FIRST FOOD: A Taste of India’s Biodiversity

FirstFoodAuthors: Sunita Narain & Vibha Varshney

This collection of around 100 recipes from different parts of India brings to life the magic that takes place once biodiversity is combined with culinary dexterity.

Food is very personal. We know that. What we often don’t realise is that food is also about culture and, most importantly, about biodiversity. This collection of 100 recipes from different parts of India invites us to savour the magic that takes place when biodiversity is combined with culinary skills.

For centuries, the food on our plates reflected the local biodiversity. People selected some of the common products either for their taste or for their health benefits. With time, they became integral parts of our culture but people forgot their health benefits. Biodiversity lost its appeal.

First Food is a reminder of the potential of food, its ability to satiate hunger, quench thirst and to heal. It provides nearly 100 recipes from different parts of the country where people still choose wisely. While taking us on this gastronomical journey, this book reminds us that all is not well with the biodiversity and our kitchens are no longer as rich as they once were. It also tells us that biodiversity is best protected if it is celebrated in our kitchens.

The emphasis is on appreciating the science and art of nature. If we can make nature part of our lives again; make the connection between what we eat and why we eat it, then we can also safeguard this resource for tomorrow. But if we lose the knowledge and culture of our local cuisines then we lose more than their taste and smell. We lose nature.

Published: 2013
Format: Paperback, 168 pages
ISBN: 978-81-86906-62-0
Publisher: Centre for Science and Environment

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