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Localicious: Peoples Movement for Local Food, an inititative by Krishna Mckenzie, Solitude, Auroville, Pondicherry

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan

Food is the most powerful way to change the present paradigm and the best one can do is to simply eat local food. Foods that come from our culture, tasty, healthy and having no carbon footprint is what we have to consume says Krishna Mc Kenzie in a conversation with Agriculture World. Local implies community and it needs an acknowledgement of cultural and nutritional values. Local food need to be celebrated and it always aims at bringing people together to learn about nutrition and health, community, culture and ecology. Local food brings us closer to an understanding of where our food comes from, which is the foundation of any society says Krishna.

And all the more Local foods are hardy and are easier to grow in abundance. They need little care and we just have to grow it to water it .It grows easily and its packed full of nutrients and is an economically viable option for every one. In a Conversation with Krishna ,he says at this moment the gardens are lean because its summer but even though their produce consists of  Turkey berry, Amaranth, Gourds, Pumpkins Papayas, Tapioca, Jackfruit, Mango and flowers like Hibiscus, Aparajitha and Lemon  for a juice kit. The huge diversity of nutritious spinaches, yams or green papaya could be tapped if the entire community consciously eats a few times a week. There would be a profound change in our consciousness, as we would be reclaiming our connection with mother earth and our nutritional needs.

At Solitude Café, Auroville, Pondicherry they have community baskets for people who have signed up for it and it has been found to double during the corona period. What started off as 5-10 has now reached 50.  Solitude has become a café that exclusively feeds people with local produce all year round. It is really a marvel that one could produce 150 varieties of crops in one single farm. These Local Community baskets offer an amazing economic possibility for the farmers and a revitalization of nutritional wellbeing for consumers. Solitude also has started out on a mission to educate people on the benefits of locally grown food and also is hosting cooking classes as well as workshops on permaculture.

There should be more movements like these where in the farmer too understands the importance of adding value to the local agriculture by moving from food production to food businesses. Linking farmer to consumers in urban cities through digitization also needs to be done. There can be many ways of Initiating markets for diverse food baskets through governmental procurement eg schools, canteens and hospitals. Utmost importance to nutrition and well-beingof women, children and all citizens needs to be taken at these challenging times and none other than local food could give us immunity than any imported fruit and vegetables.

There is definitely a need for like-minded farmers also who are ready to dive in and start valuing their cultural farming heritage, to explore and help create a community with them that will honour them financially.

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