Food is the soul of life and the foundation of our cultures and communities. It can be an influential resource to bring people together to grow, nurture and sustain the planet. It is high time we focus on how we grow, share and consume food on a daily basis.
If done in a thoughtful manner, local agriculture, forestry and fisheries can provide us with abundance of nutritious food for all and can also help in generating decent incomes for local farmers while supporting sustainable development.
Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration (WGSHA) is taking up many such initiatives to promote Sustainable Ethical Sourcing and to encourage and support local farmers and fisheries. Sustainable sourcing is a method of selecting materials and ingredients, products and services from the local farmers and fishermen in a sustainable way. By practicing sustainable resourcing, the organization directly unites social; ethical and environmental factors into selecting their vendors and distributers.
One among the many initiatives taken up by WGSHA are the weekly Paak Paryatan tours where in the students visit the local markets such as the ADI UDUPI MARKET and MALPE FISH HARBOUR, interact with the local farmers on native fruits and vegetables, locally available fishes and focus on creating recipes that are made with indigenous ingredients available in a radius of 30km.
Ingredients like BASALE SOPPU (also known as mangalore spinach) , Vetrilai-valli kodi , locally grown ashgourd and jackfruit have seen their usage in dishes restricted to a specific area and it causes a direct impact on the livelihood of the farmers that are producing them.
Purchasing from small farmers prevents ownership from forming in agricultural markets and supports socioeconomic equality. When we source our food from local farms, our meals are fresher, healthier, and less transportation is required, resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Negotiating and purchasing from our local community also helps us support our local farmers and fishermen who want to produce healthy and sustainable food.
Dedicating special menus and food festivals to such indegeious ingredients helps the students in not only practicing ethical sustainable sourcing but also help and encourage the local farmers and fishermen in generating a notable price for the local produce.