Sulagna Chattopadhyay
Geography and You, New Delhi.

Food Imperatives in India

I once watched an exasperated TV anchor asking a scientist that if there are so many deficiencies in our food systems–from production to consumption, where does one even begin? His helplessness rang true for most of us. Attempts to develop our food systems have been underway for several decades now. From adequate food to better nutrition, in policy we seem to have covered it all. In practice however, the outcomes are fairly dismal. What then is needed to bolster India’s food systems? This dedicated issue of G’nY addressing the food imperatives, lays down some basic tenets of what can be remedied at the earliest. From bolstering the nutritional outcomes in the nation to building an understanding of what actually constitutes food choice in a given budgetary bracket, the issue outlines a gamut of thought provoking essays. With evidences of climate change already documented to have affected many crops—a more recent one being the shifting altitudinal extent of apple orchards—it is alarming that we are yet to formulate safety-nets that extend beyond extreme event insurance. Also pertinent are the quality control issues related to food—caught in a complex matrix of demand and supply, threatening to poison the entire nation. 

I would like to also take this opportunity to thank Dr Nafees Meah for his involvement in developing a discourse that can perhaps help change the way we view food.