CSE holding Organic Farmers' Market at IHC on January 30 to promote good food

  • Organic Farmers’ Market to be held on January 30 at India Habitat Centre lawns

  • Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about healthy and natural food

  • Stalls will sell farmers’ produce and also hold live cooking demonstrations

  • Moving up wealth ladder leads to abandoning of natural food, says Sunita Narain

New Delhi, January 25: There is increasing evidence to suggest good and healthy food is a scarce commodity. Centre for Science and Environment’s research has found various contaminants and unwanted substances in human food – be it antibiotics or pesticides, to name a few of these. In order to further its objective of promoting natural and good food, CSE is organising a Farmers’ Market on January 30. The event will be held at India Habitat Centre’s Margosa lawns from 10 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon. The participants in the Farmers’ Market will include individual farmers, farmer collectives like Kheti Virasat. On display and available for purchase will be their produce such as grains and vegetables. Visitors will also have the option of sampling dishes made out of natural ingredients.

Underlining the importance of good food, CSE Director General Sunita Narain said, “We eat relatively good homemade and locally grown food only because we are not rich. As we proceed on the wealth ladder, the business of food also changes—moves to industrial and processed food. Unfortunately, this also means we will move down the food-nutrition ladder unless we put protective systems in place. CSE has been a strong advocate of what we call 'good food' - food that is good for nature (rich in biodiversity), nutrition (not junk food and without poisons) and livelihoods (where local people derive benefits). A few years ago, we published our book, First Food, in which we celebrated the diversity of such food and recipes from across the country. To take this work forward we are organising an Organic Farmers’ Market.”

The Farmers’ Market will have a number of educative demonstrations for visitors. These will include: how to make your own compost, how to put together the right ingredients for a pot to grow plants, how to create a healthy plate and a cooking demonstration on millets, among others. The theme for the Farmers’ Market is millets. 

Said Narain, “How can we continue to eat local food, built on local biodiversity? How do we improve food safety without deploying inspectors who destroy small and local good food businesses, but do not hurt the ever-evolving and sophisticated industry of global food? These are critical questions. We are running out of time in the food-health trajectory.”

The stalls at the Farmers’ Market will sell various products such as organic vegetables, millets, dishes staples, breads and dairy products. Sessions on traditional and natural food, food and health, air pollution and other issues important in preserving good health will be held. Some well-known personalities from the world of food will deliver talks and participate in the event.

CSE’s Programme Director for the Environmental Education programme, Ranjita Menon said, “Good food is all around us. For generations, Indians have incorporated biodiversity in their daily food – using millets instead of wheat or rice, eating vegetables sourced from forests rather than farms, eating local food and changing their diet with changing seasons.”

For further information, please contact Anupam Srivastava, asrivastava@cseindia.org, 9100 93893