested with businesses and services in your community.
As per the Business Line study, most Indian consumers prefer to buy fruits, veggies locally. Majority of Indian consumers prefer to buy from them despite the presence of organised retail stores in select metro cities. As per the survey, more than half of the respondents (534) preferred buying fruits and vegetables from the local market. A large number (192) bought from push carts, while around 100 respondents sourced the items from the wholesale market. Of the 1001 respondents, only about 150 respondents said that they bought fruits and vegetables from the organised market such as Big Bazaar. The respondents were interviewed across five cities – the National Capital Region (Delhi, Gurgaon, and Noida), Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata – THE HINDU (BuisnessLine)
Some well known example of dominant market for local produce have been- Floating Vegetable Market, Srinagar; Pineapple Market of Nongpoh, Meghalaya; Gadodia Market in Khari Baoli, Delhi; Fish Market, Thiruvananthapuram; Friday Market at Mapsa, Goa; Namkeen Market at Amer, Jaipur.
Every place has its own locally grown food that confesses a sweet fable. When you know where your food comes from and who grew it, you know a lot more about that food. Locally produced food favours a safer supply as, as there is less contamination of food during harvesting, cleaning, transportation, and distribution.
Even restaurants have adapted the farm to table movement. This revolution is brewing up, and is responsible in changing our way of thinking. This trend aims to change the way people are changing the thought of sourcing the fresh produce.
The locally grown food is full of flavour. The produce is given their own sweet time to ripe, before they are plucked. Hence, it has the right sensory attributes present. The best time to eat any local fruit is to eat them when they can be purchased from a local grower. Hence eating local food is eating a seasonal food.
Even the celebrity chefs have incorporated the local gown ingredient in their menu. The celebrity chef Sarah Todd, in an interview with Food Marketing & Technology–India, was asked whether she prefers fresh local ingredients or supermarkets stuff, she gave a move on reply, “obviously, local ingredients all the way! Local produce is always fresh and pays homage to the area which helps showcase the best local ingredients of the state”.
“Go organic” seems to be the new India’s eating trend, which is turning up the local produce to get commercialise globally. Thank God, the India has abundance of freshly and locally grown fruits and vegetables. The locally grown food is seen with a perspective of being more fresh and higher in quality, than the normally produce food. The product is of better variety and quality. Those determined to eat local, are even ready to pay high prices because they understand the importance and benefits of eating healthy.
With the increase concern to reduce wastage, the locally grown organic food aid to cut down the carbon footprint, and benefits the environment. Growing local, and growing organic walk hand –in-hand. Agricultural lands are gradually being converted to certified organic lands by implementing practices and principles as per guidelines laid down in National Programme for Organic Production. Sikkim is the first country in India to go fully Organic, with their local produce.
In a way, the stress to provide healthier food options led to a healthy eating revolution. Purchasing locally grown foods or practising sustainable agriculture has become a new yardstick. Change is to try for this practice even in a limited space. So, practice farm to fork, to eat local, to think global!