environment & nature

Eight Indian Artisanal Food Brands to Eat Sustainably

Sheena Joseph | Oct 18 2020
Image credits: Pinterest

Living sustainably should be among the top goals of everyone. It is no longer about doing a little good or taking care of the planet because it is the right thing to do. The situation has changed, and saving the planet has become a necessity for the survival of the human race. As the latest documentary 'A Life on Our Planet' by David Attenborough points out, the planet will come back to life in a few decades, even after humans are gone. 

We all should start with being conscious of what we eat. Consuming locally grown organic foods is one of the easiest ways to reduce carbon emissions. It is also great for your health. Some businesses are producing food items sustainably without hurting the environment. Here are some such Indian artisanal food brands.

1) The Farm Chennai

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Image credits: Instagram

The farm has been around since 1974 and it remained unchanged when the surrounding area has become an IT hub of Chennai city. The farm started as a dairy farm with cows, buffaloes, and other livestock. Today, they have a lot more than cattle.

It is an oasis of cows, buffaloes, chicken, goats, horses, an organic vegetable garden, fields with a fascinating list of plants. The farm consistently attracts birds and insects. Their shop which delivers to most places in India, not only sells their own produce but sources food items from other organic farmers from across the country (ex: apricots from Spiti valley and honey from Idukki).

If you are looking for a trustworthy place to buy rice, lentils, honey, vegetables, etc, The Farm Chennai is all you need. Their Instagram page is also a hub for positivity.

2) Yarroway Farm

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Image credits: Instagram

Yarroway farm is working towards a goal that is more than just producing organic, healthy food. The farm is located on the banks of Nugu Reservoir in South Karnataka. They aim to improve soil life, seed conservation, and pollinating heirloom varieties. 

The management believes in the right balance of plants, animals, and people. Yarroway farm vegetables are a result of seasonal growing patterns, crop rotation, permaculture inspired landscaping, rainwater harvesting, and irrigation systems. Farm activities are planned according to the biodynamic lunar calendar and positions of sun, moon, stars, and planets. 

Some of their popular food items are red rice, buckwheat, traditional millets (ragi, foxtail, bajra), sesame, sunflower, dandelion tea, hibiscus tea, peanuts, ginger, garlic, and beans. They also farm a variety of herbs like tulsi, nettle, lemongrass, rosemary, oregano, thyme, sage, mints, and lemon balm.

3) BlueTokai

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Image credits: Instagram

Blue Tokai is one of the most popular artisanal coffee brands in India. They have multiple cafes in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Goa, Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Kolkata, and Noida. And the number is constantly growing. 

Blue Tokai sources their coffee beans from estates across India and each comes with its own unique notes. Their seasonal coffee sourced from Orchadale Estate (Shevaroy Hills in Tamil Nadu) has notes of blackcurrant, apricot, and Jackfruit. One of their best seller coffees sourced from Attikan estate (Bilgiri Hills in Karnataka) has notes of dark chocolate, figs, and roasted almonds. 

They deliver across India. What sets Blue Tokai apart from other brands is their consistent initiatives to educate people about artisanal coffees, brewing methods, and equipment.

4) Flying Squirrel

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Image credits: Twitter

Flying Squirrel is another artisanal coffee brand that has been loved by coffee lovers since 2013. Their beans are cultivated at their plantation - Nellikad estate in Coorg. The name 'Flying Squirrel' is a nod to the animal commonly found on this plantation. They are consistently striving to learn more about natural soil, climate, and water conditions to create better coffee beans.

5) Tea Trunk 

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Image credits: Instagram

Tea Trunk is an Indian gourmet food brand founded by tea sommelier Snigdha Manchanda. She sources teas from artisanal farmers and turns them into unique blends for customers. Snigdha grew up collecting teas and those who knew her brought teas from all over the world as a gift. She owned over 100 rare and exotic teas from countries like Japan, Kenya, Turkey, and Greece. 

When she turned her passion into a business, she realised 90% of good quality tea produced in India is exported to other nations, which are then repackaged and imported back to India and sold for a higher price. She hopes to educate people and provide them with good quality Indian tea. 

Some of Tea Trunk's popular products are saffron kahwa green tea, chamomile tea, mint matcha green tea, and chocolate earl grey tea.

6) Mason & Co

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Image credits: Instagram

Mason & Co is one of the best artisanal chocolates in India and follows a bean-to-bar philosophy. The company works closely with farmers who cultivate cacao beans. Every single step along the way is executed by Mason & Co until the chocolate bar is made.

The chocolate is made from beans grown in farms of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Every chocolate bar is handcrafted without adding preservatives and products. Mason & Co is founded by French couple Jane, a trained chocolate maker and raw food chef and Fabien, a sound engineer.

Mason & Co's best sellers are '55% Coconut Milk Dark Chocolate Bar', '65% Espresso Dark Chocolate Bar', '70% Black Sesame & Raisin Dark Chocolate Bar', '70% Chilli & Cinnamon Dark Chocolate Bar', and '70% Rosemary & Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Bar'.

7) Himalayan Cheese

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Image credits: Pinterest

Himalayan cheese is the best of two worlds. The company is operated by a Dutchman who indulges in Dutch traditions to make cheese in the Kashmir Valley of India. Locally sourced milk is put through an eco-friendly way to make artisanal cheese. 

The credit for Himalayan Cheese products goes to the top quality full cream milk sourced from local farmers. The cows and buffaloes graze the pristine mountains and feed on naturally grown grass and herbs. Some of their best varieties are Kalari, mozzarella, young white cheddar, mild gouda, young chilli cheddar, and mature Frisian clove gouda.

8) Auroville

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Image credits: Instagram

Auroville has been a hub of healthy living and holistic philosophies for years. Over the years, people producing and selling sustainable food items have been naturally drawn to the area. Auroville itself sells a range of such food items through their online shop. Some of their popular items are trail mix, nuts and seeds, dried fruits, cookies, nut butters, pickles, pasta, spices, oils, syrups, and jams.