As part of the 4th Edition of Sustainability NOW: Conversations for a Greener Tomorrow (2nd – 7th November 2020) – a week of programming dedicated to environmental perspectives and green ways of living – Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) and Avid Learning present a panel discussion that explores the concepts of sustainable agriculture and food production and uncovers the many practices, activities and approaches related to them, while also examining evolving food consumption patterns and trends that are carving out pathways to a more sustainable future and current reality. Grower at Vrindavan Farm and Former Environmental Consultant to the US Environmental Protection Agency Gaytri Bhatia, Chef-Owner, Fig & Maple Radhika Khandelwal and Managing Director, Good Food Institute India Varun Deshpande will be in conversation with Hospitality Advisor Pooja Vir. Join us to discover how we can produce and consume better to ensure a greener tomorrow.
Gaytri Bhatia consulted to the US EPA in Environmental Analyses for 7 years before becoming entrenched in India’s food system. Small scale producers feed nearly 70% of the global population. With the Green Revolution of the mid-1900s & the growing economic imbalance for farmers, production practices today are deep in malpractices with damming accrued impact on both human & environmental health. Over the decade, Bhatia has worked to create a sustainable approach to food production, one that nurtures the earth while producing clean & nourishing food. Inspired by the forest, Vrindavan Farm uses slow farming techniques, produces seasonally, revives indigenous seed (e.g., rice, millets), creates biodegradable packaging, to name a few. Modeling a forest allows food production to return to a slow, sustainable, & economically balanced process, which creates the space for the farmers’ harmonious relation with the earth. She continues to learn from the land, always refining her own methods.Read more
Radhika Khandelwal, Chef and Owner, at Radish Hospitality has steadily and carved a formidable and firm foundation for herself in the Zero Waste and Biodiversity movements through her restaurant Fig & Maple in New Delhi, India. From the early days of her training as a Chef Radhika has championed food security through encouraging biodiversity. Her kitchen is well-known for playing host to indigineous Indian ingredients like Black chakhao rice, bok phool from West Bengal, lotus stems, and a wide variety of seasonal greens that are used in her salads. Passionate for a secure food future and for local, sustainable and seasonal cooking, Khandelwal ensures food is prepared with a zero waste approach by focusing on root-to-shoot cooking. Radhika Khandelwal moved to Melbourne, Australia at the age of 17 to pursue a degree in Psychology and began working at a fine dining restaurant to support herself, which sparked her passion for cooking. When she returned to India in 2013, she founded Radish Hospitality, an umbrella company for her restaurants Ivy and Bean (founded 2013) and Fig and Maple (founded 2016). Fig and Maple was founded as a canvas to showcase the vast indigenous biodiversity of India by using local, seasonal, and lesser known ingredients. The arrival of Fig and Maple in Delhi marked the beginning of a new movement in sustainability and was quickly adopted across the city by numerous chefs. As an advocate of sustainability and a member of the Chef’s Manifesto working to fulfil the objectives of SDG2 (Zero Hunger), Khandelwal launched a 45-day long campaign titled “Be a #ZeroWasteHero”. This campaign raised awareness of issues such as hunger, biodiversity, climate change, and food waste. Khandelwal is to represent India at the UN general assembly on the 29th of sept 2020. Radhika – as a Chef and as a food security activist – has been featured in eminent publications like Vogue India, Condé Nast Traveller, Salty Magazine, The Economic Times, GQ India, The New York Times, Verve, The Hindu, Lifestyle Asia, Indian Express, and many more.Read more
Varun Deshpande is the Managing Director for India at the Good Food Institute (GFI), where he is focused on building the future of food by working with scientists, foundations, governments, entrepreneurs, and corporations to advance the new protein sector, which includes plant based and cultivated meat. As the son of a cancer surgeon from Mumbai, Varun has been deeply immersed in healthcare and technology from a very young age. He spent several formative years studying Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at technology hub Carnegie Mellon University. He then went on to work on implementing digital health in India and the United States, helping vulnerable populations through care coordination, and a systems approach to healthcare. While in the United States, Varun learned about Effective Altruism, a philosophy which seeks to investigate and target the world's most pressing problems. He came to understand the tremendous impact of industrial animal agriculture on the world, and the imperative need to transition away from it using markets and technology. In dedicating his work to the future of protein and combining his duty to human and planetary health, Varun aims to help build a more healthy, sustainable, and just global food system, starting right here in India.Read more