Edible Issues at The Bombay Canteen

What would the future of Indian food look like? 3D printed roti’s? Cultured meat cooked in tandoors?

7th July 2018

Is this our preferred future and if so how are we shaping it?

Edible Issues, along with the Future Food Institute and The Bombay Canteen hosted Canteen Class #11 where we had a conversation with Sara Roversi, founder, Future Food Institute; Varun Deshpande, MD India, Good Food Institute; Thomas Zacharias, chef and partner, The Bombay Canteen and Kurush Dalal, Asst. Prof. Archaeology, Mumbai University that highlighted current best initiatives in the Indian food system and broadly spoke about problems from unique perspectives.

Why food in India, Why now? — Why not?

The Indian economy is booming, and people are turning to food not just as a physiological need but also moving up the ladder to look at food as a form of social interaction and reconnecting with nature and each other.

At the canteen class the panel shared insights on current best practices in the system and current developments from farmer welfare to lab grown meat.

“If we want to help feed the population sustainably, we are going to have to work with government systems”

Varun Deshpande, Good Food Institute

A common theme was collaboration, awareness and education in creating a sustainable food future.

Chef Thomas brought up the need for re-connection between how food is produced and how we perceive and consume it. At the same time Prof. Kurush cautioned to be mindful on what we think of farming and growing our food and that it is not a glamorous profession.

The conversation steered into innovation and technology and Varun Deshpande, spoke about the innovations in ethical and environmental friendly protein sources in the future, not just being lab grown meat, but also innovating on millet and current protein rich native Indian crops.

Innovation not just in product design but in education as well. How can we help farmers to understand their land and soil better? Or for policy makers and government to make educated choices, for chefs and food facilitators to deliver healthy nutritional and local plates, and consumers to make better choices in buying…?

A live example of this collaborative-innovative-education is The Bombay Canteen. They host the Canteen Class every month engaging hospitality students enabling them to understand more than whats taught in the classroom. We at Edible Issues were thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of this initiative. To register for the next canteen class write to varun.jalan@hungerinc.in.

It is not just us with the purchasing power to think about the issues in the food system but it is important to involve kids as well, who are the future — how do we together shape the future we wish to EAT?

If you are as curious to some of the answers to these questions as we are subscribe HERE to Edible Issues for a weekly update on how, what and why India is eating. And wish to be part of such events in the future? 
Write to us at edibleissues-at-gmail.com.

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The role of the professional chef today has changed drastically ever since I first decided to take up this profession 15 years ago. Today, we as culinary leaders have the ability (and the responsibility) to use our cooking and our collective voices to be powerful agents for positive change around us. Whether this means promoting our cultural traditions; preserving and celebrating our indigenous local ingredients; making sustainable choices for the ecosystem around us; supporting and working together with small scale, organic farmers; helping in the fight against hunger and malnutrition; or create nourishing working environments where the next generation of chefs can learn and thrive, the opportunities to effect positive change in our communities are plenty. Our 11th Canteen Class at @thebombaycanteen held yesterday in association with the Future Food Institute, Food Innovation Program and Edible Issues was concerning these very same topics. On the panel along with me were Varun Deshpande, Managing Director, Good Food Institute (@thegoodfoodinstitute); Dr. Kurush Dalal (@kurushdalal ), Asst. Professor of Archeology, University of Mumbai; Sara Roversi (@saroversi ), Founder- Future Food Institute (@ffinstitute @foodinpro). In the context of India, we discussed the role of tradition in innovations in our food future, notable signals in the evolving food system, the role of chefs in this cycle as well as challenges faced, and other pressing "edible" issues of our times. The Canteen Class is our initiative intended to narrow the divide between passionate hotel management students and hospitality industry professionals. A very special mention to @elizabeth.yorke and @anushamurthy who run @edible_issues for making this particular Canteen Class happen. To register for future canteen classes, please email varun.jalan@hungerinc.in #CanteenClass #Foodinnovationprogram #FutureFoodInstitute #EdibleIssues #responsiblechefs #IndianFoodMovement #thebombaycanteen #Indiainspired #mumbai

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