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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sattvik Food Festival at IIM-A-organic and value for money

I've blogged earlier about Prof Anil Gupta's efforts at conserving Indian tradition/food/farming practices for the right reasons(food security, biodiversity, inclusive growth). Annually, his organization SRISTHI conducts a food festival on the IIM-A grounds, which is an experience in itself. This year, women groups from 15 districts of Gujarat are here apart from several states like Arunachal pradesh, Assam, Bihar, jharkhand, Manipur, Rajasthan, Maharashtra etc. The sheer variety is to be experienced with natural ice cream, juices, processed forest produce, jail produced snacks etc. I went to the festival on the first day itself braving a hot afternoon, and was not disappointed. My observations
  1. Despite the healthy food options, people were snacking on the usual junk food like chips, icecream, bhujiya, bajjis, sev etc. I guess one needs such items to pull the crowd towards the stalls for making them look at other items. Maybe I saw a skewed sample but I saw very few people willing to experiment unconventional items. 
  2. I purchased 1kg shing bujiya for Rs 90, and 3 packets of kaju biscuit. I ran out of time before I could consider purchasing something else. 
  3. What I saw convinced me that if alternative food(in terms of variety and sourcing-even jail!) is priced reasonably(even slightly over the normal), then there are ready takers for it as I noticed in the Sabarmati Jail stall, which was seeing stockouts and high demand! 
  4. Overall, it did open my eyes to the wide range of tasty food(though having visited the festival after a heavy lunch, I was in the mood for snack shopping rather than tasting/eating)

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