New Book: India’s Organic Farming Revolution

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 12:15

A new book on organic farming in India is coming out in October, written by Oxford Univeristy alum, Sapna Thottathil.

Should you buy organic food? Is it just a status symbol, or is it really better for us? Is it really better for the environment? What about organic produce grown thousands of miles from our kitchens, or on massive corporately owned farms? Is “local” or “small-scale” better, even if it’s not organic? A lot of consumers who would like to do the right thing for their health and the environment are asking such questions.

Sapna Thottathil calls on us to rethink the politics of organic food by focusing on what it means for the people who grow and sell it - what it means for their health, the health of their environment, and also their economic and political well-being.

In 2010, a new policy was enacted in Kerala that requires all Kerala growers to farm organically by 2020. How this policy came to be and its immediate economic, political, and physical effects on the state’s residents offer lessons for everyone interested in agriculture, the environment, and what to eat for dinner. Kerala’s example shows that when done right, this kind of agriculture can be good for everyone in our global food system.

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